Everywhere he goes, actor Gary Sinise is recognized as Lieutenant Dan from the movie "Forrest Gump."
It was this recognition that gave him the inspiration for his band name: The Lt. Dan Band; a tool that Mr. Sinise uses to support the men and women in the Armed Forces by playing overseas tours and stateside through the United Service Organization, or USO.
The Lt. Dan Band performed at Spangdahlem Air Base May 15 wrapping up the band’s 2007 European tour. They played five shows throughout Belgium and Germany.
"The show was great and Gary Sinise said he had a great time as he always does when he comes to Spangdahlem," said Cravin Ham, 52nd Services Squadron, who was in charge of putting the show together. "The crowd was really into it. We estimated around 650-700 people, even though there was an exercise going on."
In 2003 Mr. Sinise went on his first USO tour to Iraq, as an actor which has since turned into a passion for entertaining American servicemembers.
"It was a big tour with a lot of people," Mr. Sinise said. "Then I did another tour and another, shaking hands, taking pictures and signing autographs, but I played music on the side with a group of friends from Chicago. So, I asked the USO if they’d let me take a band and they said yes. It’s a fun way to go out and support the troops as an actor. It’s fun for me because I’m a musician as well and I like to play. It’s also good for the troops because they get a show and not just me taking pictures. We can entertain them and have a good time doing it."
ANZER KASERNE, Germany — Actor and musician Gary Sinise prepares to fire a M-24 sniper rifle with Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) during a firepower demonstration here May 11. Sinise is visiting the Stuttgart area with his band, the Lt. Dan Band, as part of a USO tour to perform concerts for service members stationed overseas.
In this picture supplied by the USO, US actor Gary Sinise (R) listens to US Army CW 4 Leif Neely (L) of Woodbridge, Virginia, tell about how he was wounded while flying his Kiowa Warrior helicopter on a mission over Mosul, Iraq during a visit by Sinise to the hospital at Forward Operating Base Mazur, Iraq, 20 May 2007.
US Actor Gary Sinise, famous for his role as Lt. Dan in the movie Forrest Gump and currently starring in the TV series CSI:NY, sits in a US Army Apache helicopter during a tour of the flight line, at Contingency Operating Base Speicher, Iraq, 21 May 2007.
Actor Gary Sinise with the staff of the Navy Medical Hospital at Camp Arifjan.
Actor Gary Sinise with Pfc. Jessica White, a hospitalized Soldier at the Navy Medical Hospital at Camp Arifjan
Actor Gary Sinise signs a photo for Sgt. Nina Buckelew, a deployed Soldier with Third Army/U.S. Army Central.
In times past if an actor or actress didn’t go and show their support for the troops they were ostracized. Not anymore. Now it’s a badge of cowardice for them to stay away, to bad mouth the troops and their mission. Of course they say they support the troops, just not the mission. Which is funny since the majority of troops support the mission. See where I’m going with this?
I know, going off the path here.
Here’s a few video’s of the Lt. Dan Band:
And this one Gary talks about his band and their involvement with the USO.