By Garrett McCormick
Following the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl and Brigham Young’s victory over Tulsa on Friday, Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band performed their last show of the year in honor of the veterans and wounded soldiers who have served our country.
The concert kicked off immediately after the bowl game’s conclusion, attracting a large crowd consisting of both civilians and military personnel alike.
Covering famous artists from Lynard Skynard to Evanescence to Adele, the Lt. Dan Band dedicated their show to the wounded warriors present within the audience. Many of the songs we meant to rouse audience participation in singing along with the lyrics, which was often the case.
Sinise is well known for his portrayal of Lt. Dan in “Forrest Gump,” the role after which the band is named. He and his band have performed over 30 shows a year for various military bases and charities to aid in assisting those soldiers who have made sacrifices for their country. The band has travelled all over the world, demonstrating their passion and respect for their cause in aiding the military servicemen and women.
During the show, one soldier from the crowd was pulled on stage and awarded two roundtrip tickets donated by American Airlines redeemable for anywhere in the United States as well as specified destinations outside of the country in honor of his service. Military helicopters would also fly overhead, and on one occasion those onboard leaned out the open side to wave to the applauding crowd.
Following the band’s performance of Mariah Carey’s “Hero,” dedicated in honor of the wounded soldiers present for the concert, the audience was asked to stand in honor of all soldiers who have served for the singing of “God Bless the USA,” originally by Lee Greenwood.
Once finished, Sinise was honored by Governor Rick Perry’s Chief of Staff Jeffrey Boyd by being named an honorary Admiral of the Texas Navy, an honor which can only be appointed by the governor of Texas.
“We’re famously proud of our veterans and our active duty servicemen and women, our National and State Guard and we’re very proud of the service people from the state of Texas,” said Boyd as he presented Sinise with the signed document granting him the honorary title. Boyd stated his pride in Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band for their hard work and dedication in service to those who serve our country.
Sinise also has a charity dedicated to giving back to the people who serve our country, which he urged the crowd to donate to. Donations can be made online at www.garysinisefoundation.org