Hollywood is notorious for being an extremely left leaning industry. It is very rare to find a right wing celebrity, and even rarer to find one who openly expresses their values and actively tries to make changes in the community. There is one particular group of Americans that does not get enough attention: Veterans. Since the founding of our country, brave men and women have risked their lives to protect our nation, it’s citizens, and our freedom. Luckily, there is one man in Hollywood who is not only a right wing conservative, but is also an advocate in behalf of our nation’s veterans – Gary Sinise.

Many may remember Gary Sinise for his role as Lieutenant Dan Taylor in the iconic 90s blockbuster Forrest Gump. The character of Li
eutenant Dan was a Vietnam War veteran, and double amputee, who lost both his legs during the war. The film shows Lieutenant Dan, and his every day struggles of trying to adjust to life without his legs. Gary Sinise said that this role was a turning point in life. Playing the role of a disabled veteran really opened his eyes to the real life struggles our nation’s veterans go through. Because of this role he formed an enduring connection with servicemen and women throughout the military community. These connections led him to get involved with many different wounded warrior foundations, including the Wounded Warrior Project.

In 2011, he founded the Gary Sinise Foundation. This foundation currently has 6 programs, and more on the way, to entertain, educate, inspire, and strengthen our military before, during, and after their service. One of the most inspiring of these programs is the R.I.S.E. program. This program helps wounded veterans perform everyday tasks that once may have been done without a second thought, but are now impossible because of their di
sabilities. This program provides home modifications, adapted vehicles, wheelchairs/trackchairs, and custom Smart Homes to help wounded heroes increase their mobility and reclaim their independence when they return home from war.  These smart homes are custom one-of-a-kind homes that cater to the individual veterans specific needs to ensure that they not only have a house, but they have a place they feel at home. Gary Sinise also formed a band back in 2003 called the Lt. Dan Band. The band not only travels across the country, but they go overseas and perform for our service men and women. In the words of Gary Sinise himself,

  “I have made it a particular mission to do what I can to draw attention to our military and first responder communities and to make sure they know they are remembered and appreciated. Whether through performing with the band, supporting a military charity or visiting the war zones and hospitals to shake some hands and take some pictures, all of it helps them know that there are people out there who are aware of, and appreciate, their sacrifices, and who understand the importance of keeping our military families strong in difficult times. It is important to remember that these defenders are volunteers. There is no draft. Military service is something that we all have a choice to do or not to do. And I am grateful that there are Americans that have made the choice to serve.”

Aside from all the amazing charity work Gary Sinise does for our veterans, he is also a Republican. Sinise’s Republican ideology has even been
written into his character of Mac Taylor from CSI:NY. Detective Taylor has a photograph of Ronald Reagan displayed in his office. Gary Sinise has become the butt of a joke from his colleagues who make fun of the fact that he keeps watching an 8 hour documentary about Ronald Reagan over and over again! Sinise is also the voice of the 10-minute online video tour of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, and he spoke at the centennial celebration of Reagan’s birth at that library.

Someone who not only votes Republican, but actively displays so much respect and dedication to assisting our nation’s veterans definitely deserves the coveted title of FFL’s Monthly Conservative Man.

Stephanie F
FFL Cabinet Member