Gary Sinise Explains How You Can Honor Veterans This Veteran’s Day

by Madison Miller

Today, November 11, is Veterans Day and Gary Sinise wants to be sure that veterans are getting the recognition and honor they deserve.

We’ve been celebrating Veterans Day since President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles signed the Presidential Proclamation 3071. It was once known as Armistice Day but got altered to specifically honor those who have fought for freedom.

Gary Sinise Connection to Veterans

Sinise has a number of roles in the movie industry, including “Of Mice and Men,” “The Green Mile,” “Apollo 13,” and “Ransom.”

One of his most iconic happens to be in “Forrest Gump” alongside Tom Hanks. He played Lieutenant Dan Taylor and immediately felt connected to our soldiers.

Gary Sinise recently wrote a piece for TIME in which he reflects on Veterans Days and his connection to service. He wrote that he has Vietnam veterans in his family and recounted what that experience was like for them.

“I remember all too well what it was like for them to serve in combat and then come home to a nation that had turned its back on them because of the unpopular war they had served in,” Sinise wrote.

Sinise Speaks on How to Make a Difference for Veterans

Sinise has dedicated a lot of his time to honoring and making a difference in the lives of veterans. He believes it’s something everyone can do.

“I am often asked how people can help and I always encourage them to start as I did, looking within my own family and my own community. I’ve learned over the many years that just showing up with an appreciative handshake or pat on the back can make a big difference,” Sinise wrote.

He explains that these acts to honor veterans don’t have to be anything huge. Sinise said if he’s eating at a restaurant and sees someone in uniform he likes to pay for their meal. He also leaves a message on their check.

Although Sinise urges people to start little, the actor has gone above and beyond himself. He has been volunteering for USO since 2003. This has led him to travel to different places like Italy, Iraq, Kuwait, and Germany. He also created the Gary Sinise Foundation in order to make his work that much more impactful. This is a nonprofit that offers different programs and services for wounded veterans.

While Sinise is making large strides, he really wanted to reiterate how much small acts from everyone are useful. He wrote, “if every citizen in every neighborhood in every town and city in every state would make it a priority to celebrate veterans each day by seeking out those who may be in need of assistance because of their service and stepping up to support them, the difficult issues and challenges facing our veterans would be greatly reduced.”