Most people know about Gary Sinise’s unwavering patriotism and how he serves our disabled veterans. What most people don’t know is his real-life connection to Lieutenant Dan Taylor, the character he played in Forrest Gump, which started long before he ever made the film.
Forrest Gump was a blockbuster hit in 1994 and became one of the decade’s seminal films. One of the most memorable and beloved characters was Lieutenant Dan Taylor, who was played by Gary Sinise and was Forrest Gump’s hard-nosed senior officer. Lieutenant Dan is begrudgingly saved by Gump on the battlefield. Although his life was spared, he suffered the loss of both legs.
As one of the most iconic wounded veterans in movie history, Sinise’s portrayal of Lieutenant Dan in Forrest Gump plunged him headfirst into a life of helping veterans around the world. However, what most people never hear about is Sinise’s personal connection to warriors like Lieutenant Dan, which began long before he starred in the film.
Sinise’s family has a long history of serving in the American military, starting with his Grandpa Dan, who joined the U.S. Army during WWI. Sinise’s uncle Jack flew thirty missions as a navigator during WWII, and his uncle Jerry also served in the Navy during WWII. Sinise’s father Robert served in the Navy in the early 1950s during the Korean War. That foundation played a vital role in shaping Sinise’s patriotism as a young man.