April 30, 2009

Gary Sinise: The Importance of Boosting Morale by Helping Children & Supporting Troops

Posted: 06:03 PM ET

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**Note: Talented Actor & Director Gary Sinise contributed this LKL Web exclusive commentary. Although he's unlikely to admit it, Gary's a hero, and he's helping keep our military heroes morale high. Gary reminds us that during these troubled economic times at home, it's important to not forget the members of the U.S. Armed Forces serving miles away from family & friends.

I believe supporting our veterans and active duty service members is very important. Like many, I was devastated by what happened to our country on September 11, 2001 and I wanted to do something to help. I began going overseas with the USO in June of 2003. It was my first trip to Iraq and a tremendously humbling experience.

To be around so many extraordinary people serving our country made me feel proud. Here they were in a desert thousands of miles away from home in 140 degree heat and they were thanking me for being there. I kept telling them thanks but I was there to thank them. I will never forget walking into an airplane hangar at the Baghdad airport (formerly Saddam International) and seeing almost 7,000 troops packed in and ready for a USO show. Wow!

After that June 2003 trip, I did not stop. I was hooked.

3 weeks after returning from that trip I visited our troops in Italy and spent the 4th of July with them. In August I visited our troops in Germany and made my first of many trips to Landstuhl Medical Center. The next month, September, I went to Ft Stewart Georgia and then up to Washington DC to visit the wounded at Walter Reed and Bethesda for the first time.

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Filed under: Larry King Live

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Dodie ~ Irvine, CA   April 30th, 2009 7:26 pm ET

Gary Sinise is not only an exceptional actor with natural endowment, he is also an extraordinary and benevolent person.

Thank you Gary!

Bobbie Vincent   April 30th, 2009 9:46 pm ET

I am a while woman, struggling for many years to raise a child without the benefit of help from the father. I have to speak to the very words of Mrs. Obama, "I have never been so proud of my country"; to see a man and a woman of the caliber of The Obamo's. Mrs. Obamo represents all of us, both black and white, as does President Oboma. I have never felt such pride in my country as I feel at this time. Michelle is cool and speaks to everyone; as does President Obamo. I came from a very prejudiced family who tried, but failed, to instill their values upon me.

Giovanna   April 30th, 2009 9:56 pm ET

Michelle has the balance coming from spiritualiity, intelignece and class.
She is confident, and she has built a very strong "Signature" of individuality. MICHELLE OBAMA

Dave of Detroit   April 30th, 2009 11:36 pm ET

Gary-Welcome to the real world, with real people making a real difference to a world that has been so far tilted by human cruelty, fanaticism, greed, and power that they do not even see the anguish and fear in the eyes of the children that survive the bloodshed they have caused. Our military has done more to restore confidence in the people of America than any Ambassador or President that ever walked the earth!

Purple Spider   May 1st, 2009 4:06 am ET

To Gary Senise – you are appreciated for your many hours of dedication to the men and women in the Armed Services, not only in support, but caring for the injured.
Some time ago, I viewed a presentation on Fischer House and your involvement and it was excellent.
I would like to see you on Larry King again with Fischer House being the topic of discussion.
In difficult times that we are seeing today, you remind us that we should be grateful for those fighting for our country.
Thank you again Gary Senise.

Olga Boehm   May 1st, 2009 5:33 am ET

Obamas – Royal Family of the World!

Ky Colonel   May 1st, 2009 9:23 pm ET

Gary Senise is a Patriot and a straight shooter. His dedication to the betterment of our soldiers is highly commendable. I am surprised that CNN would publish something this favorable to the military. The Obamas. . . . the jury is still out.

connie gibson   May 1st, 2009 9:54 pm ET

Thank you, for supporting our troops. My son, Sgt. Troy D. Jenkins 101st Airborne, was killed in Baghdad, Iraq, Babylon of the Bible, in April of 2003. Troy threw his own body on a cluster bomb, brought to himself and 5 other soldiers, by a small Iraqi girl. She had been sent by 2 Iraqi men in a white pick-up truck. Troy pushed the child and his fellow soldiers all out of the way and landed his entire body on it. He saved the child and soldiers lives, but lost his own 5 days later due to his injuries. Troy has been nominated for a CONGRESSIONAL mEDAL OF hONOR, BUT WE ARE HAVING TO BEG FOR HIS 2 SONS TO GET IT. i'VE WORKED ON THIS FOR ALMOST 6 YEARS NOW. pLEASE EXCUSE MY MISTAKES, AS i AM JUST LEARNING TO USE A COMPUTER. i'LL DO WHATEVER IT TAKES, FOR TROY to get what he earned by his death. Please cont. to support our troops, I know there are many other heros in our military. Many Thanks, Connie Gibson, Mother of a great American Hero

Joe Duhamel   May 1st, 2009 10:12 pm ET

Thank you Mr. Sinise, for your patriotism, and for not being a typical celeb hater of the efforts of the US, and all the good we do.

Douglas   May 2nd, 2009 3:47 am ET

2 women , or men can raise a child. i raised my sister,s children when i was 10 years old. As a gay man why can't raise a child now?

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