Veterans

April 30, 2014

Gary Sinise delivers check for OATH

Tags:
Linda KC Reynolds
staff writer

Actor/musician Gary Sinise donates $60,000 to Lancaster High School OATH (Operation All The Way Home), a nonprofit student-led organization that raised more than $182,000 in less than one year to build wounded warrior Army Spec. Jerral Hancock a new home. History teacher Jamie Goodreau invited Hancock to speak to her students. After hearing he was blown up on his 21st birthday in Iraq, leaving him without a left arm, paralyzed from the chest down, burnt over 30 percent of his body and a single dad raising two children in a small trailer, they raised the money.

Actor Gary Sinise was greeted with a high-spirited and well deserved standing ovation as he entered Lancaster High Schools theater.

Sinise surprised the OATH students by presenting them with a $60,000 check to help them in their efforts in building Army Spec. Jerral Hancock and his family a new home. Hancock was severely injured while driving a tank in Baghdad on his 21st birthday.

We all know what happens when an actor tries to become a singer or vice versa, joked Sinise. Famous for his role as Lt. Dan in Forest Gump, as well as roles in Apollo 13 and CSI New York, when it comes to getting the word out on wounded warriors, Sinise is no actor. What you see is what you get – he is the real deal.

Sinise congratulated the students for taking Hancock under their wing and raising more than $182,000 to help build the wounded warrior a new home. Not a great high school student himself, Sinise shared a story of how, as a teenager, he started a theater group in Chicago, reminding them that kids can do great things once they set their minds.

Via Skype and phone calls, Sinise personally corresponded with the studentñdriven ëOperation All the Way Home project, history teacher Jamie Goodreau, and the Hancock family. Once again he sincerely commended their efforts and dedication.

We got a lot of residual effects from a dozen years of war. When the country gets tired of the war, we tend to forget about our warriors. We dont want to do that, said Sinise. We did that after Vietnam. We turned our backs on our warriors and that was a bad thing for our nation to do. It really weakened our country.

Wounded warrior Army Spec. Jerral Hancock poses with his stepfather Dirrick Benjamin, Gary Sinise, and mom, Stacie Benjamin, at Lancaster High School where the Gary Sinise Foundation presented OATH students with a check for $60,000 to build Hancock and his family a new home.

With todays battlefield medical technology, what killed a soldier 20 or 50 years ago is now survivable.

Dedicated in shining the spotlight on those who have served and sacrificed so much, he remembers what it was like to have family members returning from Vietnam. He has been to the war zones, visits soldiers in hospitals, entertains the troops overseas and has been involved with the wounded for more than 20 years.

The Gary Sinise Foundation has built three homes for quadruple amputees and they are in process of building two more.

We cant expect our government to do everything, it does what it can. The VA is a big bureaucracy with a lot of issues, they take care of a lot of good folks but there are people who are going to fall through the cracks no matter what, because the needs are so great. Sinise stressed that it is imperative for communities and citizens to recognize the people that serve within their communities and try to help them, especially after such a brutal war – reminding all that we are free only because of the sacrifices made by our soldiers.

I am just so honored that Gary is helping out. He is an incredible, awesome person, said Hancock looking around the auditorium. I am just so proud of what all my kids here have done for me, for me and my family; it is really hard to put into words.

To help raise the remaining funds needed for Hancocks new home, Gary Sinise and The Lt. Dan Band will perform May 10 at JetHawk Stadium. Festivities for Pride of the Nation begin at 6 p.m. For more information and tickets, visit www.oathtickets.com.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
WWII-MIA

Missing World War II Soldier accounted for

The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced today that the remains of a missing World War II U.S. serviceman have been identified and are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors, acco...
 
 
stamps2

New stamp folio to honor Vietnam Medal of Honor recipients

Nearly a dozen Vietnam Medal of Honor recipients will help the U.S. Postal Service dedicate a limited-edition stamp folio honoring them and other Vietnam heroes on Memorial Day. The “Medal of Honor: Vietnam War Forever...
 
 
af-medal

American Fighter Aces receive Congressional Gold Medal

Leaders from the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate presented the Congressional Gold Medal to the American Fighter Aces Association May 20 at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center Emancipation Hall. The Congressional Gold Medal...
 

 
Korea-MIA

Soldier missing from Korean War accounted for

The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced May 22 that the remains of a U.S. soldier missing from the Korean War have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors, a...
 
 
Army photogaph by J.D. Leipold

Soldiers participate during Flags In at Arlington Cemetery

Army photogaph by J.D. Leipold Old Guard and other ceremonial units place more than 228,000 miniature flags throughout Arlington National Cemetery, Va., May 21, 2015, in advance of Memorial Day, May 25. The Flags In mission has...
 
 

In memoriam

Remembering TSgt. Anthony E. Salazar TSgt. Anthony E. Salazar, age 40, died April 13 in a noncombat related incident at an air base in Southwest Asia while serving during Operation Inherent Resolve. Salazar, a native of Hermosa Beach, Calif., was assigned to U.S. Air Forces Central Command’s 577th Expeditionary Prime Base Engineer Emergency Force Squadron,...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>