Gary Sinese Works to Support Post-9/11 Veterans

( – Hollywood mainstay and well-known conservative Gary Sinise used the recent anniversary of 911 to remind Americans that a “tremendous need” still exists amongst veterans and their families some two decades after the homeland attacks of 2001.

The award-winning performer is likely best known amongst those who never joined the ranks of the military as the character he played in Forrest Gump, Lieutenant Dan. Although the role has followed him around for decades, his life outside of movie sets has been consumed by being involved in almost constant philanthropic work.

What began as the equivalent of a side pursuit evolved “into a full-time” gig by happenstance. Sinise said he “would’ve hung it up” many years ago were it not for the great need that became evident to him in the veteran community. The Gary Sinise Foundation was set up in 2011 to provide general support to post-9/11 veterans and their families, but it quickly morphed into one of the most popular and well-funded charities in the nation.

After visiting wounded veterans in hospitals, the conservative realized that the veteran community was in need of far more than merely being entertained by his celebrity. The conservative realized he had a soapbox and could use it to raise money for things like suicide prevention, scholarship funding, home and vehicle modifications for the wounded, and meal service.

In referencing what veterans of the War on Terror were exposed to while serving overseas, Sinise called it a “moral injury” and said that people are “suffering.” According to statistics from the Veterans Administration, veterans commit suicide at almost 60% the rate of their civilian counterparts.

Sinise, who is one of Hollywood’s few vocal conservatives and gun rights advocates, once divulged that he had started a support group for like-minded Americans in his industry. Friends of Abe, the group’s moniker, was founded in 2004. Unbeknownst to Sinise at the time, it became a precursor to his future foundation.

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