You may remember Gary Sinise from his iconic role as Lieutenant Dan in the classic movie, Forest Gump. Or more recently as Agent Jack Garret from Criminal Minds. There's something else interesting about the Hollywood actor. Gary Sinise has an incredible passion for helping veterans, but do you know why?
Gary Sinise received nominations for an Academy Award and multiple Tony Awards. He also won a Primetime Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award. He even has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But this Hollywood actor is also widely known for his support of our veterans. And his passion for helping them all started because of a role he had in a movie.
Gary portrayed wounded veteran Lieutenant Dan Taylor in the movie Forest Gump. One day, Gary had an opportunity to visit with a wounded military veteran in the hospital. "I remember going into the first hospital to visit a wounded soldier after September 11, and all he wanted to do was talk about Lieutenant Dan," Gary shared. From that moment on, Gary knew he wanted to do something more to support the military community. He may have acted as leader of a military platoon for his famous role, but now he had a chance to be a leader for real veterans.
Gary Sinise Plays For Troops In The Lieutenant Dan Band
Gary founded the Gary Sinise Foundation in 2011 with the purpose of supporting military personnel, first responders, and their families. This gave him an opportunity to support veterans in a greater capacity than he had previously.
Before 2011, Gary did find other ways to support the military. The Disabled Americans Veteran Charity awarded him four weeks after the release of Forrest Gump for his portrayal of Lieutenant Dan. Gary also plays overseas for troops with his band, The Lieutenant Dan Band.
Sinise acknowledged, "Lieutenant Dan is a part of my life in a way because I'm very devoted to our military, very devoted to making sure our veterans know we appreciate what they do. If they want to talk about Lt. Dan, that's fine by me."
He continues to support the military whether on-screen or off, showing them an appreciation for their service on behalf of our country.
WATCH: Lieutenant Dan Band | ‘Don't Stop Believing'
Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@garysiniseofficial