Though Hollywood actor Gary Sinise has appeared in dozens of movies and TV shows over the years, he is arguably best known for his portrayal of “Lt. Dan” in the hit film “Forrest Gump,” a down-on-his-luck Vietnam veteran who turns his life around and achieves success after teaming up with the title character, played by Tom Hanks.
Since that time, Sinise has become a huge force for good for the men and women who have made sacrifices on behalf of this nation and their communities, whether through military service or as first responders.
According to People, in honor of the Feb. 12, 2019, release of Sinise’s new book “Grateful American,” a number of Hollywood stars and other people he has worked with over the years got together and made a video expressing their own feelings of gratitude for the selfless effort Sinise has made to better the lives of others.
A separate video captured the moment when Sinise was told to watch the brief video prepared in tribute for him, and he could only smile and say how “shocked” he was by it as he wiped away tears of joy.
The surprise video for Sinise featured a plethora of his fellow actors and actresses, a number of active-duty and retired military veterans, disabled veterans and veterans’ families he has assisted, not to mention firefighters and police officers, all of whom said “thank you” to Sinise in their own way.
The idea for the video came from retired four-star General Robin Rand, who serves as CEO of the charitable Gary Sinise Foundation, as a way for everyone impacted by Sinise to celebrate and give thanks for the tremendous work he has done to support them.
Sinise has spent the past four decades expressing his own gratitude however he can for military veterans and first responders, the families of those lost and injured during their service and those who provide care for those unable to care for themselves. In other words, true humility and sacrifice.
That work has included an untold number of visits to meet with deployed troops overseas, hosting events for veterans back here at home, and even providing brand new “smart” homes for some severely disabled veterans through his foundation’s “RISE” program — Restoring Independence and Supporting Empowerment.
In the video, retired General Colin Powell said, “Thank you for all the things you have done for our men and women who have served our nation. Not only what you’ve done for them but for their children, what you’ve done for their families, what you’ve done to help them rebuild their lives.”
One of the disabled veterans who received a home through Sinise’s RISE program said, “As you can see, we’re in front of this beautiful house right now. We wouldn’t have had it were it not for your kindness, graciousness and your wonderful gift of giving.”
There were also a number of active-duty service members, retired veterans of all ages, firefighters, police officers, Sheriff’s deputies and families who took part in the video to say “thanks” to Sinise for all that he has done for them.
The heartfelt video closed with Sinise’s co-star from so many years ago, Tom Hanks, adopting his “Forrest Gump” voice to proclaim, “Thanks Lt. Dan!”
It is understandable that Sinise would tear up a bit watching that video of everyone expressing their gratitude for him, particularly in light of the fact that he is usually the one expressing his gratitude for others.
If you, like Sinise, care for and want to similarly do something to help those in need who’ve sacrificed of themselves on behalf of the nation, you can check out Sinise’s foundation and find a meaningful way to show your own gratitude for our nation’s heroes.
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