While Hollywood celebrities mostly earn attention today for their over-the-top bashing of President Donald Trump and their extremist views, many are actually using their public platform and success to do commendable work.
Actor Gary Sinise is one of those people.
Through The Gary Sinise Foundation, the former “CSI: NY” star helps build smart-homes for injured veterans and first responders. He also travels and entertains troops for free with his Lt. Dan Band, a musical group named after a character Sinise played in 1994’s “Forrest Gump.”
The Foundation is planning a build for two St. Louis police officers who were injured in the line of duty. As with all of the homes built by Sinise’s foundation, they are gifts and the officers will pay no mortgages on the properties.
Officers Matt Crosby and Ryan O’Connor were shot on duty while working in St. Louis. Both men were wheelchair-bound after the shootings. Crosby was shot after answering a domestic disturbance call in 2010. O’Conner was shot in 2017 during a jail transport.
Sinise reportedly personally called the officers to tell them about their homes, which will be fully furnished and wheelchair accessible. The homes will also contain smart-home technology.
“We’re constructing one-of-a-kind specially adapted smart homes for our nation’s most severely wounded heroes,” the Gary Sinise Foundation website announces about the officers’ homes. “This program predominantly supports defenders that were injured in combat operations or during training while performing their duties. These 100% mortgage-free homes ease the daily challenges faced by these heroes and their families who sacrifice alongside of them.”
The announcement about the homes was made this week in Chesterfield, Missouri. Jim Shubert, who is on the foundation’s board of directors, said any financial contributions from people will go towards building more homes.
How impactful are your donations on the lives of our nation’s heroes and their families? Read our updated blog post about St. Louis Police Officers Mathew Crosby and Ryan O’Connor who are starting a new chapter in their lives as R.I.S.E. home recipients. https://t.co/DMYbmF1bmP pic.twitter.com/z10LcjufQ1
— GarySiniseFoundation (@GarySiniseFound) September 12, 2019
Best known for his role in “Forrest Gump,” which earned him an Academy Award nomination, Sinise has laid low in the acting department in recent years to focus more of his efforts on his foundation. He starred earlier this year in the military-themed “SGT. Will Gardner” and can next be seen in “Good Joe Bell” with Mark Wahlberg” and “I Still Believe,” a faith-friendly film.
Sinise also released a memoir this year, titled “Grateful American,” that detailed his work with veterans and the beginnings of his foundation. In an interview with Time, Sinise said 9/11 and the events that followed were a big motivation for him to get involved.
“Quite frankly, if we hadn’t been attacked on Sept. 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,” Sinise said. “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.“
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