Sinise's 'Lt. Dan' Giving Back to U.S. Troops

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Thousands of U.S. military personnel around the world are serving in harm's way to protect America's freedom. One famous actor is working to take their minds off the stress.

You may know him from his lead role in the hit CBS-TV series "CSI New York," or more famously as "Lieutenant Dan" from the movie "Forrest Gump."

Actor Gary Sinise was born into a military family and inherited a sense of service. The terror attacks of September 11, 2001 amplified his desire to help.

"It's about the fact that freedom is precious. We saw on Sept. 11 what 19 guys with box cutters could do," he said.

Sinise started visiting war zones to offer moral support. He soon began taking trips to military hospitals to touch the wounded.

Then came the entertainment missions to help lift military morale.

In 2004, Sinise formed the Lieutenant Dan Band, named after his character in "Forrest Gump."

Since then, the group has performed hundreds of concerts for troops, their families and supporters from Alaska to Afghanistan, from Okanowo to Guantanomo Bay.

"These courageous individuals have given so much and it's a good feeling to know that there is something we can do to give back to them. They inspire me beyond words," Sinese explained.

A documentary crew followed his band for 18 months. This week they're releasing their film.

One out of every $4 made from the movie benefit the Gary Sinise Foundation, an umbrella organization that donates to charities he's helped found or worked with over the years.

Sinese said it's about giving back "goodness" and providing opportunities for people to say "thank you" to the men and women of the Armed Forces.

"That is my aspiration, to do my bit no matter how large or small. And I know in this I am no different than any of you or any Americans," Sinise said.

"We are a great people. We can rise to this challenge, meet it and as we have always done, master it," he told CBN News. "Those marvelous people who serve our freedom and comfort deserve nothing less."

Sinise said dark forces are on the loose, enemies that our military denies. These men and women preserve American freedom at the dearest possible cost.

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CBN News
Jennifer Wishon

Jennifer Wishon

CBN News White House Correspondent

Jennifer Wishon is the White House correspondent for CBN News based in the network’s Washington, D.C. Bureau.  Before taking over the White House beat, Jennifer covered Capitol Hill and other national news, from the economy to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferWishon and "like" her at