EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
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.