ALEXANDRIA, VA – May 23, The GI Film Festival (GIFF) GIFF, the country’s select award-winning organization preserving the stories of American veterans through film and television, again partners with actor Gary Sinise, known for his philanthropic work and roles in Apollo13, The Green Mile, Forrest Gump, CSI:NY and more. Gary Sinise will serve as a keynote speaker and presenter during GIFF’s Salute to Hollywood Patriots event, Friday, May 23, 2014 at the Historic Old Town Theater in Alexandria, VA.
Sinise was the inaugural recipient of the festival’s GI Spirit Award, which is presented to entertainers who embody the spirit of an American GI in their creative and philanthropic work. Past award recipients in addition to Gary include: Jon Voight, Ricky Schroder, Joe Mantegna, Lou Diamond Phillips, Karri Turner, Christy Carlson Romano and Robert Davi.
“Freedom and security are precious gifts that we, as Americans, should never take for granted,” says Sinise. “We must do all we can to extend our hand in times of need to those who willingly sacrifice each day to provide that freedom and security. While we can never do enough to show our gratitude to our nation’s defenders, we can always do a little more.”
“Gary Sinise has been called the ‘Bob Hope of his generation.’ His support of the troops personally and through the Gary Sinise Foundation is without equal,” said GI Film Festival Co-Founder and President Brandon Millett. “On a personal note, the GI Film Festival would not be where it is today without Gary’s support. And we are honored to have Gary back to the festival yet again to help make our celebration of Hollywood patriots all the more special.”
For full week-long festival schedule and to purchase tickets, please visit: gifilmfestival.com.
About Gary Sinise
For over thirty years, Gary Sinise has stood as an advocate of America’s servicemen and women. Beginning in the early ‘80s and since the attacks of September 11th, 2001, his dedication to our nation’s active duty defenders, veterans and first responders has become a tireless crusade of support, service and gratitude to all those who protect our freedom and serve our country. His portrayal of Lt. Dan Taylor in the landmark film “Forrest Gump” formed an enduring connection with servicemen and women throughout the military community. Sinise formed the “Lt. Dan Band” in early 2004 and began entertaining troops serving at home and abroad, currently performing over 50 shows a year for military bases, charities and fundraisers supporting wounded warriors, Gold Star families, veterans and troops around the world. Sinise serves as spokesperson for both the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial Foundation and Disabled American Veterans, and was instrumental in raising funds for the Pentagon Memorial in Washington, D.C. and The Brooklyn Wall of Remembrance in NYC. He serves on executive councils for The Medal of Honor Foundation and the USO, and is an advisory board member for Hope for the Warriors. In recognition of his humanitarian work on behalf of our troops and veterans, Mr. Sinise has received many distinguished awards including The Bob Hope Award for Excellence in Entertainment from the Medal of Honor Society, the Spirit of the USO Award, The Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and in 2008 he was a recipient of the Presidential Citizens Medal, the second-highest civilian honor awarded to citizens for exemplary deeds performed in service of the nation, only the third actor ever to receive this honor. In 2012, Sinise was presented with the Spirit of Hope Award by the Department of Defense and was named an honorary Chief Petty Officer by the Navy. In 2011, to expand upon his individual efforts, Sinise established the Gary Sinise Foundation and tirelessly dedicates his time – devoted to giving back.
About The Gary Sinise Foundation
The mission of the Gary Sinise Foundation is to serve the nation by honoring our defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need. The foundation accomplishes this mission by creating and supporting unique programs designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen, and build communities. For more information, visit: www.garysinisefoundation.org.
About GI Film Festival
GIFF, a 501c3 non-profit organization described as “Sundance for the Troops,” preserves the stories of veterans through film, television, training and special events. GI Film Festival events provide an exceptionally diverse line-up of programming, covering all branches of service, every major conflict, and every major film genre while addressing a variety of issues of concern to the veteran community, including post-traumatic stress, homelessness, and unemployment. For more information, visit: www.gifilmfestival.com.