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    Lt. Dan Band performs for troops at NAS Jacksonville



    Story by Kaylee Larocque 

    Naval Air Station Jacksonville

    Military members and their families rocked out to a variety of songs played by the Lt. Dan Band featuring Gary Sinise, an actor and advocate for Wounded Warriors, during a free concert at Naval Air Station Jacksonville (NAS Jax) Feb. 22.
    The concert brought out thousands of fans to Dewey’s parking lot where the NAS Jax Morale, Welfare and Recreation team worked the logistics of the show and food sales. Before the show, Sinise conducted an interview with Today Show Journalist Harry Smith at Heritage Park, visited Patrol Squadron 10 to thank “Red Lancer” Sailors for their service, and participated in a meet and greet with Gold Star families and Wounded Warriors. As he greeted the families and several Wounded Warriors, Sinise offered hugs, words of encouragement and posed for photos.
    “It is really great to meet Mr. Sinise who does so much for the military,” said Florida Fallen Heroes President and Gold Star family member Dave Seamans, who lost his son, Timothy during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005. “He is such a great inspiration and truly selfless in helping Wounded Warriors and military families in need. And, I’m so excited about seeing the Lt. Dan Band perform.”
    NAS Jax Commanding Officer Capt. Michael Connor kicked off the concert by welcoming the crowd and introducing the band.
    “Through his foundation, Mr. Sinise serves our nation by helping veterans, first responders and families in need with a variety of programs,” said Connor. “Tonight’s concert is only a small part of how he gives back to the military community and NAS Jax is pleased to host Mr. Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band.”
    The band played a wide variety of popular to country and patriotic music bringing fans to their feet to dance and sing along. Numerous military members and their families, many decked out in military-related attire, cheered and praised Sinise throughout the show.
    Throughout the night, Sinise addressed the crowd thanking everyone for their service. “We perform these concerts to boost morale of the troops and raise awareness in supporting our Wounded Warriors from conflicts. We just pray for them and their families each and every day,” he said. “We’d like to do this next song for all the families of our fallen and wounded who may be going through difficult times. We want you to know that you are appreciated. Sometimes when you feel like hope is gone, look inside and be strong because there is a whole community out there who loves you and appreciates you and will never forget you.”
    The band, then played the song, “Hero” which brought tears to many as they listened and sang along.
    Sinise then asked the crowd how many people saw the movie “Forest Gump” where he played Lt. Dan and asked if there were any CSI New York fans, the show he also starred in. He mentioned his new book - “Grateful American: A Journey from Self to Service,” and told the audience that, “I am grateful for you - that’s for damn sure. Thank you for your service to our country.”
    Sinise also explained the motto of the Gary Sinise Foundation – Honor, Gratitude, Rock and Roll. “This foundation is for our military and first responders. We raise money from the American people and pass it on to you – this concert is supported by those generous donations from the American people who want you to know you’re appreciated,” he said.
    “I started this foundation after troops began deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Sinise. “Families were losing loved ones, the wounded coming home and people were raising their hands to serve. I just wanted to raise my hand too and support the men and women who support our country. So, God bless you for serving our country. We never take it for granted and will always remember you.”
    The concert ended as the band performed “God Bless the USA” with the entire audience joining in.
    “I really loved the concert. There was no particular genre so there were songs for everyone to enjoy and the weather was great. I attended the last one here a couple years ago and it was cool and rainy,” said AECS Scott Williams of the NAS Jax Executive Department. “I like the fact that Mr. Sinise genuinely cares about the military and veterans and how much his foundation gives back to the troops.”



    Date Taken: 02.22.2019
    Date Posted: 02.28.2019 16:58
    Story ID: 312368
    Location: JACKSONVILLE, FL, US 

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