Other actors are so connected to a role they played but maybe not as much as today’s Sunday Spotlight. Lieutenant Dan has been with us since he came to life in the timeless movie Forest Gump over twenty-five years ago. Lieutenant Dan was a fearless officer in Vietnam who lost his legs to a bombing. Upset, he was saved by Forest Gump, Dan went on to make the most of his life.
Gary Sinise played the character of Lieutenant Dan, and it is undoubtedly his most memorable performance. Gary had a successful career in television, stage, and films. He has won a Primetime Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Tony Award, and four Screen Actors Guild Awards. He has also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was nominated for an Academy Award.
His characters have always been powerful, matching Gary’s life role. He has devoted his life to giving strength to those who may have lost some of theirs. His most notable role might have been as Mac Taylor on CSI: NY, which ran for ten years.
In 2005, Sinise Friends of Abe a support and networking group for Conservatives in Hollywood. Being a Conservative in Hollywood is usually a death sentence for an actor’s career, but that did not stop Sinise. Another testament to his strength and character.
Gary Sinise has gone on to make a career of caring for victims of war who have come back without critical parts of their bodies. What Gary Sinese has done for our service men and women in need puts him in this week’s Sunday Spotlight.
Through his band, aptly named Lt. Dan Band, Sinise has entertained thousands of troops overseas with the USO and has volunteered with the National Vietnam Veterans Arts Museum, now called the National Veterans Art Museum.
He serves as the national spokesperson for the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial and spends much of his time raising awareness for the memorial and other veterans’ service organizations.In 2012, he was honored by the Joe Foss Institute for his dedication to veterans.
These are just some of Gary’s awards since 2015:
- 2015 – United States Military Academy, Thayer Award
- 2016 – FDNY, Honorary Battalion Chief
- 2017 – James Cardinal Gibbons Medal from The Catholic University of America
- 2018 – The Kennedy Center Award for the Human Spirit (Citizen Artist)
- 2018 – American Spirit Award from The National WWII Museum
- 2018 – Grand Marshal, Rose Bowl Game, Honorary
- 2019 – The Eisenhower Award from Business Executives for National Security
- 2019 – Marine Corps League Honorary Membership
- 2020 – United States Naval Academy, Honorary Graduate
- 2020 – The Congressional Medal of Honor Society Patriot Award
We often hear of the self-centered, narcissistic people who make their fortunes in Hollywood and do not give back to those who need a hand up. Gary Sinise is not that type of celebrity. Quite the opposite, as he has probably thwarted his career by devoting so much time and energy to veterans.
I do not know Gary Sinise, but his resume speaks volumes for the man. He is a true Patriot and worthy of our attention and praise. God Bless you, Gary Sinise and give you the strength to carry on your mission for years to come.