The Gary Sinise Foundation released an emotional eight-minute video of its year-end activities, featuring testimonials from veterans and their families about how their lives were changed for the better.
The foundation’s video— released in time for the holiday season— opens with touching scenes of children and families embracing each other while actor Gary Sinise, best known for playing Lt. Dan in the 1994 movie Forrest Gump, and the long-running CBS crime procedural CSI: NY, narrates in the background.
“Family. We share our joy with them; we count on them in troubled times,” Sinise says at the opening of the video.
“So many of us have been inspired by the service of a relative whose sacrifices motivate us to do more, to be more,” Sinise continues. “When family is not limited by the bonds blood or name, it is shaped by the stories we share, the freedoms we cherish, and the nation we love and defend.”
The video continues on this theme of family, stressing the importance of honoring veterans, first responders, and their loved ones like family.
“Our mission is to honor our defenders, veterans, first responders and always their loved ones who sacrifice alongside them. Because that’s what you do for family.”
But the truly tear-jerking moments of the video came when the veterans and their family members speak about how their lives changed over the past year, thanks to the work of the foundation.
One veteran, who received a custom-built smart home from the foundation to accommodate his injuries, said he was grateful he could raise his family in his new home.
“I was most looking forward to a home that I could truly raise my family in,” the veteran said.
Later in the video, a young girl who lost a family member serving in the military and a widow of a military spouse both spoke about how they changed after attending a foundation-sponsored event at Walt Disney World in early December for loved ones who lost a service member.
“I think it lets kids know that they’re not the only people that have experienced things like these,” one young girl said.
“Being around the others who I know have been through the same thing, it made me open up and kinda come out of my shell a little,” one mother said.
The video ends urging people to do more for our veterans, first responders, and their family members.
“While we can never do enough for our defenders, veterans, first responders, and the loved ones who sacrifice right alongside them, we can always do a little more,” Sinise said.
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