Gary Sinise Celebrates 25 Years of Heroic Patriotism
By Tess Farrand, Associate Content Editor
On August 21, 2019, Christian actor and veteran advocate Gary Sinise celebrated a 25-year partnership with Disabled American Veterans (DAV).
Gary has been a friend of Movieguide®, founder Dr. Ted Baehr, Robby Baehr and Evy Baehr Carroll for many years. As a result of an invitation from Dr. Ted Baehr, Gary spoke at the first GI Film Festival and then became deeply involved in future GI Film Festivals.
Gary Sinise Foundation said the following of the partnership:
Upon receiving the National Commander’s Award from the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) on August 21, 1994, for his performance in Forrest Gump as Lt. Dan Taylor, a combat-wounded double amputee, and Vietnam War veteran, Gary came to an epiphany after reading the award’s wording: “Your superb performance brought awareness of the lifelong sacrifice of disabled veterans back into public consciousness in a remarkably positive way.” Honoring and showing appreciation for our military service members and their families, before, during, and after the battle, became a lifelong mission of Gary’s from that moment onwards.
Since then, over the last 25 years, he has supported DAV in many ways including serving for nine years as the national spokesperson for the effort to build the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial in Washington, D.C. which was dedicated and opened to the public on October 5, 2014. The memorial honors veterans of the armed forces of the United States who were permanently disabled during the course of their national service.
The mutual respect and gratitude between DAV and Gary Sinise cannot be overstated. It’s an honor to have you as part of the mission to serve our disabled veterans. Keep up the incredible work, sir!@GarySiniseFound @GarySinise #KeepthePromise #Veterans https://t.co/DOKB14zLcD
— DAV National HQ (@DAVHQ) August 21, 2019
Sinise’s faith background helps motivate his philanthropy.
Movieguide® previously reported the following about Sinise’s faith and service:
In recent years, Sinise spoke at a conference for the Catholic fraternal organization, Knights of Columbus, where he reflected on his faith. He said, “When I think about the life and sufferings of Christ, when I think about the stories of the extreme hardships and heavy burdens that our military men and women and their families were willing to and continue to bear, I can’t help but think about this verse: ‘For greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.’”
Along with his interaction with real-life service people during his FORREST GUMP days, his faith serves as a “catalyst” for the actor’s philanthropic work.
Sinise’s philanthropic efforts are also something Hollywood A-listers support.
Patricia Heaton, Tom Hanks and Jay Leno along with veterans and servicemen and women highlighted their appreciate for Sinise in 2018 in a video campaign with the hashtag #GratefulLikeGary
Sinise’s foundation frequently salutes servicemen and women on their social media to encourage their followers in the work that they do.
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Airmen from the 118th Airlift Wing of the Tennesse Air National Guard were feted with a hearty barbeque meal earlier this month as part of the Gary Sinise Foundation’s Serving Heroes. In partnership with USO Nashville, your donations contributed to much more than a hot, All-American meal enjoyed by our military men and women from “The Old Hickory Squadron.” As a message from the American people, we’re able to show our gratitude and honor the selfless service of these heroes through food and fellowship.
Along with his foundation, Sinise continues to be a busy man. Last week, the trailer dropped for Sinise’s new faith-based movie I STILL BELIEVE, which hits theaters March 2020.