By Senior Airman Harry Brexel
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Amid a deluge of rain, one building along Little Rock Air Force Base’s flight line wasn’t battening down the hatches. Lights, camera and action turned an ordinary hangar into an arena.
For the first time, Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band visited Little Rock Air Force Base and performed exclusively on April 29 for Team Little Rock service members and family.
The Lt. Dan Band is a cover band founded by Gary Sinise, the actor better known for his role as U.S. Army 1st Lt. Dan Taylor from the film Forrest Gump.
Having a deep-rooted appreciation for the U.S. military, which stems from a family of veterans, Sinise is personally invested in supporting the U.S. service members
“I have veterans in my family all the way back to World War I and my wife has veterans throughout her family,” Sinise said.
Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band perform for military audiences approximately 20 to 30 times a year. Recently, the group teamed up with the USO and is now on the road, playing at military installations representing each branch of service.
“I feel like I’m just a conduit for the American people’s support of the military,” Sinise said. “Our nation needs our defenders to feel special, because they are special.”
Prior to the performance at “The Home of Combat Airlift,” Sinise met with 65 Little Rock Airmen for a meet-and-greet as well as photos. The band rocked out for two hours in front of approximately 600 Team Little Rock members, who danced and sang the night away.
Giving back to service members and their families is something Sinise believes in because it celebrates their service. In addition to his performances, Sinise supports veterans by volunteering at the National Veterans Art Museum, serving as Advisory Council for the Hope for the Warriors organization and by raising money to deliver care packages for U.S. troops.
“It always brings me a smile when people in the service thank me, for appreciating them,” Sinise said.