Out of the 'Forrest' — for military folks
He now is known as the star of CBS’ “CSI: New York,” but actor Gary Sinise has roots in theater, notably the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, which he co-founded.
I’ve seen him do theater in New York — the plays were “The Grapes of Wrath” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” — and Sinise is a remarkable take-charge performer who makes his characters come alive with passion.
He’s also a musician, and thanks to an Oscar-nominated role in “Forrest Gump,” Sinise has become an integral force of the Lt. Dan Band, named for the character he played in the film which earned him a Best Supporting Actor nomination.
Good news: he’s heading to Hawai‘i for two concerts expressly for U.S. troops and their families.
Bad news: civilians need not — well, cannot — apply.
The first show is at 7 p.m. this Friday (Jan. 30) at the Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kane‘ohe.
The second is at 7 p.m. this Saturday (Jan. 31) at the Hickam Air Force Base.
Both performances are private and free, part of a USO entertainment tour. Sounds like the real deal in fortifying unity, patriotism and family ties.
“For years now Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band have shared TriWest's mission of supporting U.S. troops and their families,” said sponsoring TriWest Healthcare Alliance president and CEO Dave McIntyre, Jr., in a release. “They provide more than just a concert. They provide an opportunity for those in the military community to unite, relax and just have fun.”
“I spend time with troops and participate in USO tours every year because I love it and it's very important to me,” said Sinise. “We all want to feel appreciated and valued, and our troops are no different. They never ask for praise or recognition, but that doesn't mean they don't deserve it. They actually deserve even more and our troops in Hawai‘i are in for a treat.”
For his ongoing support of the U.S. military, Sinise was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal, the second highest civilian honor to citizens who have performed exemplary deeds in service of our nation.
In the Lt. Dan Band, Sinise plays electric bass, and the band rocks out covers of Bruce Springsteen, Aretha Franklin, Linkin Park and even Jimi Hendrix.
But since the gigs here are for the deserving military folks only, tell your pals in uniform about this wonderful opportunity. The rest of us can drool.