Gary Sinise Given Congressional Medal of Honor Society Award For Supporting Veterans
Actor Gary Sinise has been honoured with a Congressional Medal of Honor Society Award for his help supporting veterans, having been handed the accolade at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California earlier this week.
He was handed the Patriot Award - the highest honour given out by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, according to Fox - which recognises those who have contributed significantly to the American military services.
Sinise, who starred as Lieutenant Dan in Tom Hanks flick Forrest Gump, has become one of Hollywood's biggest advocates for veterans over the years, having established the Gary Sinise Foundation in 2010 to help improve the lives of American service men and woman.
According to its website, the foundation helps the nation's 'defenders, veterans, first responders, their families and those in need' by 'creating and supporting unique programs designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen, and build communities'.
In a statement on the website, Sinise said: "Freedom and security are precious gifts that we, as Americans, should never take for granted.
"We must do all we can to extend our hand in times of need to those who willingly sacrifice each day to provide that freedom and security.
"While we can never do enough to show gratitude to our nation's defenders, we can always do a little more."
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Sinise is even in a band - aptly called the Lt. Dan Band - who often play special events for military families.
Gary Sinise and The Lt. Dan Band rocked the California high desert on March 12, 2010, during a USO military support concert at Fort Irwin National Training Center (NTC). Service members and their families enjoyed an entertaining evening of honor and gratitude. #ThrowbackThursday pic.twitter.com/i9HwTtCbws
- GarySiniseFoundation (@GarySiniseFound) February 6, 2020
He's also been known to fly family members of fallen military heroes to Walt Disney World in Orlando for a pre-Christmas holiday.
Around the nation today, families of fallen service members are departing for Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL, as part of Gary Sinise Foundation Snowball Express. Ferried by @AmericanAir, the 5-day trip pays tribute to their sacrifices. #SBEGSF #SnowballExpress pic.twitter.com/l2kM8guytF
- GarySiniseFoundation (@GarySiniseFound) December 7, 2019
Sinise has previously spoken about what it was that inspired him to start helping veterans and their families, attributing his fierce dedication to the aftermath of 9/11.
In an interview with TIME, he explained: "Quite frankly, if we hadn't been attacked on September 11, and we didn't deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan, and our people didn't start getting hurt and killed, I don't know what I'd be doing right now.
"After we were attacked and [I saw] those images of what happened that day, and then our troops were deployed and getting hurt and killed, something clicked in me, and I just wanted to do something."
Featured Image Credit: PA