We serve our nation by honoring our defenders, veterans, first responders, their families and those in need. We do this by creating and supporting unique programs designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen and build communities.
from our founder
As I reflect on the last year and the meteoric growth of Gary Sinise Foundation programs and initiatives that have impacted the lives of our nation’s defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need, I think about how far we’ve come since I began this journey eight years ago in June 2011. What we’ve been able to accomplish is a testament to the hard work and common purpose all of us at the foundation share and strive to achieve each and every day we come to work.
from our chief executive officer
A year has gone by since I transitioned from serving our country for more than 40 years as an officer in the United States Air Force to donning a new uniform and serving a new mission as CEO of the Gary Sinise Foundation. It’s an honor to come to work every day to support our nation’s defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need.
Through R.I.S.E., we’re building specially adapted smart homes for our most severely wounded heroes. We’re also providing home modifications, mobility devices, and adapted vehicles to our injured, wounded, ill, and/or aging heroes. More
We’re constructing one-of-a-kind specially adapted smart homes for our nation’s most severely wounded veterans. These 100% mortgage-free homes ease the daily challenges faced by these heroes and their families who sacrifice alongside them. We’re helping restore their self-reliance and independence. More
hero spotlight: USMC Staff Sergeant Brandon Dodson
On his fifth and final deployment to Afghanistan in August 2014, USMC Staff Sergeant Brandon Dodson was operating in a remote village when he stepped on a hidden pressure plate improvised explosive device (IED). The explosion resulted in the loss of both his legs above the knee and became a turning point in his and his family’s lives. Brandon’s specially adapted smart home was built in Vista, California and dedicated to him and his family in May.
“Gary has a nice thing that he always says... ‘we can never do enough but we can always do more’ and honestly this [smart home] is the physical embodiment of doing more.”
-USMC (RET.) SSGT Brandon Dodson
Specially Adapted Smart Home Recipient
Many wounded heroes lack the means to update their homes and customize their transportation to suit their individual needs. We’re providing our injured, wounded, ill and/or aging heroes with the resources they need to regain their mobility and independence. More
Life can change in an instant, especially for our nation’s defenders. Our duty as citizens is to ensure these families stay strong through hardships by offering our complete support before, during, and after the battle. More
We’re serving the children of fallen military heroes year-round through family-oriented activities and community events culminating in a year-ending, five-day trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. More
highlight: knott’s berry farm
In August Gary Sinise Foundation Snowball Express families enjoyed a thrilling day out at Knott’s Berry Farm in California. Children and loved ones of fallen military heroes were all smiles as they met cast members from the Peanuts including Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Linus and Lucy before entering the park to ride roller coasters like Timber Mountain Log Ride and Supreme Scream.
The heroic spirit displayed by our wounded service members through rehabilitation is an inspiration. Our Invincible Spirit Festivals celebrate the courage not only of these heroes but their families and caregivers as well. More
highlight: Naval Medical Center San Diego
In February the Gary Sinise Foundation hosted an Invincible Spirit Festival at Naval Medical Center San Diego where recovering marines, sailors, and their families were treated to an exciting day featuring bbq served by Chef Robert Irvine, a classic car show, rock wall, and face painting.
Honor. Gratitude. Rock & Roll. That’s the mission of every Lt. Dan Band concert. There’s something for everyone as the thirteen-member group covers hits from every genre in their explosive live show. More
highlight: napa valley concert
In April 2018 Napa Valley first responders and their families were honored and recognized for their heroism and sacrifices made during the devastating wildfires that broke out in the region in October 2017.
hero spotlight: andrew bozeman
“I never thought that I would hit a point in my life where I would think about doing harm to myself.” Retired Marine Corps Sergeant, Andrew Bozeman, had spent nearly a decade in the Marines with two deployments under his belt since 2004. He enlisted in the military after graduating high school in 2001 and over the years suffered multiple concussions while training and during overseas deployments. His first two marriages fell apart and he was denied reenlistment after being passed on promotion to Staff Sergeant. He planned to commit suicide on March 30, 2013, the same day Gary Sinise and The Lt. Dan Band were to perform at MCAS Yuma where Bozeman was based.
“It was the simple fact that here is this celebrity who is giving up his time, his money, his everything to help serve us,” said Bozeman about the impact of the Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band on military service members. Standing amongst his fellow Marines near the stage, Bozeman was captivated by the message Gary had for all in attendance: they [Marines] are making a difference and are the reason why the band is able to do what they do. “It helps you realize that there are people out there who are willing to help you.”
Our H.O.P.E. program provides complete support to those who have experienced trauma, illness, injury, or loss during their times of urgent need, sometimes with assistance as simple as help paying bills or buying groceries. More
highlight: hollywood adventure
In September 24 Gold Star spouses of fallen heroes visited the Gary Sinise Foundation as part of our three-day Hollywood Adventure experience. Highlights included visiting the Santa Monica Pier and strolling along the shore, dining at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Smoke House, and Fogo de Chão, and visiting the set of the CBS television show, Seal Team and other soundstanges on the Warners Brothers’ backlot. Glad Star spouses also explored the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the iconic Grauman’s (now referred to as TCL) Chinese Theater.
