The Congressional Medal of Honor Society officially recognized all of Sinise's philanthropic efforts to support veterans.
Ever since America's favorite uncle Gary Sinise played the role of Lieutenant Dan on Forrest Gump, he's been a fierce supporter of veterans. Finally, he is officially being recognized for all his hard work and dedication. Earlier this week, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society awarded Sinise their most prestigious accolade, the Patriot Award, ABC 7 News reports. The Congressional Medal of Honor Society, as their name would correctly imply, bestows upon worthy individuals the Medal of Honor. This laurel, established by Iowa Senator James W. Grimes in 1861, recognizes distinguished personalities who have contributed greatly to American military services.
Sinise received the esteemed Patriot Award at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley during the Society's Patriot Award Week. The award is handed to those who exemplify the ideals that make the United States strong. These individuals demonstrate selfless dedication to the six values at the core of the Medal of Honor: courage and sacrifice, commitment and integrity, citizenship and patriotism. As the Society's website reads, "Their dedication to freedom is unlimited; their love of their fellow man is unqualified; their allegiance to our country with full understanding of its demands is without reservation."
If there's anyone who embodies these values, it's surely Lieutenant Dan. After all, Sinise has dedicated his life to serving veterans and their families ever since filming Forrest Gump (with none other than Tom Hanks). Personally, through his band Lt. Dan Band, and through his organization The Gary Sinise Foundation, he has made a positive impact on several service members and their loved ones. For example, each year, The Gary Sinise Foundation raises a whopping $30 million in donations. They utilize these funds to help military veterans in various ways, such as building smart homes for those who became disabled while serving the United States.
Sinise has attributed his fierce commitment to veterans to 9/11. He said in a TIME Magazine interview last year, "Quite frankly, if we hadn’t been attacked on September 11, and we didn’t deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan, and our people didn’t start getting hurt and killed, I don’t know what I’d be doing right now. After we were attacked and [I saw] those images of what happened that day, and then our troops were deployed and getting hurt and killed, something clicked in me, and I just wanted to do something." Well, he's definitely done more than just something. He has, undoubtedly, gone above and beyond his call of duty. We definitely can't think of anyone more deserving than Sinise to receive the Patriot Award.