Skip to comments.Not All Hollywood Actors Are Anti-American, Gary Sinise Stands Tall
Posted on 01/26/2005 7:30:50 PM PST by stayout
Here's an interesting news item from our local paper here about Gary Sinise, a real stand-up guy:
|Sinise was inspired to start the charity, Operation Iraqi Children, after a USO tour of Iraq, during which he visited with Iraqi school children.
The Lt. Dan Band, named after Sinise's role in the film "Forrest Gump," will perform a benefit concert Jan. 30 at The Canyon Club in Agoura Hills to raise money for the organization founded by Sinise.
The role of Lt. Dan in the movie "Forrest Gump" didn't just earn Gary Sinise an Oscar nomination, it brought him international recognition. Soldiers, citizens and even children all recognize "Lt. Dan," which inspired him to name the band that he travels with to perform for U.S. troops.
After visiting children in Iraq during his second trip to the Middle East in November 2003, Sinise was also inspired to start Operation Iraqi Children to provide school supply kits assembled by American citizens to Iraqi children, as well as foster goodwill between Iraqi people and American soldiers as they delivered those supplies.
During that trip, Sinise visited a school about 40 miles north of Baghdad that had been rebuilt by the Coalition. "The U. S. troops had built a floor and windows for a school that originally had nothing, and in a school where three or four kids share a pencil," Sinise said about what he saw that day. "What I saw was wonderful-the interaction between the Iraqi kids and soldiers had a beautiful spirit."
When he returned to the states, he contacted Our Lady of Malibu School and conducted a school supply drive with the children from the school. The first shipment had 25 boxes of school supplies, and was delivered in March 2004.
Then Sinise partnered with Laura Hillenbrand, author of "Seabiscuit: An American Legend." "Together we joined forces and started the Web site for people to contribute," Sinise explained. "We have sent close to 100,000 school supply kits to the children to date.
"The American troops delivering the supplies are building bridges between our forces and future leaders of Iraq, which are the kids," Sinise said in a phone interview Monday.
The goal of the program is to have groups of people band together and actually put together the school supply kits to be sent to the children of Iraq. The OIC Web site includes specific "ingredients" for what is needed. People can donate money, but the organization prefers the actual kits.
"Our original intention was not to raise money, but to involve the American people and show positive support for American troops," Sinise explained. "When the kits are sent over to the troops, many have included letters to the troops saying thank you and showing support. It's important that it comes right from the American people."
Also included in the kits are pictures that the U.S. children include of themselves. "The Iraqi children see that there are people here that care about them," Sinise said. "It is a difficult time, and it is important that the people and the soldiers see and hear the positive."
When the OIC's first distribution was being prepared, a letter, which is posted on OIC's Web site, was received from a U.S. soldier in Iraq that shared the excitement of Iraqi citizen and former biology teacher, Ehsan, who wrote, "The country needs education. There are some very smart people in this country, but mostly the population is uneducated and uninformed. The Americans are helping Iraqis change that and that is good."
Another letter sent by an Iraqi citizen after the children received their kits states, "I want to tell you that all the students today were very happy and you can see the smile on their faces I can't find the words to explain to you the situation ..."
Sinise, who founded Chicago's famed Steppenwolf Theatre Company and currently stars in CBS' television drama "CSI: New York," has always had a passion for music, playing for fun with friends and his own enjoyment over the years. He formed the Lt. Dan Band after his second trip to visit troops in Iraq and he decided to put his name and the band to good use.
"After the second trip to Iraq, I also started traveling with the band to perform for the troops," Sinise said. "We love playing for the troops."
The Lt. Dan Band has traveled to Korea, Singapore, Kuwait, Germany and Italy as well as performing for U.S. military bases in Mississippi, North Carolina, Arizona and Orlando. The band will perform Saturday at Port Hueneme, as well, the day before the benefit at The Canyon Club.
"We play everything from Hendrix to Beyonce, and all the stuff in between including Christina Aguillara and Janice Joplin, country, rock, pop and a little bit of blues," Sinise said. "And the show on the 30th should be a lot of fun."
The Lt. Dan Band performs at The Canyon Club in Agoura Hills Jan. 30 at 8 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are a $25 donation. This is an all ages show. All proceeds benefit Operation Iraqi Children. More information and tickets can be obtained by calling 818.879.5016.
More information about sending school supplies and other urgently needed items can be obtained from the Web site, www.operationiraqichildren.org; and to read about Sinise's band: www.ltdanban.com
for a good guy.
what a fine man he is and when he talks about this he is so sincere and humble about it like he is almost shy about taking credit.......very few libs with this type of real heart, not their fake "I love the world" heart
I'm glad to see this article. We don't hear enough about great people like Mr. Sinise.
As a Santa Monica resident and Malibu student I could have sworn I was the only conservative in the area.
and he hasn't had an acting gig in hollywood since then.
