Actor Gary Sinise encourages people to give a little more to military members

The Gary Sinise Foundation serves veterans, first responders and their families through multiple programs.


An acting role that made Gary Sinise famous is also the role that is helping him make a difference.

On this Veterans Day, Sinise is encouraging all of us to give a little more to our military service members who give so much.

"I feel a duty, a responsibility to do a little more," Sinise said.

Sinise has loved ones who are Vietnam veterans and said he knows the battles they face.

"They came home and people were spitting on them. People were shouting at them. I have friends who are Vietnam veterans who actually had feces thrown at them when they got off the airplane," Sinise said.

Sinise started supporting Vietnam veterans in the early 1980s.

"I had spent time with a lot of actual Vietnam veterans, and I had a lot of compassion for them. I wanted to help them," he said.

The role that changed his life helped him change theirs.

"Lt. Dan was now going to become a bigger role in my life because he was a wounded veteran," said Sinise, referring to his role as Lt. Dan Taylor in the 1994 film, "Forrest Gump," which starred Tom Hanks as the lead character.

After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Sinise said he made it his mission to serve those who serve the United States.

"People started getting killed, families were losing loved ones, and I was just you know, my heart was broken. I wanted to get out and do something," Sinise said.

He launched the Gary Sinise Foundation, which serves veterans, first responders and their families through multiple programs.

"When joy connects to a mission, a life of purpose begins to take shape," he said.

This Veterans Day and every day, Sinise encourages us to do a little more for those who do so much.

"If everybody in the country did just a little more, you know pat them on the back when you see a soldier walking through the airport. Just go up and say, 'You know, I appreciate what you do,' that could change somebody's life," he said.

The Gary Sinise Foundation is celebrating its 10th anniversary. The foundation has raised almost $200 million so far.