Breitbart News was on site at the Beverly Hilton Hotel Friday morning to watch Gary Sinise receive the Charles Durning Patriotism Award for his continuing dedication to enriching the lives of America’s veterans.
Sinise, who has been a longtime proponent for veterans’ rights, is the third recipient of this prestigious award, which was presented to him on behalf of the Disabled Veterans Business Alliance.
The DVBA is a non-profit organization which aims to help veterans become successful entrepreneurs. The legacy of the award originates from veteran and celebrity Charles Durning.
Durning was a World War II veteran who participated in the Normandy Invasion and later became a popular Hollywood character actor. He routinely used his star power to honor veterans, which is why the award bares his name.
At Friday’s ceremony, Sinise received loud applause before graciously stepping on stage to receive his award.
“We’re all here today for the men and women in uniform who serve and sacrifice for our country and defend our freedoms around the world. I have many veterans in my own family and so my mission to support them starts there,” said Sinise.
He went on to praise the freedoms Americans enjoy and cautioned against taking them for granted.
“They say it’s easy to take our freedom for granted. Well, I just try to spread that message wherever I go and talk about the people that I meet and the marvelous extraordinary people serving our country all over the world and what they do,” he said.
Sinise elaborated on his strong sense of duty in shedding light on everything from the VA scandal, to ensuring that America’s fighting men and women receive their dues in the eyes of the public, who remain free while veterans often go unnoticed in American society.
“Never, never, never take this freedom for granted, it is precious and we are blessed that we have men and women who are willing to serve,” Sinise said.
The awards ceremony was followed by a short tribute to comedic icon Robin Williams, who had a passion for America’s military, often entertaining troops overseas with the USO.
Previous recipients of the award are Academy Award winning actor Jon Voight and rock legend Gene Simmons. If you would like to donate to the Gary Sinise Foundation you can find more information here.