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The Fort Benning community was treated to a first-time concert featuring actor and musician Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band Saturday night at Wetherby Field.
The band performed a variety of covers of popular songs, which Sinise said was intended to provide "something for everyone."
"The energy, the drive and inspiration comes from the Soldiers and military Families," Sinise said. "I'm always inspired by the people who are serving our country and that's what keeps me coming back. The catalyst for the band was always the appreciation of military and what our service members do."
The band's name was inspired by Sinise's portrayal of Lt. Dan Taylor in the 1994 movie Forest Gump. Since 2003, he has been an advocate for U.S. military service members and their Families by traveling around the world and offering almost 50 free concerts a year. He previously visited Columbus in 2009 for the premiere of the documentary Brothers at War, for which he served as executive producer. He also has several relatives who have served at Fort Benning.
"My wife's two brother served in Vietnam, one of those brothers spent a lot of time at Fort Benning," Sinise said. "My other brother-in-law, who was married to my wife's sister also spent time at Fort Benning. I have a military Family even though I didn't serve myself."
Sinise said he never expected the band to perform for so many years, but is motivated to dedicate his time and talents to those who have sacrificed much more.
"Even though you're on this post and may have a loved one deployed somewhere, there are people out there like me who aren't serving but recognize what you're going through and want to do something to help," Sinise said. "We're all in it together. We value our freedom and it is provided by people at places like Fort Benning."
Soldiers and Families showed support of Sinise as an actor and musician who has devoted his time to show gratitude to the military for more than a decade.
"It's cool to see how Gary Sinise has been so solid in his commitment and unwavering support to the troops throughout the global war on terrorism," said Chaplain (Capt.) Dana Krall of 3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. "We are grateful to folks like him who continue to highlight what our Soldiers do."