As part of the Gary Sinise Foundation’s Relief and Resiliency program mentorship retreats began in July 2015 and since inception has connected more than 70 wounded veterans from different military conflicts in addition to first responders at the outset of their rehabilitation. More
We’re working to bridge the gap between our defender and civilian communities. Honoring America’s heroes both past and present, and inspiring the next generation to do the same, is a responsibility we all share. We’re working to bridge the gap between our defender and civilian communities. Honoring America’s heroes both past and present, and inspiring the next generation to do the same, is a responsibility we all share. More
We’re bringing World War II veterans and their guardians to New Orleans to tour The National WWII Museum built in their honor. Their experience includes entertainment, celebratory meals, and community building with their fellow heroes. Students who accompany our veterans carry on their stories with a new appreciation for the sacrifices made by an entire generation. More
highlight: Grapevine Faith Christian School
Students from Grapevine Faith Christian School in Grapevine, Texas joined WWII veterans from San Antonio for Soaring Valor #13 from October 25-27 at The National WWII Museum in New Orleans. Heroes from the Second World War experienced combat in the European and Pacific Theaters of War including pivotal battles and engagements at Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Omaha Beach, and in the skies over Germany.
As participants and contributors to a defining period in twentieth-century U.S and world history who helped pave the way for our nation’s freedom and security, we honor all those who selflessly served in uniform on behalf of every American.
Nothing offers an opportunity to bond and give thanks quite like breaking bread together. We’re showing gratitude to our defenders by serving them hearty, classic American meals nationwide and at military outposts in Germany and Korea. More
highlight: naval base ventura county
225 Servicemen and women at Naval Base Ventura County, Point Mugu, Port Hueneme, were served a hot meal and honored for their dedicated, selfless service in defense of our nation.
The Gary Sinise Foundation has been privileged to serve our nation’s uniformed men and women based at home and abroad more than 197,000 hot meals as part of Serving Heroes. At U.S. military bases in Germany and Korea, we’ve been able to bring more than just a slice of Americana to our service members. On the Korean Peninsula, we’ve been active at Camp Casey since 2015, USAG Daegu since 2018, and more recently Camp Humphreys
Anyone who has served our nation is welcome to join us for a “Vets Night” dinner and dress rehearsal performance free of charge at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago. We’re expanding this program to more venues and locations across the nation. More
highlight: Vets night
Inspired by his experience directing the production of Tracers in 1984 at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theater, Gary Sinise made it imperative that our veterans be able to enjoy an evening at the theater free of charge. “Vets Night” was born as a result.
More than 500 veterans took part in Vets Night held at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., Steppenwolf Theater, and Forest Guild Theater in Carmel, California.
Productions showcased in 2018 included the Pulitzer Prize winning drama, Our Town, the dark comedy You Got Older, the comedy The Roommate, and the acclaimed show La Ruta.
Our Ambassadors represent the Gary Sinise Foundation in speaking engagements, public appearances, and leadership opportunities. Each member is individually selected by our founder for their exceptional character and patriotism. More
Meet our newest Ambassadors:
Opened in 2017, our Center for Education & Outreach is bringing civilians and defenders together. Through speaking series, workshops, and summits, our hosted events focus on character building exercises and educating communities about the importance of service over self. More More
highlight: California Firefighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee
In August 2018 the center hosted a seminar in conjunction with the California Firefighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee (Cal-JAC) who were represented by seasoned firefighters who also served in the military to speak on transitioning from protecting our country to protecting our communities. Military veterans aspiring to become firefighters were invited to learn from and interact with, representatives from Cal-JAC.
Transitioning to a profession as a firefighter or other first responder offers camaraderie among peers and the opportunity to defend those in need. Deputy Chief of the Pasadena Fire Department Bryan Frieders noted these similarities while speaking at the seminar, “we’re very regimented, we’re very goal-oriented. We have a mission and we’re going to accomplish that mission. I think the most important characteristic is that serving attitude. We are here to serve people.”
Our firefighters, police, and EMTs are indispensable to the safety of our communities. We provide funds for equipment and training to ensure these heroes can perform to the best of their abilities. More
highlight: Sixes River Fire Department
In March 2018, volunteer first responders with the Sixes River Fire Department in Sixes River, Oregon, were presented with a grant in the amount of $56,450 for the purchase of 25 sets of turnout gear. The Gary Sinise Foundation was able to supply all new tires for Henderson City/County Volunteer Rescue Squad vehicles.
We are supported by more than 60,000 donors and cherish the trust of each one. Above all, we are committed to fiscal responsibility, efficiency, and low overhead in all we do.
For 2018, we are proud to report that 89.86% of every dollar contributed was applied directly to support our nation’s defenders and their loved ones.
statement of financial position
(december 31, 2018)
- Investments - Endowment Funds Grant$11,193,846
- Property & Equipment, Net$1,678,863
- Other Assets$1,021,254
- Total Assets$46,688,519
- Liabilities & Net Assets
- Net Assets$43,292,770
- Total Liabilities & Net Assets$46,688,519
statement of activities
(FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2018)
- Public Support & Revenue
- Public Support$37,064,039
- Total Public Support & Revenue$37,006,962
- Program Services$27,003,488
- General & Administrative$1,915,915
- Total Expenses$30,049,732
- Net Public Support & Revenue Over Expenses$6,957,230
Board of Directors
Gary Sinise (Chairman)
General Vincent K. Brooks, U.S. Army (ret.)
John D. Heubusch
Pastor (Pat) Velasco
Steven B. Hantler
Major General, U.S. Army (ret.)
Clayton M. Hutmacher
Lt. Gen. Rick, U.S. Army (ret.) & Sarah Lynch
David J. McIntyre, Jr.
Anthony J. Saliba