Gary Sinise:" I Love This Country"
Actor Gary Sinise, an advocate for American troops, urged the government and private sector on Memorial Day to spend more money on disabled veterans and to provide more counseling for those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or become suicidal.
"There are 3 million disabled veterans from World War II until now," he said. "We can never do enough for them in my opinion, but we can always try to do more."
On Abu Ghraib
The military also got a bad rap after the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, he said.
"Fifteen dumbbells at this prison decide to get a little dopey, and they become the face of the military for months," Mr. Sinise said.
"I was in touch with dozens of soldiers and dozens of Marines who are doing great work and doing the right thing over there, yet they weren't getting any attention. And the little girl with the cigarette hanging out of her mouth and the dog leash, she was getting all the press, and it was negative, negative, negative. And I called up my publicist and said, 'Get me on television, I'm going to show some other pictures,' and I went on television ... and I showed pictures of the troops handing out stuffed animals to kids and getting them school supplies and doing all kinds of great things for kids," Mr. Sinise said.
On Political Aspirations
"I have certain issues I'm very passionate about. I love this country, I think it's a great country, and I believe in those who are willing to defend it, and I'm trying to help them and their families," Mr. Sinise said.
"I make a good living right now. I am getting a lot done. How much does Congress get done?" Mr. Sinise said
On "Memorial Day"
Entire interview & video here
He was in the nation's capital this week to serve as honorary marshal in the National Memorial Day Parade and as co-host in the Sunday night concert.
He recalled his first appearance at the concert five years ago.
"I'm an actor, and now all of a sudden I'm rocking out in front of 200,000 people," Mr. Sinise said. "I fell in love with the concert and what it reminds everyone about."
Green & Glover: Salute For Sinise
Though he explained he has no intention of running for office, partly because "I make a good living right now," Mr. Sinise told us that Mac Taylor, his character on the hit show "CSI: NY," wears his politics on his sleeve.Gary Sinise is a Recipient of the Presidential Citizen Medal
"He's clearly a Reagan fan," he said, referring to the picture of the late president that hangs on Mac's wall. Mr. Sinise also pointed out that there are pictures of his character shaking hands with former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani on his desk.
Michael Yon, a Special Forces vet and the pre-eminent war journalist of our time, communicated his admiration in a dispatch from Bahrain: "Gary is a true friend of the American soldier. He does not hesitate to travel into war zones to express his admiration and personal support for those who defend us. He visits wounded soldiers, some of whom I personally know. All love him."Gary Sinise is the Ex. Producer of 'Brothers At War" Documentary.
An intimate portrait of an American family look at the bonds and service of our soldiers on the frontlines and the profound effects their service has on the loved ones they leave behind.Gary supports American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial.
Along with Laura Hildenbrand, he co-founded "Operation Iraqi Children"
"For a lot of celebrities, charitable work equals photo opportunity and nothing more. For Gary, giving of himself, and giving to his country, is what makes life meaningful and joyful. It is perhaps the most essential part of his character, and it is his passion."He frequently tours his musical group, The Lt. Dan Band, entertaining troops & veterans globally.