Sunday, March 31, 2019

Grateful American A Journey from Self to Service by Gary Sinise

Book Description

The moving, entertaining, never-before-told story of how one man found his calling.

"The book is called Grateful American, and I promise you after you read it you will be grateful for what Gary has accomplished and contributed to our country." -- Clint Eastwood

As a kid in suburban Chicago, Gary Sinise was more interested in sports and rock 'n' roll than reading or schoolwork. But when he impulsively auditioned for a school production of West Side Story, he found his purpose--or so it seemed.

Within a few years Gary and a handful of friends created what became one of the most exciting and important new theater companies in America. From its humble beginnings in a suburban Chicago church basement and eventual move into the city, the Steppenwolf Theatre Company launched a series of groundbreaking productions, igniting Gary's career along with those of John Malkovich, Joan Allen, Gary Cole, Laurie Metcalf, Jeff Perry, John Mahoney, and others. Television and film came calling soon after, and Gary starred in Of Mice and Men (which he also directed) and The Stand before taking the role that would change his life in unforeseeable ways: Lieutenant Dan in the Academy Award–winning Forrest Gump.

The military community's embrace of the character of the disabled veteran was matched only by the depth of Gary's realization that America's defenders had not received all the honor, respect, and gratitude their sacrifices deserve. In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, this became Gary's mission. While starring in hits like Apollo 13, Ransom, Truman, George Wallace, CSI:NY, and Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, Gary has worked tirelessly on behalf of those who serve this country, entertaining more than a half million troops around the world playing bass guitar with his Lt. Dan Band, raising funds on behalf of veterans, and eventually founding the Gary Sinise Foundation with a mission to serve and honor America's defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need.

Grateful American is the moving, entertaining, profoundly gripping story of how one man found his calling: to see that those who defend this country and its freedoms are never forgotten.

Book review:

  There are not many celebrities who impress me, but Gary Sinise is one who does. I rarely read biographies/ almost ever...but this is one that interested me. This man has done so much for our military and their families over the last several years, it is amazing and impressing.

 Even given my usual disinterest in this kind of book, I found it to be both and interesting and moving read. Sinise tells about his growing up years and how he entered the movie industry, mostly because of his dad's working in that industry.

 Since his work with the military came about largely because of his role of Lieutenant Dan in the movie Forest Gum, he talks about that movie and his role in it, and how that led to the "Lieutenant Dan Band", which tours all over the world performing for our troops.

 There are sad and moving parts to the book as he tells of his visits to wounded and hurting vets and their families. The book has several photos of Sinise down through the years which are interesting to view.

  I have admired this man for a long time, but after reading this book, I admire him even more. If more people did what this man does for our military and for even others in our world, the world would be a much better place.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the author:

Gary Sinise is an American actor, director and musician. Among other awards, he has won an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for an Academy Award for one of his most memorable roles as Lieutenant Dan Taylor in Forrest Gump. Another notable role was as Detective Mac Taylor in the CBS series CSI: NY (2004–13).

in 2011 Sinise established the Gary Sinise Foundation. The foundation's mission is to serve and honor our nation’s defenders, veterans, first responders, and their families. His "Lt. Dan Band" performs for military bases, charities and fundraisers supporting wounded heroes, Gold Star families, veterans and troops around the world.

His website: