One of America's finest actors, Gary Sinise was nominated for an Oscar for FORREST GUMP. His other films include APOLLO 13, GEORGE WALLACE and OF MICE AND MEN. He currently stars on CSI NY and is a tireless supporter of our troops.
One such organization is Operation International Children. http://www.operationinternationalchildren.org/ It is a program that I started with author Laura Hillenbrand after my second trip to Iraq back in November of 2003 in order to support the troops from home by sending school supplies and other items for them to pass out to the children. We now also ship to our troops in Afghanistan, the Philippines and Djibouti, our mission being to Help Soldiers Help Children.
For many years, I have also had the amazing opportunity to support and entertain our troops overseas and here in the states with my band, The LT Dan Band. In 2003 I began what has been a remarkable and rewarding association with the United Service Organization, the USO, in service to our active duty service members. It's a way to say Thank You and to help keep spirits high. To serve those who serve us, and to give back something to our military families, has been among the most rewarding and fulfilling things that I have done in my life.
It just simply feels that we, as Americans, are all in this together. This is our country. Someone has to do the difficult and dangerous work of fighting for it. Like many, I was hit with a dose of reality when I watched those planes crash into those buildings, piloted by fanatics armed only with box cutters. God help us if this fanatical enemy were to ever get hold of more dangerous weapons.
And it is you, our war fighters, who are doing all you can to make sure it does not happen again. We are so fortunate to have people whose calling it is to dedicate themselves to military service. Imagine a war, when only the other side showed up. What would we, as a nation, do without men and women willing to stand on the fronts lines and defend our freedom and our way of life? Would we even have that way of life? Or would we have someone else's, imposed upon us? So, thank you, to all of you who give so much. We all are in your debt.
President Calvin Coolidge said, "A nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten." I hope these "Letters from Hollywood" will help to let you know that your nation has not forgotten.
God bless you all, for all you do to keep this country, and all its citizens, free.
Your very grateful American friend,