When award-winning actor Gary Sinise’s quirky character Lt. Dan from Forrest Gump gained a following of service members, he decided to use his celebrity for their benefit. He has spent countless hours serving the nation’s veterans through his charity, the Gary Sinise Foundation.
Sinise starred as Detective Mac Taylor in the weekly TV series "CSI: New York," which ran from 2004 until 2013. However, the actor gained most of his recognition for his roles played alongside Tom Hanks in The Green Mile, Apollo 13, and Forrest Gump.
A skilled bass guitarist, Sinise teamed up with composer Kimo Williams to create the Lt. Dan Band in 2004. The group plays nearly 50 USO shows per year and has held four concert tours in Iraq. One of the band's recent shows was held for victims of the Navy Yard shooting on Dec. 3 in Washington, D.C.
The "CSI" star founded the Gary Sinise Foundation in 2011 to increase his charity efforts. He has started several programs with his foundation to aid veterans, first responders, and families in need. Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment (RISE) is one of the foundation’s newest projects that outfits high-tech, accessible homes for veterans missing multiple limbs.