Gary Sinise Foundation Aims to Help Veterans with 'Invisible Wounds'

Gary Sinise Foundation Avalon Network
Gary Sinise announces the launch of the Gary Sinise Foundation Avalon Network. (Gary Sinise Foundation)

Gary Sinise created a strong bond with veterans after he starred as Lt. Dan Taylor in "Forrest Gump." He's entertained troops all over the world with the Lt. Dan Band and done incredible work with the Gary Sinise Foundation.

The foundation has just announced that it's expanding its mission with the launch of a cognitive health and mental wellness network devoted to providing transformative care to veterans and first responders who are experiencing post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injuries and substance abuse.

The Gary Sinise Foundation Avalon Network will build on the work of the Marcus Institute for Brain Health and the Boulder Crest Foundation's Warrior PATHH program and has announced plans to establish 20 treatment sites nationwide to serve thousands of veterans, first responders and their families.

Check out Gary's announcement video below:

The Gary Sinise Foundation Avalon Network is being kick-started by $20 million donations from each of the co-founders of The Home Depot. Bernie Marcus and Arthur M. Blank have separately made major contributions to culture and philanthropy in Home Depot's hometown of Atlanta, but this marks the first time they've worked together since they left the company.

Sinise, ever the artist, named the network after Arthurian legend. Avalon was the sanctuary where King Arthur healed physically and spiritually after being wounded in battle.

The Avalon Network's partners include GratitudeAmerica, Camp Southern Ground, The Travis Mills Foundation, The Big Red Barn Retreat, the Permission To Start Dreaming Foundation, and Sheep Dog Impact Assistance for post-traumatic stress care.

Partners for traumatic brain injury care include the Tulane University Center for Brain Health, the SHARE Military Initiative at Shepherd Center, Jefferson Veterans' Brain Health and Wellness Initiative, and the University of Florida Health Brain Wellness Program.

The Avalon Network aims to address a huge crisis in our country. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and post-traumatic stress (PTS) affect nearly 1 out of every 3 military personnel deployed to war zones since 2001. An estimated 30% of our nation's first responders also experience symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress.

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