Real Hollywood Hero Recognized with Army’s Highest Civilian Award
Finally an award in Hollyweird that’s deserved.
Actor, musician and activist Gary Sinise, well-known for his stalwart support of America’s military personnel gets the recognition he deserves.
The Association of the United States Army selected Sinise for its highest award for public service – the George Catlett Marshall Medal.
Lieutenant Dan is a bona fide hero on and off the silver screen.
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Sinise has advocated for America’s service members for almost forty years. In the 1980s, he supported Vietnam Veterans groups and helped create Vets Night – offering free dinners and performances to veterans at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago.
His heartfelt performance as Lieutenant Dan, a severely wounded combat veteran, in the landmark 1993 film Forrest Gump, formed an enduring connection with America’s servicemen and women. Since then, Sinise has come to work closely with wounded and disabled veterans.
September 11th terror attacks spurred Sinise’s crusade of support for America’s active duty defenders, veterans, and first responders to new heights.
Following multiple USO tours throughout 2003, Sinise formed the “Lt. Dan Band” in 2004 to entertain troops serving at home and abroad. The group now performs about 30 shows a year to raise funds for wounded heroes, Gold Star families, veterans, and troops worldwide.
In 2011, Sinise established the Gary Sinise Foundation to serve and honor the military, first responders, and their families. Through unique programs that entertain, educate, inspire, and build communities, these projects help:
- Build custom Smart Homes for severely wounded veterans.
- Serve hearty meals to deploying troops.
- Host spirit-boosting festivals for patients, families, and medical staff at military hospitals.
- Transport WWII veterans to the National WWII Museum in New Orleans where they can record videos of their firsthand accounts of war, preserving history for future generations.
Commenting on the incredible importance of supporting America’s military, first responders, and their families, Sinise has said:
“Freedom and security are precious gifts that we, as Americans, should never take for granted. 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 our gratitude to our nation’s defenders, we can always do a little more.”
USO facilities are a refuge, welcoming and refreshing weary troops on their way to some very war-torn places. In recognition for his many USO tours to dangerous locations to meet and support our troops, many USO facilities proudly display an autographed photo of Gary Sinise.
Over the years, Sinise received multiple awards for his selfless service to the military and first responders. These include:
- The Bob Hope Award for Excellence in Entertainment from the Medal of Honor Society.
- The Spirit of the USO Award.
- The Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
- The Doughboy Award.
- The Sylvanus Thayer Award.
- The Dwight D. Eisenhower Award from the National Defense Industrial Association.
- The Presidential Citizens Medal, the second-highest civilian honor awarded to citizens for exemplary deeds performed in service of the nation.
- The Spirit of Hope Award by the Department of Defense.
- Named an honorary Chief Petty Officer by the United States Navy.
- Pinned as an honorary Marine by General James Amos, commandant of the United States Marine Corps.
It takes an incredible person to use their celebrity status in such a sacrificial way for the betterment of mankind.
Gary Sinise, a true American Hero.