Watch: Gary Sinise Foundation Marks a Decade of Serving Military Veterans, First Responders

Grand Marshal Gary Sinise gives a thumbs up to the crowd at the 129th Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., Monday, Jan. 1, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)
AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker

The Gary Sinise Foundation is marking its ten-year anniversary of serving active duty servicemen, veterans, and first responders, and is celebrating its recently launched mental health services network.

Earlier this year, the Forrest Gump and Apollo 13 actor created the Gary Sinise Foundation Avalon Network, which offers care to veterans and first responders experiencing post traumatic stress, traumatic brain injuries, and substance abuse. By 2023, the organization is expected to have ten traumatic brain injury treatment sites and ten post-traumatic growth sites around the country.

The Home Depot co-founders Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank both donated $20 million to help create the network.

Hollywood star Gary Sinise created the foundation in 2011 with the mission to provide help to service personnel and their families. The non-profit group has raised $194 million in donations and revenue from 2011 to 2019, raising $42 million in 2019 alone, according to publicly available financial statements.

The foundation has also launched local chapters in San Diego and Orlando.

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Gary Sinise, who has never received major Hollywood recognition for his charity work, recently said his involvement in veterans affairs originated with his own family.

“Veterans in my own family — that’s where it starts,” Sinise told Yahoo Finance. “I got involved with supporting Vietnam veterans back in the ’80s, prior to playing a Vietnam veteran in Forrest Gump when I got involved with supporting our wounded. And then September 11 came along.”

In October 2019, the Criminal Minds star celebrated 25 years of advocacy for the non-profit organization Disabled American Veterans (DAV).

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In December, Tom Hanks, Angelina Jolie, Chris Pratt, Keanu Reeves, and Mark Wahlberg were among the A-list stars who took part in a video honoring military families for the Gary Sinise Foundation’s 2020 Virtual Snowball Express.

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The Gary Sinise Foundation has recently teamed up with Bob Evans Farms, which is supporting the Gary Sinise Foundation’s Serving Heroes program that serves meals to service members at home and abroad.

Donations to the Gary Sinise Foundation’s 10th anniversary campaign can be made here.

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