ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Actor Gary Sinise, perhaps best-known for his Oscar-nominated role as a badly wounded Vietnam vet in the movie “Forrest Gump”, was in St. Louis Monday morning.
He made the official announcement that his band, named the “Lt. Dan Band” after his character in that 1994 film, will play a Memorial Day weekend concert on May 27th at the St. Charles Family Arena.
At his side was Marine Corporal Todd Nicely of St. Louis, one of only three surviving quadruple amputees from the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Corporal Nicely lost both arms and legs after stepping on an IED in Afghanistan in March 2010, but he walks on a pair of prosthetic legs.
Sinise announced that proceeds from every ticket sold for the May 27th concert will go towards construction of a Smart Home for Corporal Nicely, part of a project sponsored by the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation.
Sinise, a Chicago native, announced plans for the concert in that familiar gravelly voice.
“What can somebody like me do to serve their country?,” he mused, noting that this is one situation where he can use his celebrity status for a good cause. “If I can bring a little awareness or a little attention to some of these organizations (helping veterans) because I happen to be on television or in the movies, that’s a good thing. That’s a way to use that ‘celebrity’ to help some people out.”
He said one of the recent highlights of his life was playing a concert in Las Vegas – he glanced over to the side of the stage as he played bass guitar in the “Lt. Dan Band” and saw Corporal Nicely dancing with his wife Crystal, the first time they had done so since he’d suffered critical injuries in Afghanistan.
For more information on the concert or to order tickets, go to: http://www.tunneltotowersrun.org/.
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