JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Naval Air Station Jacksonville hosted the Lt. Dan Band for a free concert Saturday evening.
The band is named after Gary Sinise’s character Lt. Dan Taylor in the movie “Forrest Gump.”
Sinise and Kimo Williams founded the band in 2004 to entertain military troops around the world through USO tours and raise money for veterans who are disabled.
Sinise told News4JAX that performing is personal for him.
“Years ago, I ended up befriending and meeting various Vietnam veterans in the Chicago area. And then my wife’s family, she’s got brothers who served in Vietnam. I just started becoming aware of what it was like for them to go off to war and then come home to a divided nation and to feel shoved aside,” he said. “Our Vietnam veterans, they just didn’t get the support they needed when they came home from war, and I felt very badly about that, so I started supporting them. And then I played the Vietnam veteran in ‘Forrest Gump’ and that started me working with our wounded. And then Sept. 11 happened, and I felt like I was teed up to do something more meaningful and more active, so I raised my hand for the USO.”
Saturday’s concert at Dewey’s parking lot was open to those with base access. The opening act began at 6 p.m.