Gary Sinise is a well-known actor in Hollywood. You are probably familiar with him from his portrayal as Lieutenant Dan in “Forrest Gump.” However, he has carved out a special place for himself as a military fundraiser.
25 years ago Forrest Gump opened in theaters. Lt Dan Taylor will always be a fav & special role. Not only was it an honor to act alongside some incredible talent, working on a great script directed by Robert Zemeckis, but the character itself helped forge a bond w/ our military.. pic.twitter.com/cmL37FL5yt
— Gary Sinise (@GarySinise) July 6, 2019
In 2011, he started his fundraising campaign. Millions of dollars have been donated to soldiers, veterans, and their families through the Gary Sinise Foundation.
He said on his foundation website: “We must do all we can to extend our hand in times of need to those who willingly sacrifice each day to provide that freedom and security. While we can never do enough to show gratitude to our nation’s defenders, we can always do a little more.”
The actor has raised over $30 million for veterans each year through his charity foundation. He has built 54 smart houses for the badly injured, with 16 more under construction, and sponsored over 400 performances to benefit warriors and their families.
He was ten years old when the Vietnam War broke out. When the war finished, he was 20. He grew up during the war and witnessed the troops’ and their families’ loss and sacrifice. The tragic events of September 11, 2011, strengthened his resolve to do more to assist the American troops.
He wrote “Grateful American: A Journey From Self To Service,” a book about his life as a mischievous Chicago youngster, his Hollywood film career, and his work as a veteran and first responder advocate.
To commemorate the publication of Sinise’s book, a moving video, which included greetings from Tom Hanks and Ron Howard, was produced in his honor, and it left the actor speechless.
The hashtag #GratefulLikeGary has also sparked a lot of attention from those who Gary Sinise has inspired.
— Bonnie Berzonski (@bberzonski) February 12, 2019
I’m #GratefulLikeGary for Chief Patrick Burbridge who loves this country, his Navy, our family. He has PTSD but still does what he needs to do to get thru the day. After 4 wars- being retired is the hardest battle he faces. We thank @GarySinise for all he does for our troops. https://t.co/rVKzry0hrM
— Wendie Joy Burbridge (@KumuWendie) February 23, 2019