Bravo, Lt. Dan Band: Gary Sinise on USO Tour, Headlines Free Concerts for US Troops, Park Renovation Project
Posted By Vicki McClure Davidson on August 9, 2009
Sometimes the news isn’t all bad… and sometimes an A-list star in television isn’t a pampered, narcissistic, left-wing extremist denouncing our country, embracing dictators, and bashing our military.
Gary Sinise is emerging as a strong, respected proponent of American values and support of our military. He has denounced the one-sided statist views and negative depictions of our military in films. He has been involved in humanitarian projects to help the children of Iraq and his band, the Lt. Dan Band, has performed at West Point and the Pentagon. Sinise also recently returned from Korea and Okinawa where his Lt. Dan Band did an eight-show USO tour.
Like I said earlier, sometimes the news isn’t all bad…
From Chicago Daily Herald:
Actor Gary Sinise and his Lt. Dan Band will return to Cantigny Park on Saturday evening to culminate a daylong Rockin For the Troops benefit celebration to assist Operation Support Our Troops-Illinois.
Proceeds from the event at 1S151 Winfield Road, near Wheaton, go toward compiling and sending care packages to our troops serving overseas.
The Daily Herald recently caught up with the “CSI: NY” star to talk about his passion for the cause, experiences on past USO tours and current projects.
Q. A lot of people talk about supporting our troops but you’ve taken it to heart. How did you get involved and why is it so important to you?
A. When we were attacked on Sept. 11 and we started deploying our troops to Afghanistan and Iraq, I just wanted to do something. So I started going on USO tours to show the troops they were supported and let them know we care about them.
I have veterans in my family and I have Vietnam veteran friends. I have been involved with Vietnam veterans groups over the years, so when we started sending our troops post 9/11 to war zones to chase bad guys, I just wanted to do what I could to let them know they were supported.
These are our volunteer defenders and without them we’d be a lot more vulnerable as a nation. Clearly there are people out there that are sworn to the destruction of the United States.
It’s very very important to always remember the privileges and freedoms we have in this country have been bought and paid for by many, many military service members who have given their lives over the years for us.
There’s nothing that says the United States gets to be free, all for nothing. When you go around the world and you see the way a lot of other people live under dictatorships and oppressive police states, you have to ask, how did we get so lucky that we happen to live here and someone else ended up in North Korea?
We have defenders out there that have sacrificed a lot for us and they continue to do so.
As a civilian, what can I do to help? Well, I have some celebrity and showing up on a USO tour to shake some hands and sign some autographs or play some music is one way I can help support them.
This week, Sinise is helping out in Denver with their park renovation project.
“CSI: New York” star Gary Sinise is headlining a free concert aimed at bringing attention to renovation efforts at Denver’s Civic Center Park.
Sinise says the recent renovation of Millennium Park in Chicago, where he is from, inspired him to want to play the concert Saturday for the nonprofit Civic Center Conservancy.
“When they asked me to be a part of this, I jumped on it,” Sinise said.
Local band Opie Gone Bad opens for Sinise’s Lt. Dan Band, named after the character in the movie “Forrest Gump” that earned him an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor.
Conservancy officials say the concert’s goal is to make people aware of restoration and renovation efforts planned for the nearly 100-year-old park.
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