Gary Sinise rose to fame thanks in large part to his Oscar-nominated performance as Lt. Dan in "Forrest Gump," but aside from helping his career the part also has changed his life. Nearly 20 years later, he is among the most ardent supporters of veterans. His work ranges from helping servicemembers transition to civilian life to performing fundraisers at military communities, reports Politics Confidential.
It wasn't long after "Forrest Gump" hit theaters that Sinise knew his role had an impact on veterans. His depiction of the physical and mental struggles troops have to overcome when they return stateside was among the most gripping parts of the film.
"I realized from the get-go that that particular character had been seen by so many people within the military community that it meant something to them," he told the news source. "That particular character is bigger than a movie really."
One of Sinise's longest standing initiatives to support the troops pays homage to his character. The Lt. Dan Band, which Sinise plays in alongside musician Kimo Wlliams, has been traveling to bases around the U.S. and abroad to perform for troops. They also frequently play at fundraisers and other events meant to support the military community.