Gary Sinise Shines a Light on the ‘True Heroes,’ Says He’s ‘Beyond Grateful’ for American Veterans

by Craig Garrett
(Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Capital Concerts)

Gary Sinise is an iconic actor and philanthropist who has made it his mission to support and give thanks to American veterans. This holiday season, he took the time to shed light on what attracted him to helping our nation’s heroes.

“For me personally, the events of September 11, 2001 are seared into my memory. And afterward, there was our nation’s collective grief. A numbness and a fear we all shared, and I quite simply, at that terrible time, felt that my heart was breaking,” Sinise told Fox News recently. “It was through service work that I found healing for my broken heart. And I have continued that work ever since.”

Sinise, who will be spending Thanksgiving with family and friends, reflected on what he’s thankful for this holiday season. This is less than one week after receiving the “Service to Veterans” honor at the fourth annual Fox Nation Patriot Awards.

“Supporting our nation’s heroes is my lifelong mission and I will continue to serve it faithfully,” Sinise explained. “It’s an honor to be recognized. The best part is that I get to shine a light and recognize the true heroes who serve our country.”

Gary Sinise created his foundation to aid veterans over a decade ago

In 2011, Sinise established his nonprofit organization, the Gary Sinise Foundation, after accumulating years of experience volunteering for other organizations. With this platform, Sinise has been able to broaden his scope of service efforts. He does so by fundraising and providing outreach opportunities specifically tailored toward military personnel, veterans, and first responders.

“The mission of the Gary Sinise Foundation is broad. This is a reflection of the needs I’ve seen over the many years supporting so many amazing organizations,” Sinise explained. “And the Foundation’s mission is designed to also give us the freedom and flexibility to adapt to the ever-changing needs of our veterans, first responders, and the families who sacrifice alongside them.”

One of Sinise’s most iconic movie roles is that of Lt. Dan in Forrest Gump. Many Americans will recognize him for this role. The actor was particularly drawn to the story of Lt. Dan and his transformation.

“Unlike many of the movies released depicting the Vietnam War veteran in the ‘70s and ’80s, Lt. Dan had a happy ending. Before ‘Forrest Gump,’ it was unusual for a Vietnam vet to have a hopeful conclusion,” Sinise pointed out. “But at the end of Lt. Dan’s story, after going through so much hardship, you know he is going to be all right. He has persevered through his challenges, he is successful at business, he’s wealthy, he’s married, he’s happy, and standing up on his own ‘magic legs.’”

The Gary Sinise Foundation is always working hard to serve and honor our nation’s heroes, according to its founder. He added that their team is constantly finding new ways to help those who have served.