Gary Sinise, who played Lt. Dan Taylor in "Forrest Gump," has ensured that residents of a Lincoln veterans home will not go hungry this Thanksgiving.
The actor donated funds to provide special meals Wednesday to 78 veterans living at Victory Park, an apartment complex located on Lincoln's redeveloped VA campus where homeless veterans are housed and provided services needed to get back onto their feet, according to the Lincoln Journal Star. The residents are all between ages 22 and 74 and are veterans of war and conflicts. While Sinise was not present for the celebration, his contribution is still a meaningful one to the residents, said Samantha Garcia, property manager of Victory Park.
"It means a lot that he is recognizing them. They sometimes feel forgotten, especially as they get older. With Gary being active with veterans himself, it means a lot coming from him," she said.
"It's so important to remember that these people are here and remember what they've done for us," Garcia added.
Sinise is known for reaching out to veterans. In 2011, he founded the Gary Sinise Foundation, a non-profit that gives back to those who sacrificed for the country. According to AARP, the charity has built 74 specially adapted smart homes for wounded heroes, served over half a million meals and provided over 300 relief grants to first responders, among other programs. Speaking with the outlet, Sinise said his role in "Forrest Gump" is what sparked a desire within him to want to reach out and honor and support veterans, first responders, and their families.
"When I started going into the hospital after playing Lieutenant Dan in 'Forrest Gump' and visiting with people that were actually blown up — not pretend like I was in the movie," he said. "I was more interested in talking to them about this story of Lieutenant Dan's life after his injury. To get to that place where they can move beyond their injuries."
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