Tom Hanks, who played Forrest in the 1994 movie, teamed up with other actors to create a surprise video for his former co-star, Gary Sinise, in honor of his commitment to helping veterans.
“Thanks Lt. Dan!” Hanks says to Sinise, who portrayed Forrest’s commanding officer in the Vietnam War who became his best friend.
The #GratefulLikeGary video also features messages from a slew of other celebrities, including Jay Leno, Rob Lowe, Robert De Niro, Maria Shriver, Tim Allen and Kristin Chenoweth.
“You’re greatly appreciated coast to coast in the U.S.,” raves country singer Kellie Pickler. “And base to base across the globe.”
“It’s really heartwarming and so incredibly meaningful… all of the amazing things that you do,” added Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik.
Additionally, the Gary Sinise Foundation thanked their founder in the description of the video for spending the last four decades “supporting our active duty service men and women, veterans, first responders, their families and caregivers, and those in need.”
Sinise said he wrote his memoir, Grateful American: From Self to Service, as a way to hopefully inspire people to find their own purpose by helping others, something he believes is his true calling in life.
Sinise explained to how his former Forrest Gumprole inspired him to give back.
“The fact that Lieutenant Dan was a wounded Vietnam veteran — he’s kind of played a bigger role in my life because of the nature of what that character was,” he shared. “He was a wounded, injured soldier, and I remember going into the first hospital to visit an injured soldier after Sept. 11, and all he wanted to talk about was Lieutenant Dan and what happened to Lieutenant Dan. So, that character has obviously been very special to me.”
Hear more in the video below.