Gary Sinise, the actor who played Lt. Dan in the 1993 movie “Forrest Gump,” has been named an Honorary Marine.
Gen. James F. Amos, the Marine Corps commandant, said Sinise earned the recognition because of his efforts to support military veterans.
“There is little I can say to enhance the rich reputation Gary Sinise has earned,” Amos said during a ceremony at the Marine Corps Barracks in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. “What I can do, what I am privileged and proud to do, is to recognize this humble patriot's selfless service by making him an Honorary Marine.”
According to a Marine Corps press release, Sinise was “totally surprised” by the honor he received. “I’m humbled, shocked, moved and motivated to keep standing up for our men and women (in uniform) and giving back to them,” Sinise was reported as saying.
Sinise, who regularly performs with his band, The Lt. Dan Band, also heads The Gary Sinise Foundation, which exists to honor “defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need,” according to the foundation’s website. “We do this by creating and supporting unique programs designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen, and build communities,” the website said.
According to the Marine Corps release, other notable people who share the title of Honorary Marine with Sinise are actor Chuck Norris and Pulitzer prize-winning photographer Joe Rosenthal.