We’ve written in the past about the incredible devotion actor Gary Sinise has when it comes to supporting our country’s veterans. From visits to the VA to taking thousands of military families on a dream vacation, he’s the definition of a class act.
Now Sinise is once again being recognized for his years of work with veterans, their families, and organizations supporting them. The Congressional Medal of Honor Society recently awarded Sinise in honor of his significant contributions over the past decade-plus.
Even before he established the Gary Sinise Foundation back in 2010, the actor, best known for his role as Lieutenant Dan in Forest Gump, has time and again given his time and money to help those who bravely served our country as well as their families.
The Patriot Award, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s highest honor, recognizes those who have made significant contributions to the American military services, something now universally synonymous with Sinise and his work. The ceremony, held on Monday at the Reagan Library in Semi Valley, California, sought to recognize the work of Sinise and many others who continually give of themselves.
Many veterans, celebrities and fellow supporters shared positive reactions to the news, with some saying it was long overdue.
I can't think of anyone more deserving of the @CMOHfoundation's Patriot Award than @GarySinise. Gary has been fighting for our vets his whole life—long before he took the role of Lt. Dan. He told RI Mag why he does it back in this 2016 cover story: https://t.co/TfnAESAndN pic.twitter.com/6hYrKzmkqh
— Robert Irvine (@RobertIrvine) February 8, 2020
However, Sinise has long maintained that focus should always be on the veterans and families, encouraging individuals to “Look within your own neighborhood, your town, your state.” In an interview with TIME back in 2019, the actor laid out the importance of localized efforts, saying you don’t need to be a celebrity to make a difference.
“I know that not everybody can get on an airplane and go over to a hospital in Germany or travel to war zones or do all the things that I’m doing,” he said. “[But] if everybody in every neighborhood, in every community, in every city, in every town and in every state took a little bit of responsibility to reach out to the military families and say, ‘What do you need? What can I do to help you?’, the problems that veterans have [would be] minimized.”
After decades spent fighting for military families, it’s a quote on his foundation website that sums up his feelings best:
“While we can never do enough for our defenders and their loved ones, we can always do a little more.”