Longtime military supporter and beloved actor Gary Sinise has canceled his appearances at a 25th anniversary screening of "Forrest Gump" on the National Mall and Sunday night's National Memorial Day concert, Military.com has confirmed.
No reason was given for the cancellation.
Sinise appeared in San Diego this past Saturday to receive the Patriot Award from the USO at its 78th Annual Stars and Stripes Gala: Stand Up for Liberty event at the San Diego Marriott Marquis and Marina.
The actor has co-hosted the National Memorial Day concert with actor Joe Mantegna more than a dozen times. This year, actor Mary McCormack, most recently star of the ABC series "The Kids Are Alright," will fill in for Sinise at the event, which airs live on May 26 at 8 p.m. Eastern on PBS stations.
As he related in his recent memoir "Grateful American," Sinise developed a strong connection to the men and women who serve after playing the iconic character and Vietnam veteran Lt. Dan Taylor in the Oscar-winning Best Picture "Forrest Gump." The response was immediate and overwhelming, and the actor has spent a significant amount of time on veterans issues over the last two-and-a-half decades.
The Gary Sinise Foundation honors veterans, first responders, their families and those in need with programs that build smart homes and make house renovations for wounded vets; host mentorship retreats; bring World War II veterans to tour the National WWII Museum in New Orleans; provide tickets to arts events for veterans; and entertain both active-duty service members and veterans with performances by his beloved Lt. Dan Band.
Most recently, the foundation took over the running of the Snowball Express, a program that provides year-round support services for children of fallen warriors. The program's annual highlight is a five-day trip to Walt Disney World, an event that brings almost 2,000 kids together to offer guilt-free fun in a stress-free environment.
Read his book if you want to know more about Gary's storied acting career. His roles as Lt. Dan and Detective Mac Taylor on "CSI: NY" don't begin to scratch the surface. You'll also learn more about how and why he's devoted so much time and energy to military support programs.