Watch Tom Hanks, Kristen Chenoweth and More Join Veterans in Thanking ‘Lt. Dan’ Gary Sinise
See why Tom Hanks, Kristen Chenoweth and many more are giving thanks to Gary Sinise in sweet video
Actor Gary Sinise is receiving an all-star salute of the most flattering order.
In honor of the Forrest Gump and CSI: NY alum’s decades of service to military veterans, first responders and their families — and to celebrate the Feb. 12 release of Sinise’s new book Grateful American — tons of Sinise’s friends, fellow actors and many of the veterans who’ve benefitted from Sinise’s service work over the years participated in a special surprise video tribute for him.
The actor was “in complete shock” over the heartfelt surprise, which is evident in his emotional reaction video above.
“Your commitment, your dedication, you are awesome,” said his Apollo 13 director Ron Howard.
“Thank you for all the things you have done for our men and women who have served our nation,” added Gen. Colin Powell. “Not only what you’ve done for them but for their children, what you’ve done for their families, what you’ve done to help them rebuild their lives.”
The video also includes kind words and gratitude from war veterans, first responders from all over the country and families of military veterans, including recipients of a brand new homes via the Foundation’s RISE program.
“As you can see we’re in front of this beautiful house right now,” said one veteran, who’s shown standing in front of said home. “We wouldn’t have had it were it not for your kindness, graciousness and your wonderful gift of giving.”
The video ends with an appearance by, and very fitting words from Sinise’s Forrest Gump costar Tom Hanks.
“Thanks, Lieutenant. Dan!” he says with a smile.
For much more on Gary Sinise and what inspired his decades of service work, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE on newsstands Friday.
The idea for the heartfelt surprise came from Four Star General (RET) Robin Rand, CEO of the Gary Sinise Foundation, to celebrate/give thanks for the actor’s four decade-long commitment to active duty service men and women, veterans, first responders, their families, caregivers, and those in need. Rand rallied everyone featured in the video to help surprise Sinise, and also use the opportunity to spread goodwill and inspire others to give back to their communities via a social media campaign, #GratefulLikeGary.
The full list of #GratefulForGary video participants includes: Four Star General (RET) Robin Rand (CEO of The Gary Sinise Foundation), General Colin Powell, Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro, Ron Howard, Robin Roberts, Steve Buscemi, Jay Leno, Judd Apatow, Maria Shriver, Mayim Bialik, Rob Lowe, Tim Allen, Kristin Chenoweth, Joe Mantegna, Sela Ward, Aaron Eckhart Richard Rawlings, Patricia Heaton, Jeff Perry, Iliza Shlesinger, Kellie Pickler, Donal Logue, Medal of Honor Recipient Drew Dix, along with many of the people who’ve benefitted from Sinise’s work: service men and women, first responders, Gold Star families, Gary Sinise Foundation RISE Home Recipients, WWII vets/Gary Sinise Foundation Soaring Valor Participants.
The Gary Sinise Foundation encourages anyone who wants to participate in the moment of gratitude to share the video on social media along with a comment or video expressing why they are #GratefulLikeGary for the kindness and dedication of someone in their life.