Book Review: Grateful American by Gary Sinise

About:
Grateful American: A Journey from Self to Service by Gary Sinise is a biography of the famous actor about his career, family and charity work. Mr. Sinise is a talented actor, known to many as Lieutenant Dan from the classic movie Forrest Gump, but is appreciated just as much for his work with American wounded veterans.

  • 272 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400208122

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My rating for Grateful American – 4
Buy Grateful American from Amazon.com*
More books by Gary Sinise*

Thoughts:
Forrest Gump and Apollo 13 are two of my favorite movies, but the work that Mr. Sinise does with wounded veterans is what sets him apart from many of his profession. I was looking forward to read the biography Grateful American: A Journey from Self to Service by Gary Sinise, and I was not disappointed.

Mr. Sinise writes in a direct, honest way in which he tells his life story. His childhood and rebellious teenage years in Chicago, the founding of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and his family – all from a point of view of appreciating the United States and those who protect it.

The author made it his life’s mission to help wounded veterans wherever he can. He goes to hospitals, donates tons of money and time, props up charities and never looks the other way – even if it’s sometimes (most of the time, actually) more convenient to do so.

He talks about his acting career almost as if it’s a side project to support his true calling of being there for veterans. Mr. Sinise had many family members through blood and marriage serve in the armed forces, which seems to shape his perspective and even some of his acting choices.

Throughout the book, Mr. Sinise talks about some of the soldiers he met, how important it was for him and his goal of simply making someone’s day a bit brighter. Many of the soldiers recognize him as Lieutenant Dan, and instead of being afraid he’d be pigeonholed into a role, Mr. Sinise embraced that persona since it obviously meant a lot to the troops. After all, an honest and positive portray of a Vietnam vet doesn’t come out too often.

Who would have thought that the legacy of this talented actor would be that of a charitable humanitarian?

This is a strong but entertaining book, written with humility and sincerity. The gratitude Mr. Sinise feels toward the military and America flows abundantly off the pages and right into your heart.

 

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I borrowed this book for free.
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

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