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Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band rocks Edwards Air Force Base

  • Published
  • By Adam Bowles
  • 412th Test Wind Public Affairs

Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band performed a free concert at Wings Field on Edwards Air Force Base, California, March 11, to show their support for the military. 

The free concert was sponsored by the Gary Sinise Foundation and was open to all Edwards AFB Airmen, civilians and family members with base access. This event was the band’s first show in 2022.

“We are very excited to be back playing for the troops at Edwards Air Force Base,” said Gary Sinise, award-winning actor and founder of the Gary Sinise Foundation. “The band was created in 2003 to uplift our nation’s servicemen and women, and we couldn’t be more excited to perform for the troops and their families here.”

“There is so much history here. One time I got to meet Chuck Yeager at an event which was pretty great.  The troops of Edwards has an amazing mission here and it’s important to show them they are appreciated,” Sinise said.

Sinise has been a longtime supporter of the United Service Organizations (USO), performing hundreds of concerts and making dozens of appearances at military hospitals, bases, and USO events around the world. For the actor most recognized for his role as Lt. Dan Taylor in the famous 1994 film "Forrest Gump," the role sparked a friendship with military personnel and gave birth to the band's name.

“This concert is a message from the American people who support the Gary Sinise Foundation that we love and appreciate our troops and are grateful for their service to their country. I’m happy to be back playing for our troops,” he said.

Sinise also took on the role of Dr. Robert Ellman in 2017's drama series''13 Reasons Why" where mental health and resiliency are key parts of the series. The Gary Sinise Foundation also plays a role of support as well. 

"Mental wellness and lifting people's spirits are the heartbeat of everything we do in the Gary Sinise Foundation," he said. " That's why I first started going out and visiting the troops because I wanted to boost their morale up and let them know they are appreciated." 

The Foundation's mission is to serve the nation by honoring its defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need.

Chelsey Mastalski, Operations Officer with the Force Support Squadron, says this event was very beneficial for our local community during the pandemic.

“This concert was very important to enhancing the morale of our community and providing that time to recharge and relax,” Mastalski said. “Community Services did an amazing job helping to execute this event and it was definitely a team effort.”

Sinise says for those who missed the concert he will be back again soon! You can go to the Gary Sinise Foundation website for more details and concert dates.

Edwards provides care, opportunities for children aged six weeks through high school graduation

Edwards provides care, opportunities for childrenaged six weeks through high school graduation

The Child and Youth Program at Edwards AFB provides care and opportunities for kids ages six weeks old through high school graduation. A brief summary of those services follows:

  •                    The Child Development Center cares for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years, with a DOD-wide curriculum. The curriculum is focused on learning through play activities supporting social, emotional, physical and intellectual development. Installations across DOD follow the curriculum on the same timeline to allow seamless permanent change-of-station transitions for youth enrolled in care.
  •                    The School Age Center provides before and after-school care and summer camp for children ages 5 to 12. During school breaks, full-day camps are offered. SAC promotes cognitive, social, emotional, cultural, language and physical development through programs that encourage self-confidence, curiosity, self-discipline and resiliency.
  •                    The open recreation program at the Main Youth Center provides a safe space for ages 9 to 12 to attend after school. Programs include Power Hour, STEM, Torch Club, social recreation, youth camps, special events and more.
  •                    The youth sports program provides intro and league opportunities for ages 3 to 12, and promotes inclusiveness, self-discipline, commitment, resiliency and social skills. There are four sports offered annually for ages five to 12: baseball/softball, soccer, flag football and basketball. Smart start programs are available to ages 3 to 5. There are many other sports and camps offered throughout the year.
  •                    The Teen Center is available for ages 13 to 18 during the school year. Programs offered include Military Youth of the Year, Keystone Club, social recreation, STEM activities, college trips, leadership camps and more.
  •                    Youth programs (SAC, open rec and teen) are affiliated with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and 4-H.
  •                    Family Child Care homes – there are currently three FCC homes on the installation. They can provide care for ages two weeks to 12 years. FCC providers are trained by Child and Youth Program training and curriculum specialists and have the flexibility to determine their hours of operation and the ages of youth within their care. The program’s new dedicated manager, Jennifer Stegmann, may be reached at 661-275-7529.

Although CDC enrollment capacity is 317, not all slots are currently filled because of a shortage of childcare workers. School Age Center enrollment capacity is 156. After-school care enrollment is 130. Before-school care enrollment is 75. Summer Camp 2022 was at its capacity and enrollment for Summer Camp 2023 opens April 3.