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Gary Sinise Reveals What Motivates Him to Help Veterans

Photo from the Gary Sinise Foundation’s Instagram

Gary Sinise Reveals What Motivates Him to Help Veterans

By Movieguide® Contributor 

Actor and veteran advocate Gary Sinise received AARP’s honorary Purpose Prize Award for his foundation’s commitment to supporting veterans, first responders and their families.

Best known for his role as Lieutenant Dan Taylor in FORREST GUMP, Sinise has spent the past 12 years advocating for veterans through the Gary Sinise Foundation, which began in 2011. 

“The Foundation honors military members, veterans, first responders, their families and those in need. It creates and supports unique programs designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen and build communities,” AARP reports. 

For Sinise, helping those who protect us every day looks like participating in events like the First Responder Appreciation Day.

“As part of our Gary Sinise Foundation, we’ve done several of these events over the years, sometimes related to something that has happened, a fire, flood, hurricane or whatever,” he shared. 

“We roll in and try to back up the first responders who were responding to a particular event,” Sinise added. “This past weekend, it was revolving, of course, around the 22nd anniversary of September 11. We did a couple of different events, one in Charlotte, [North Carolina], and one in Erie, Pennsylvania.​”

Sinise’s desire to help veterans first developed when he realized that Vietnam vets weren’t getting the support they needed. 

“A lot of what motivates me today to try to take care of our active duty and first responders, the genesis for that is what happened when our Vietnam veterans came home, and they did not get the services they deserve for serving our country, and I didn’t want to see that happen again, to our Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. So, I just started raising my hand where I could,” the actor explained.

Movieguide® reported that after 9/11, Sinise “found this aching, this terrible feeling, this broken heart, this sadness, and I remember going to our little Catholic Church on the Friday after the Tuesday. And the priest, I don’t even know if he said this, but I heard it, that service to others can be a great way to heal your broken heart. And I don’t know if he said it, but I heard it, and I tried to turn that into action.”

“Freedom and security are precious gifts that we, as Americans, should never take for granted,” Sinise’s foundation explains. “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.” 

Movieguide® previously reported on Sinise:

Gary Sinise recently commemorated the 10th anniversary since he was named an honorary U.S. Marine due to his foundation’s work with veterans.

An Instagram post shared some of Sinise’s thoughts on the honor.

“This was one of the most extraordinary nights…I was totally surprised by what the general gave me tonight. I’m humbled, shocked, moved, and motivated to keep standing up for our men and women and giving back to them,” Sinise said.

General James F. Amos added, “There is little I can say to enhance the rich reputation Gary Sinise has earned, both in the spotlight as an immensely talented actor, and less conspicuously as a tireless advocate for our men and women in uniform.”

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Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.


4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.