On Tuesday, Gary Sinise, who is well known for his role as Lieutenant Dan in the movie “Forrest Gump,” was thanked in a touching video by celebrities, service members and first responders for the work he has done over the decades.
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 video goes on to include firemen, service members, politicians, veterans, people whom Sinise has helped, and high-profile actors.
“Thank you for all the things you have done for our young men and women who have served their nation,” former Secretary of State Colin Powell said. “And not only for what you’ve done for them, but what you’ve done for their children, what you’ve done for their families. What you’ve done to help them rebuild their lives.
“You motivate other people,” actor Tim Allen said.
“As you could see, we are in front of this beautiful house right now and we wouldn’t have it if it wasn’t for your kindness, your graciousness, and your wonderful gift of giving,” a man in a yellow shirt says.
“On behalf of everyone from friends of firefighters we want to thank you for everything that you do and we are sending you lots of love,” said actor Steve Buscemi.
“We here in Boston say thank you,” said a firefighter surrounded by other firefighters in front of a firetruck.
The video concluded with Sinise’s co-star in “Forrest Gump,” Tom Hanks, saying, “Thanks, Lieutenant Dan!”
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.
People Magazine tweeted a video of Sinise reacting to the video where he is seen smiling and getting emotional.
“Holy crap,” Sinise says when the video finished. “I’m in shock. I’m totally in shock. Who did that?”
“You have impacted a lot of lives and they all just wanted to say that they are grateful for you,” the woman taking the video said.
“That makes me feel really good,” Sinise reponds. “Thank you. I didn’t see that coming.”
“Completely shocked and speechless by this surprise video,” Sinise said in reaction to the video on Twitter. “Incredibly touched and grateful by everyone’s support. I’m crying, so choked up, I thought I’d share.”
Although Sinise has starred in many roles including Detective Mac Taylor on “CSI: NY,” it’s his role in “Forrest Gump” that made an impact. Sinise told Fox News that his character, Lt. Dan, inspired many wounded veterans.
“They [wanted] to talk about the story of Lt. Dan and how positive it was at the end for him,” said Sinise. “He’s recovered at the end. He’s standing up on new legs. He’s moving on with his life, and every one of our wounded soldiers, every one of our wounded service members, they want that story. They want to be able to move on and be OK. And that’s just what I’m trying to help them do.”
Sinise recently appeared on the Ben Shapiro Sunday Special where he discussed how he went from being in a rock-and-roll band in Chicago to becoming a world-famous actor.