Skip to comments.Gary Sinise: An American Hero
Posted on 02/26/2012 12:53:40 PM PST by jazusamo
click here to read article
I wrote something a few years back (It was actually right after the “Gathering of Eagles” in Washington DC, March 2007.
This is an excerpt from it (too long to post here) but I wanted to summarize what I saw (The unfinished piece is called “What I Saw”...
We lived overseas during the worst part of the turbulent Sixties, leaving the country in 1967 and returning in the summer of 1971. During that time, we lived in Yokosuka, Japan and Subic Bay, PI. During that time, we were somewhat physically insulated from the social upheaval in the USA. But, as a kid delivering the Stars and Stripes for the better part of four years, I had plenty of time to look at the newspapers. For a young kid, I was pretty well tuned into what was going on in Vietnam and elsewhere. I read of the aviators who had been shot down. My friends and I knew their names. We wore metal wristbands with their names Alvarez, Stockdale, Denton. But that was not the subject that bothered me the most.
What really affected me was the anti-war movement. I read the articles about the war protests. I saw the pictures of the anti-war protestors. I was a twelve year old kid, and it seemed too real and too close to my world, and when I read the things that those protestors said, it made me angry like nothing else had. What I saw and read had a profound and lasting effect on me.
The hippies called people serving in the military things like baby killers and warmongers. Nowadays, it sounds almost humorous and archaic. But at the time, it was very serious and disturbing. I would look at my dad, my friends dad, and the men I saw going on and off the ships and think to myself These are baby-killers? Warmongers? They were talking about my dad, who I knew was none of those things. I knew he was a good and honorable man. I took it very personally, it hurt me, and I was angry about it. When it came time for my dad to rotate back to the USA, I didnt really want to go. I had heard stories about LSD being dropped into the lunch of unsuspecting kids at school and other such things. I was nervous.
But when I came back to the USA, the thing that really made me sit up and take notice was the atmosphere in the country regarding the military and the people who served in it. So much had changed in the years we were gone. The negative attitude towards the military was pronounced and vocal. In the local high school I attended, the teachers spoke of the military in extraordinarily negative tones. I remember one class where the teacher had us listen to Ohio by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, and the rest of the class was a discussion about why the military was an evil thing. I sat there and stewed, steaming mad. I was embarrassed, angry and hurt, but didnt have the guts to say anything. To me, it seemed like people left the military and disappeared into society, never to be seen or heard from again. The mental image I had was of men taking their uniforms off, ashamed, putting them in a box and never speaking of their service again to anyone.
What amazes me is his organizational skills. And his energy. Bob Hope, with whom is has been compared, also had this phenomenal energy.
Thank you so much for linking that, Realist.
It is an excellent story presented by Gary Sinise that everyone on this thread should view.
Thank you for sharing that. And God bless your dad for his service!
My hubby and I were in Germany during those dark days...he was in the Air Force...and we were actually fearful of coming back to the states when it came time! The protests on college campuses, the riots and burnings in cities, the hijackings to Cuba ( remember those?!) were very disturbing and scary!
You guys are great!
I had heard that the lefties, moon bats, Code Pink and the Westborough Baptist people were going to be doing a demonstration right outside of Arlington national Cemetery a couple years ago, so one of the DC Chapter of Free Republic invited me down to take part in the counterprotest.
I admit that there was a little bit more to this because of the Westboro Baptist people. I had seen some of the signs that they hold up, and I almost couldn’t believe it. So part of me really wanted to see this with my own eyes.
So, right outside the opening to Arlington national Cemetery, they had us isolated on one side of the access road, while on the other side the Westboro Baptist people were inside a rectangle barriers set up by the Park service. I think there was only about 10 of them at the most, but what really bothered me was a little girl who was about 6, maybe 7 years old holding an extremely vile sign.
During this time, there had been a steady procession of counter protesters who marched the large circle around them, to the point you just couldn’t see them. Initially, the counter protesters had been standing around them shoulder to shoulder about 3 deep, but after a while the Park service came over and told them they couldn’t protest like that. Apparently, they had to keep walking, so that’s what they did.
On our side of the road, we had some grateful people coming up to us to tell us how much they appreciated our being a counterbalancing voice to the hate on the other side. Amongst these people was a large contingent of the Patriot Guard. Now, you know what a lot of these folks look like the non-bikers they’re wearing their pirate gear (as my boss humorously refers to biker clothes!) And a lot of the guys are big and bearded. We found it hilarious, because we had these 3 little cute College girls who were protesting with us, and these big huge biker guys were chatting with them, it just looked really funny!
Anyway, we could see these Patriot Guards keep looking over at the Westboro Baptist people and getting more and more agitated. Finally, one of the biker says Watch this and 6 guys jumped on their Harleys started them up, all their front tires pointing at the rectangular enclosure across the street that held the Westboro Baptist protesters.
On cue, when there was a break in the traffic, the bikers gunned their engines and streaked across the street is that they were going to run right into the enclosure! At the last second, in unison they all swung around so that their exhausts were pointing at the Westboro Baptist protesters, and slowly backed their motorcycles so the exhaust was about 8 feet away from the barricade.
All the Patriot Guard guys began to rev their engines at very high RPMs and the noise was deafening! We laughed and cheered for several minutes as this went on, and finally the Park service came over and told them they had to move. I thought that was kind of funny, because the Park service just sat there and watched for a while, just to let the Patriot Guard guys do their thing before they called them off.
You guys are great. I have a huge degree of respect for your organization and what they do. God bless all of you
It’s the LT. Dan Band. (from his character, LT Dan in Forest Gump) Sinise is a class act by far, he’s done videos to help with post deployment depression & suicide and frequently comes to military posts to play with his band. Though I’ve never seen his performances, I have a lot of respect for Mr. Sinise.
I was in Yakoska Japan, And I was raised 35 miles south of Kent State Oh. I know the place well and I can tell you that the social meme about Kent is not at all what occured.
The National Guard was goaded into reluctant action.
Kids in the dorms were filling dixie cups with redi crete and hucking that at them when they ran out of rocks to throw.The Guard shot over their heads as a warning, but sadly bullets come down, and 4 kids who werent even protesting caught some 30.06
One of them lived like 4 miles from my house
Thanks! I will check around Buffalo, NY
I've never experienced anything but thanks and tears.
Fox News made a documentary film about his many visits to the war zones.
Here it is .. full film .. click the first selection:
His true rewards yet await him in Heaven.
We take care of our own.
Diego Garcia is one of my parts of the watery world..
The Lieutenant Dan Band
"thank you for your service"
I was dumbfounded and humbled at the same time.
I of course thanked him for his as well.
But I never, ever expected anything like that.
(I'm Vietnam era, but came on late and only served in Oklahoma. Not that I haven't "contributed". Stuff I helped design is flying around in F-16s, F-15Es, Army HH-47 and HH-60, and the V-22, or being used to train USAF Weapons Controllers and Air Battle Managers)
Thank you very much for this ping ladies!
Gary set up his foundation to help our patriots during this past year. My wife and I couldn’t think of a better place to spend some of charity dollars. Here’s the link: