Publishers Weekly Review
Actor and debut author Sinise offers a heartfelt autobiography that doubles as a love letter to the U.S. military. Raised in Chicago's suburbs, Sinise describes a somewhat aimless adolescence until an astute drama teacher encouraged him to try out for his high school's production of West Side Story. That advice changed his life; he went on to pursue acting professionally and in 1974 cofounded the eminent Steppenwolf Theater Company. Hearing about his brothersinlaw's Vietnam War tours of duty, and acting in 1991 in a play, Tracers, about Vietnam vets, first made Sinise feel the American military was not sufficiently appreciated. In 1994, he took the lifechanging role of Lieutenant Dan in the hugely successful film Forrest Gump. Finding himself newly and widely identified with veterans by the public, he has since devoted himself to a life of service, through USO tours; benefit concerts by his cover band, the Lt. Dan Band; and the Gary Sinise Foundation, which, among other services, builds "smart homes" for disabled veterans. Sinise continually emphasizes his humility, next to actual military personnel, as someone famous "merely for playing a part in a movie," yet his selfeffacing words belie the evident depth of his commitment to helping them, which marks this winningly earnest and unabashedly patriotic story. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Booklist Review
When Sinise first took on the role of Lieutenant Dan Taylor in Forrest Gump (1994), he had some idea that it would be meaningful to wounded veterans. But it wasn't until he was honored with an award from the Disabled American Veterans organization that he realized how important his portrayal was. Like so many Americans, actor and director Sinise felt called to action after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. From his first USO tour, during which, as he reports in this touching and inspiring memoir, he was nervous about his role in supporting the troops, to running a large charitable foundation, Sinise has devoted himself to making sure wounded veterans and their families get the support they deserve. As compelling on the page as he is on stage and screen, Sinise shares moving details about the many veterans in his family and recounts his efforts as an actor getting the now renowned Steppenwolf Theatre Company off the ground in Chicago and rising to distinction in Hollywood. This humble and affecting chronicle of one artist's selfless commitment to America's defenders and first responders and to our ideals is a welcome antidote to a cynical and divided time.--James Pekoll Copyright 2019 Booklist