Gary Sinise is an actor, director, and musician that most people know as Lieutenant Dan From Forrest Gump. He was also in a number of other movies, including Apollo 12, Truman and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Over the course of his career, he has received a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy. In addition, he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
It is difficult to separate him from the iconic roles he has played but there is something about him that most people don’t know. He is a philanthropist that helps US veterans to get back on track after experiencing the trauma of war. He established the Gary Sinise Foundation in 2001 and has helped many veterans since that time.
The official website of the foundation has the following to say: “After the tragic events of September 11, 2001, I began devoting much of my time supporting the men and women who were deployed in response to those attacks – the brave service members who, each day, protect and defend our great country. Having veterans in my own family, and having been involved with supporting our military veterans going back to the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, it was after that terrible day I decided to become much more active for our defenders however and wherever I could.”
That is exactly what he set out to do. He continues, “A few years after 9/11, I visited local NY firehouses, befriended many firefighters, and have supported the FDNY through numerous efforts, including raising funds to build The Brooklyn Wall of Remembrance, in honor of all 416 first responders lost on that terrible morning. Through the Disabled American Veterans organization, I found it my mission to do all I could to support our wounded heroes and their families. And by getting involved with many other veterans Initiatives, I began to support the children of the fallen, Gold and Blue Star Families, and wherever I could serve and honor a need within the military, veteran, and first responder communities.”
Sinise concludes, “My personal mission is what led to the founding of the Gary Sinise Foundation in 2011, and with the help of supporters like you, we will continue to expand this mission in support of our nation’s defenders, veterans, first responders, and their loved ones, while upholding the importance of keeping our country strong by taking care of those who serve. While our programs and projects have certainly made a difference in many lives, there’s much more work to be done. On behalf of all of us here at the Gary Sinise Foundation, thank you.”
View this post on Instagram
Our newest program, Snowball Express, serves the children of our fallen military heroes, surviving spouses, and Gold Star families. An important aspect of this program is its annual 4-day experience in December, where we bring families together from all around the nation. I am thrilled and honored to announce that this coming December we will be bringing the children of our fallen military heroes to the happiest place on Earth, Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida. Our Gold Star families will participate in fun activities and entertainment to keep spirits high and the Gary Sinise Foundation's Snowball Express program will continue to provide emotional healing for these deserving children during the Holiday season. (Learn more, Link in Bio)
He worked along with the Snowball Express, an organization that focuses on helping children of fallen soldiers. The founders of that organization have teamed up with American Airlines and hundreds of those children were sent to Disneyland. Since that time, they have reached out to many more children with the assistance of the Gary Sinise Foundation. It was seen on December 8, when more than 1,000 children and the surviving parents were sent to Disney World. He told them in a tweet: “Have fun kids! We love you!”
View this post on Instagram
Over 1000 Gold Star Children travel with surviving parent or guardian, 1,722 in all, via @americanair to Disney World today as part of our @garysinisefoundation Snowball Express program. This charter left Los Angeles this morning and I got to take this photo with them before they left. I’ll join up in a few days. Have fun kids! We love you!
In 2017, his foundation helped 11 veterans to get set up with smart homes that were made to accommodate the needs of a wounded soldier. Three vehicles were donated and five mobility devices were provided. In addition to those donations, the Gary Sinise Foundation send more than 40,500 meals to soldiers in the United States and held 27 concerts for their enjoyment.
Other celebrities have also talked about the work he is doing. This includes Patricia Heaton from Everybody Loves Raymond. She sent a tweet to TIME Magazine and The Academy, saying: “Hey TIME Magazine, why isn’t Gary Sinise ever on the Person of the Year list? Hey, The Academy, why isn’t he ever picked for the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award? He raises $30 million a year to build homes for wounded vets along with his support to the Gold Star Family.” The Gold Star organization was founded by individuals who lost family members in Iraq. The Gary Sinise Foundation works along with Gold Star to help families after they lost a family member.
View this post on Instagram
Take a look at this new video as I get a private tour of a brand new home built through GSF's R.I.S.E. program. On behalf of everyone at the Gary Sinise Foundation, thank you U.S. Marine Cpl. Garret Jones for serving our country. It was an honor to visit you and your family. (Video Link in Bio)