Yeah...I was just wondering what he plans on doing for a living now...
Hollywood has some decent people: Mel Gibson, Denzel Washington, Tom Cruise, Clint Eastwood, Ben Stein, Alice Cooper, Robert Duvall, Mickey Rooney, Ron Silver, Tony Danza, Charlton Heston, Kurt Russell, Stephen Baldwin, Adam Sandler, Rick Schroeder, James Belushi, Ernest Borgnine, Kelsey Grammer, Heather Locklear, Reba McEntire, Chuck Norris, James Woods, Rob Lowe, Ted Nugent, Tom Selleck, Bruce Willis....
I don't usually watch CSI:New York but did for a few minutes tonight. Gary Sinise's character is in his office strapping on a holster, and on his wall is a plaque of military medals. He tells the other CSI guy how all his life he wanted to serve his country and couldn't wait to join the Marines. Also on the bookshelf behind his desk is a large photo of Ronaldus Magnus. I was pleasantly surprised that this character is (a) a former Marine, (b) an unabashed Reagan supporter, and (c) a highly respected member of the investigative team. (Usually characters with such a background end up being a wacko bad guy.)
Tom Cruise is a Liberal.
Heard an interview with him a few months ago. Sinise said he carries the Lt. Dan prop dog tags from the movie with him on USO tours and troops want to see them at almost every stop .
II am not sure about Adam Sandler.
Bo Derek and Susan Lucci
Well, Tom Cruise is somebody that doesn't bark his political views. It was said that because of his restraint he might have some Conservative views.
Connie Stevens & Robert Conrad.
Outstanding (under-rated) actor. Great cause. Thanks for the link. Thanks Mr. Sinise.
(My favorite was Ransom when he played the bad guy in the movie opposite Mel Gibson, although I haven't seen all of his movies)
Thanks for the link. Edifying. Another great Italian-American, God bless the USA.
Arnold comes to mind.
rock 'n roll bump
True, true... a might man surrounded by girlie men!
R. Lee Ermey
He's also a good friend of Adam Sandler, who was championed by Dennis Miller, who's friends with Dana Carvey. Makes me wonder if there isn't some secret clique of Republican ex-SNL'ers in Hollywood.
I'm not certain where Sinise stands on the war or Bush, Republicans or conservatives.
I do know he's a good man. Heard him on Hannity awhile back. Part of the reason he does this is to help the future generation of Iraq know a better life, to help them realize their potential. Also big supporter of our troops.
I respect him. Perhaps more so because he truly hasn't made this political. It's all about our soldiers and those kids in the Middle East. I don't care where he stands politically, and would prefer not to know. It would detract from the good he is doing.
I saw that! I was pleasantly surprised by that scene. I watch CSI: NY regularly, since I like Gary Sinise and the former star of Providence. Also, the Italian/Hispanic chick is hot!
Gary Sinise is not just a good man but a damn fine actor as well. I loved his portrayal of Harry Truman. And the GI's that are building schools in Iraq are not unlike the Candy Bomber during the Berlin Air Lift. The times and events may change but the character of the US soldier does not.
I don't what his politics are, but he's a great guy from all I have seen.
These are news to me from the list. How did they make it? The others I am aware of.
Is Sinese a liberal? A conservative? maybe he is just a good man (he is a great actor).
He is a Scientologist. That speaks volumes to me. But you can add Kathy Ireland and Pat Heaton to the good guy list.
Nice to see some support from the homeland of my grandparents.:)
He's bee pretty busy with the USO. He has more time in Iraq than some of the military units!
Robert Stack passed away in 2003. He was formerly an Olympic Skeet shooter...
Rick Schroeder was presnt at the RNC in 2000. It's just known that Heather Locklear is a Republican, I have been hearing that for a while now. Kurt Russel has said in the past that he is to the right of his longtime girlfriend, though who knows how far left she is and that could mean nothing.
Was. He's dead.
I saw that too! Very refreshing.
He seems to be a decent man.
I recommend Snake Eyes--it's not a "great" movie, but it's extremely watchable and Sinise is perfect in his role. Also his version Of Mice And Men is the best ever filmed (he directed it, 1992).
I saw the CSI episode tonight as well and I saw what you saw. I almost fell out of my chair. And did you catch Gary's lecture to the thug at the end, where he talks about the Marines? Outstanding!
Lt. Dan is Da Man!
Kurt used to be a big hunter (he might still be, I don't know). He used to go on this annual hunting trip in the '80s but he stopped going because the PETA protesters irritated him.
Yup. It took me a few looks to figure it out, but she was featured in last season's '24'. She was the drug lord's brother's wife in Mexico who helped Jack Bauer escape.
Yeah, that was great! "I've buried men in foreign soil. You? What have you done?"
That's right! I knew I'd seen her recently.
Bumping for a terrific cause. Wishing Mr. Sinise nothing but the greatest success!
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