On Sunday, August 25th, only at Temple Bat Yahm – Award-winning film and television star, theater icon, and advocate for our nation’s defenders – Gary Sinise will share engaging, thought-provoking, and entertaining anecdotes and stories from his life’s journey and from his new book Grateful American: A Journey from Self to Service.
Most often recognized for his Academy Award nominated role as Lt. Dan from best-picture winner “Forrest Gump,” Gary Sinise’s career has spanned more than four decades.
In 2009, Gary executive produced the documentary “Brothers at War,” a rare look at the bonds and service of our soldiers on the front lines in Iraq and the profound effects their service has on the loved ones they leave behind.
Sinise served as the national spokesperson for the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial Foundation, a memorial that opened on October 5, 2014 to honor America’s three million living disabled military veterans. He was involved in raising funds for The Pentagon 9/11 Memorial, as well as funds to build The Brooklyn Wall of Remembrance at MCU Park in Brooklyn, NY.
In 2011, Sinise launched the Gary Sinise Foundation to honor America’s defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need. The Foundation provides and supports unique programs designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen and build communities.
His endless work on behalf of those who have served has earned him many distinguished awards Including The Bob Hope Award for Excellence in Entertainment from the Medal of Honor Society, the Spirit of the USO Award, The Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the Spirit of Hope Award by the Department of Defense, and the Dwight D. Eisenhower Award from the National Defense Industrial Association. In 2008, George W. Bush presented him with the Presidential Citizens Medal, the second-highest civilian honor awarded to citizens for exemplary deeds performed in service of the nation, only the third actor ever to receive this honor.
Gary has worked tirelessly on behalf of those who serve this country, entertaining more than a half million troops around the world playing bass guitar with his Lieutenant Dan Band, raising funds on behalf of veterans, and eventually founding the Gary Sinise Foundation with a mission to serve and honor America’s defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need.
TBY’s own philanthropist, Leona Aronoff- Sadacca had shared with me her deep admiration for Gary and the work he has done for our veterans. I reached out to set up a time to meet and introduce Gary to Leona. During our visit she held his hand, looked into his eyes and told him stories about her beloved husband—our very own Joe Sadacca (z”l)—WWII POW and war hero. Leona shared with Gary what many veterans have said that while Gary has played many remarkable roles throughout his award-winning career- his true calling and his most notable role has been the one that he holds in real life and the mission he is on.
His just released NY Times Bestselling book, Grateful American is the moving, entertaining, and profoundly gripping story of how one man found his calling: to see that those who defend this country and its freedoms are never forgotten.
Tikkun olam shares that we are not only responsible for creating a model society among ourselves but also are responsible for the welfare of the society at large. This responsibility may be understood in religious, social or political terms and Gary honors and supports the men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces. They put themselves in harm’s way to safeguard our freedoms and protect our country.
Our event will include representation from all members of the armed services as well as the Israeli Defense Force, and be open to the entire community, particularly those who have served our country. If you or a member of your family served in the armed forces and would like to be included in our event, please contact
Hilary Rosen, Communications & Marketing Specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every attendee will receive Gary’s book Grateful American: A Journey from Self to Service with your ticket. There is also an opportunity to underwrite tickets for members of our current and retired armed servicemen. Your tickets and in particular our VIP support go directly to serve our Temple Bat Yahm community, Youth engagement, and bring further awareness to our nation’s servicemen and women and the Israeli Defense Force.
Tickets and sponsorship opportunities can be purchased through the Temple Bat Yahm website at www.tby.org/distinguished-speaker-series.html. Questions regarding the event, please call (949) 644-1999. “We all have a destiny: nothing just happens, it’s all part of a plan.” – Lieutenant Dan Taylor, Forrest Gump.
SCOTT SEIGEL is The Former Temple President & DSS Committee Chair of temple bat yahm