Patricia Heaton's call for Gary Sinise to be Time's Person of the Year is applauded: 'He is a great American'

·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment


Can Lieutenant Dan get some love?

That’s what actress Patricia Heaton wants to know. The actress known for her roles in The Middle and Everybody Loves Raymond tagged both Time magazine and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the group that hands out the Oscars, in a plea that they honor the actor who played Lieutenant Dan in the 1994 movie Forrest Gump.

Gary Sinise, middle, poses with members of the United States military at his star ceremony on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 17, 2017, in Hollywood. (Photo: Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
Gary Sinise, middle, poses with members of the United States military at his star ceremony on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 17, 2017, in Hollywood. (Photo: Michael Tran/FilmMagic)

Since portraying a veteran who loses his legs in the Vietnam War in the Tom Hanks blockbuster, Sinise has formed the Lt. Dan Band, which plays for troops at home and abroad, and, in 2011, founded the Gary Sinise Foundation to serve and honor vets, first responders and their families by providing them with meals, homes and other services.

Heaton specifically asked Time to consider Sinise for its Person of the Year honor, which in recent years has gone to people such as President Trump, Pope Francis and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. For 2018, editors selected “The Guardians,” a collective of journalists who faced jail, death or other harsh consequences for their pursuit of the truth.

She also called for the academy to consider Sinise as a recipient of its Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, given to individuals in the movie industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the business. In the past, Oprah Winfrey, Angelina Jolie and Paul Newman were among those who took home the honor, which is handed out before the broadcast at the Governors Awards.

Actor James Woods was a big fan of Heaton’s suggestion. So were more than 26,000 people who retweeted it, although they were skeptical that Sinise would be recognized by the same organization that hands out the Oscars. Some of the comments:

“He also does great work for the WW II Museum in New Orleans. He is a great American!”

“It’s hard for me to imagine that anything good out of the Hollywood scene would be highlighted at any of the self-gratifying award shows unless you’re part of a certain fold. In this instance, kudos to Mr. Sinise and let’s hope Hollywood recognizes your compassionate triumphs.”

“Gary is the kind of person that doesn’t crave recognition or praise. He does it because he’s a man of service. I highly admire him for it.”

“Can I retweet this a million times? Right on, Patricia. Unfortunately, I don’t think patriots like Gary are in the Oscar wheelhouse.”

“Agree 1000%! As a retired military member, ‘Lt. Dan’ has done so much for us, our families & our future. His countless hours of selfless devotion to the USO as well. I hope our paths will cross one day so I can shake his hand & say thank you.”

Though Sinise is yet to win an Oscar for his good works — he was nominated for one for his Forrest Gump role in 1995 — he has earned a long list of honors. He received the Spirit of Hope award from the Department of Defense and was honored by the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation in March, among his many accolades.

Not surprisingly, Sinise spent his week supporting military families.

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