The Gary Sinise Foundation (GSF), established in 2011 by Actor and Humanitarian Gary Sinise to support our Nation’s veterans, heroes, first responders, defenders, and their families who have sacrificed so much, is bringing WWII veterans to The National WWII Museum in New Orleans as part of GSF’s Soaring Valor Program, including eight WWII veterans from across Long Island.
Soaring Valor is a Gary Sinise Foundation program that started in 2015 as a way to bring World War II veterans to their museum built in their honor and to help spread messaging and education around the country, especially to the younger generations, on the importance of service, sacrifice and defending our Nation. Soaring Valor began after Mr. Sinise visited the museum with his Uncle Jack, a WWII veteran, where his uncle’s oral history was recorded to be preserved in the museum’s national archive for future generations. When Uncle Jack passed away in 2014, the museum presented Uncle Jack’s recorded oral history to Mr. Sinise as a tribute to his legacy of service. GSF now also sponsors a historian at the museum who records these stories to preserve these veterans’ legacies, especially with an estimated less than 500,000 WWII veterans still alive today.
GSF also brings high school students from around the country on these trips to pair them with a WWII veteran to pass such legacies of service to the younger generations and highlight the importance of service and sacrifice.
Altogether, 18 WWII Veterans and 38 high school students (including 20 from Wantagh, Long Island) boarded an American Airlines charter in a heroic sendoff ceremony on Wednesday morning, April 19th. The veterans received a water cannon salute, bagpipers, and a hero’s welcome.
About The Gary Sinise Foundation
The Gary Sinise Foundation was established under the philanthropic direction of award-winning actor and humanitarian Gary Sinise, who has been an advocate of our nation’s defenders for nearly 40 years. The Gary Sinise Foundation’s mission is to serve our country by honoring our defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need. The Foundation’s four programmatic pillars are our way of “doing a little more” for those who sacrifice so much for our country. As our Founder and Chairman Gary Sinise always says, “While we can never do enough for our defenders and their loved ones, we can always do a little more.” That spirit of service is the bedrock of all of the Foundation’s programs, which include R.I.S.E. (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment) Program, the Relief and Resiliency Program, Community and Education Program, and the First Responders Outreach Program. For more information, please visit GarySiniseFoundation.org.