Actor Gary Sinise has built quite a career for himself on the big screen as well as in television and on stage. But one role has stayed closer to his heart than many for which he has won awards: His personal role as a booster of the United States Army.
He has long been an advocate for veteran’s groups and has supported organizations that help out active duty service men and women as well. He has even lent his instantly recognizable voice to the US Army for ad campaigns. And now, he is being honored with a very special award for his service.
According to the magazine Military Times, the US Army will be awarding actor Gary Sinise the highest military honor a civilian can earn, The Marshall Medal. The medal is given to those who have demonstrated “selfless service to the United States of America” in “more than one area or under extraordinary circumstances.”
Gary Sinise has frequently stepped up to lend a helping hand to members of the armed forces. He started the Gary Sinise Foundation with the expressed mission of helping “defenders, veterans, first responders, and their families” by “creating and supporting unique programs designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen, and build communities.”
Through his foundation a number of highly regarded programs have been launched, such as R.I.S.E. which provided specially designed homes for veterans who have been severely wounded, Soaring Valor which helps World War II veterans visit the National Museum in New Orleans, and Relief & Outreach, a program that helps veterans recover from trauma. He also sits on the board of directors for Hope for the Warriors, a nonprofit organization that provides nonmedical care to wounded service members and their families, as well as the families of those who have been killed.
An amateur musician, after the 2001 terror attacks, Sinise formed the “Lieutenant Dan Band” to provide entertainment for troops through the USO, and regularly performs at fundraising events that help veterans and their families.
For his work on behalf of members of the armed forces, Gary Sinise has been given a number of accolades over the years. However, the Marshall Medal is special. Named after former George C. Marshall, it is the highest award that the US Army can bestow upon a civilian. Previous recipients include former presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Gerald Ford and George HW Bush, all of whom were also veterans of various branches of the military.
On notification that he will be the recipient of this prestigious honor, Sinise issued a public statement saying:
“I am honored to be invited to receive the George Catlett Marshall Medal from the Association of the United States Army. It has been a great blessing to know there is something I can do to support the men and women in uniform who defend our nation and I will look forward to expressing my gratitude in person at the Marshall Dinner.”
The award will be presented to him at a special dinner held in October.
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