Gary Sinise, the actor better known as Lieutenant Dan in ‘Forrest Gump’ was moved to tears after receiving a special thanks for his work with and for American veterans. Sinise made a vow to put his energy into giving back to those who sacrifice the most for our freedoms and has stood true to his word ever since.
According to People magazine, Feb. 12th release of Sinise’s new book Grateful American — tons of Sinise’s friends, fellow actors and many of the veterans who’ve benefitted from Sinise’s service work over the years participated in a special surprise video tribute for him.
The video opened with comedian Jay Leno thanking Sinise for his work with the Armed Forces, saying: “You know, every time I go do a USO show or visit troops, I always get, ‘Hey Jay Leno, how ya doing? You know who was just here?’ ‘Who?’ ‘Gary Sinise, in fact, he’s been here three times. Is this your first time?’ ‘Yeah, this is my first time.’ ‘Yeah Gary was here three times, brought us a bunch of stuff too.’’”
The actor was “in complete shock” over the heartfelt surprise, which is evident in his emotional reaction captured in a separate video:
Fox News reports that since his appearance in “Forrest Gump,” Sinise has dedicated his life to supporting American troops, including working on behalf of the Disabled American Veterans organizations, going on USO tours, and forming the Lt. Dan Band in 2004.
Sinise also established the Gary Sinise Foundation in 2011, which according to its website, “supports all those who sacrifice on our behalf: active duty, veterans, first responders, and their loved ones,” though “entertainment, family support, and acts of gratitude.”
The foundation has programs that build houses for wounded veterans and service members, serve children of fallen military heroes, provide support, and more.