NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
Gary Sinise performed with his Lt. Dan Band in Nashville, Tennessee, to cap off a weekend of events honoring 250 graduates of the Snowball Express program as part of the Gary Sinise Foundation, which benefits children and spouses of deceased service members and first responders.
“Music is really part of the overall mission to support our veterans, our military families and our first responders,” Sinise told Fox News Digital. “And so when I play, that’s what I play for.”
Sinise recalled the overwhelming desire of Snowball students, ages six to 18, to reconnect after graduating. Snowball serves to hold space and support healing as families mourn their fallen heroes and also create new memories as they move forward.
The ‘Forrest Gump’ star, who was nominated for an Oscar and named his band after his character in the film, started the foundation 12 years ago to stay involved on ‘multiple fronts’, helping to build from homes adapted for the service of injured members to community outreach and education.
GARY SINISE HONORS OLDEST WWII VETERAN LAWRENCE BROOKS AFTER HIS DEATH: ‘AN AMERICAN HERO’
Families were treated to a weekend of fun activities that culminated in a special performance by the Lt. Dan Band on Sunday at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, where 250 American flags were displayed, each to honor the memory of a dead. Member of the family.
Snowball Express began in 2006 and offered trips to Disney World for families, but many had been unable to participate in the experience for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sinise and her foundation have helped over 1,700 children since becoming an official Snowball initiative in 2017.
The longtime US military lawyer said getting involved in the community doesn’t involve much, but “just taking the time to pat someone on the back and reach out and touch them… to go where he was struggling and try to show his support for them.”
He added, “I always recommend, on the veteran front anyway, that there be military families in every community, every neighborhood, every state in the country. And if you reach out and touch people, you know, it doesn’t take a massive donation to an organization to make a difference in someone’s life. If they feel like you care enough to drop by, reach out or ask how he’s doing and asking him what he needs, and maybe trying to provide some services and support for them, that will make a huge difference.
GARY SINISE: “I THANK GOD FOR THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO ARE READY TO PROTECT US”
Sinise began moving the foundation’s headquarters from California to Tennessee earlier this year and the move is about 75% complete — no small feat with such massive production.
“We had 19,500 square feet in California, and I have a large collection of artifacts and items that were given to me over many years,” he said. “There’s a nice collection of important memorabilia that the military gave me. We had to take care of all of that, and make sure we move it around properly and secure everything.”
Sinise also recently celebrated his 41st wedding anniversary with wife Moira Harris on Thursday, and while the couple made sure to take the time to honor the commitment they made to each other there Over four decades ago, he was back at work helping the community the very next day. daytime.
CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE ENTERTAINMENT NEWSLETTER
The award-winning actor visited local police and fire departments in Highland Park, Illinois, where he grew up and went to high school. The small neighborhood outside of Chicago was recently the scene of a mass shooting during a July 4 parade.
“If my family hadn’t supported what I did all these years for this, I couldn’t have done it,” he said. “I’ve traveled so much over the decades, and if they hadn’t been supportive and supportive, and ok with me, I wouldn’t have. But they were, and they’re a big part of this whole thing.”
When it comes to looking to the future of the Gary Sinise Foundation, he admits his goals are “flexible and broad”, with very few limits on where to help next.
“If you look at what we do as a foundation, we’re in a lot of different fields and do a lot of different things. I did this because before I started the foundation, I was supporting a lot of other nonprofits. lucrative,” he explained. . “We do all sorts of things. “I just saw all of that as how I can help out here, and that’s how I can get out. Some injured servicemen need special homes. Let’s build them. The children of our deceased need support. Let’s do something.”
“I just started getting involved on many fronts. And that’s why our mission is very broad. So I don’t think it’s going to get any less broad over time. You want to hope that the American people will continue to see us as a reliable way to help the men and women who serve our country, and we retain their trust and continue to earn their support.”
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP