Sinise entertains troops with his band and takes care of vets and their families through countless charities.
Gary Sinise was prepared to play Lieutenant Dan Taylor on “Forrest Gump” long before he was offered the role.
The now 63-year-old appeared in the 1994 film, which depicts the presidencies of Kennedy and Johnson, as well as the Vietnam War, Watergate and other crucial moments in U.S. history through the perspective of an Alabama man (Tom Hanks). Sinise plays Taylor, an Army officer who loses both of his legs in Vietnam.
Sinise told Fox News he didn’t hesitate to take on the iconic role. Prior to the audition that would forever change his life, Sinise was already working closely with Vietnam veterans and had created Vets Night, a program offering free dinners and performances at the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago.
“A full 10, 12 years [before filming], I’d been working with Vietnam veterans in Chicago,” he explained. “I had supported them in various ways, so when the opportunity came up to play a Vietnam veteran, a wounded Vietnam veteran, with a positive ending to his story, I very much wanted to do that. And I was blessed to be able to get that part and be in such a popular film, a good film. Lieutenant Dan has meant a lot to me.”