Letters from Hollywood – Gary Sinise

One of America’s finest actors, Gary Sinise was nominated for an Oscar for FORREST GUMP.  His other films include APOLLO 13, GEORGE WALLACE and OF MICE AND MEN.  He currently stars on CSI NY and is a tireless supporter of our Troops.

To all who serve our great country,

As the current conflict rages on, and you continue to answer our nation’s call, I want you to know how very grateful I am for all you do.  This is our country, and throughout our history the freedom that we all share as Americans has been earned, and paid for, and sacrificed for by a courageous few.  You are the defenders of freedom throughout the world. The majority of us sleep soundly in the comfort of our homes at night, while a very, very small percentage stand watch around the globe, making sure that all Americans can continue to enjoy the liberty and freedom we have grown so accustomed to.  Whether you are on the front pages of our newspapers or not, you still continue to do difficult and dangerous work in dangerous environments and you do so voluntarily.

As I have traveled to visit our troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, The United Kingdom, Europe, Asia, Guantanamo Bay, and all around the US, over and over again I have been awed by the men and women serving our country.  And while we can never do enough for our veterans and active duty service members, we can always try to do a little bit more to show our gratitude.  It is you, after all, who make it possible for us to go about our daily lives in peace and security here at home.  From our Vietnam days of turning our backs on our veterans, we learned that no matter whether we as a nation believe in the mission the government has set upon our military or not, our country’s service members are to be supported and cared for and thanked for all they do to serve our country.  And we, as citizens of the country you defend, can pick up the slack where the government leaves off.  We can serve those who serve for us.  And, there are many who are trying their best to give back to you.  I have lent a hand to dozens of grassroots organizations started by people who just simply want to help our troops and want to make sure you know that you are appreciated.  One such organization is Operation International Children.  www.operationinternationalchildren.org It is a program that I started with author Laura Hillenbrand after my second trip to Iraq back in November of 2003 in order to support the troops from home by sending school supplies and other items for them to pass out to the children.  We now also ship to our troops in Afghanistan, the Philippines and Djibouti, our mission being to Help Soldiers Help Children.

For many years, I have also had the amazing opportunity to support and entertain our troops overseas and here in the states with my band, The LT Dan Band.  In 2003 I began what has been a remarkable and rewarding association with the United Service Organization, the USO, in service to our active duty service members.  It’s a way to say Thank You and to help keep spirits high.  To serve those who serve us, and to give back something to our military families, has been among the most rewarding and fulfilling things that I have done in my life.

It just simply feels that we, as Americans, are all in this together.  This is our country.  Someone has to do the difficult and dangerous work of fighting for it.  Like many, I was hit with a dose of reality when I watched those planes crash into those buildings, piloted by fanatics armed only with box cutters.  God help us if this fanatical enemy were to ever get hold of more dangerous weapons.

And it is you, our war fighters, who are doing all you can to make sure it does not happen again. We are so fortunate to have people whose calling it is to dedicate themselves to military service.  Imagine a war, when only the other side showed up.  What would we, as a nation, do without men and women willing to stand on the fronts lines and defend our freedom and our way of life? Would we even have that way of life?  Or would we have someone else’s, imposed upon us?  So, thank you, to all of you who give so much. We all are in your debt.

President Calvin Coolidge said, “A nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten.”  I hope these “Letters from Hollywood” will help to let you know that your nation has not forgotten.

God bless you all, for all you do to keep this country, and all its citizens, free.

Your very grateful American friend,

Gary Sinise

Letters from Hollywood – Ted Nugent

Legendary Rocker Ted Nugent’s classic albums include “CAT SCRATCH FEVER,” “SPIRIT OF THE WILD” and of course “TED NUGENT”.  Now a bestselling author as well, his latest book “TED, WHITE AND BLUE” is out in paperback.

Dear Troops:

As Americans living the uniquely wonderful American Dream to its fullest, the Nugent family wishes to xpress our deepest appreciation to the Warriors of Freedom, the heroes of the U.S. Military, for being the greatest soldiers in the history of the world. Your courageous sacrifices to dog the evil voodoo monsters over there, so we don’t have to fight them over here, is the grandest display of good over evil any person could hope for.

We who understand the price of liberty salute you all, and wish you Godspeed, victory and a safe return to your families and your own American Dream.   God bless you all.

Thank you American Blood Brothers,

Ted Nugent and family

Letters from Hollywood – Kenny Albert

Kenny Albert does play-by-play for FOX Sports broadcasts of the National Football League and Major League Baseball.  On the MSG Network he does television for the New York Knicks and radio for the New York Rangers.

To all of the men and women serving our country:

Thank you so much for everything that you do.   I hope you all realize how much your fellow Americans appreciate all of the sacrifices that you make, and the time you spend away from your family and friends.  My best wishes to you during the upcoming holiday season.

Letters from Hollywood – David James Elliott

David James Elliot played Cmdr. Harmon Rabb Jr. on JAG for 10 seasons. His other credits include THE UNTOUCHABLES and SCOUNDRELS.

To our Troops:

Growing up, the image I had of what it meant to be a man was gleaned from stories my grandfather  would tell me about his time in the service during World War II. He was an artillery sergeant in  the tank corps and fought in North Africa, Sicily, and Italy. T. E. Fielding was an Englishman, and  when England was attacked he immediately joined the army. He finished his service a highly  decorated veteran who fought overseas from 1939 thru 46. He always told us, “He is great who stands  for his country and defends its rights and freedoms.” T.E. Fielding was the greatest man I’ve ever  known!

Myself, my wife Nanci and our children, Stephanie and Wyatt, want to thank you, the men and women  of of armed forces for your courage, your sacrifice, and your dedication to America. You make us  great, you make us proud. May God speed your mission and bring you home safe!

David James Elliott

Letters from Hollywood – Max Martini

Max Martini’s films include SAVING PRIVATE RYAN and THE GREAT RAID.  He starred for four years on THE UNIT as Mack Gerhardt.


I, not too long ago, went to visit my Grandmother in Texas.  She is 94 years old.  I showed up to her house early on this particular day assuming that we would sit and talk before she would have to lay down. Much to my surprise, she asked if I would be interested in looking through a box of my grandfather’s belongings from WWII. While I was laying out photographs of him together with his naval buddies she explained to me how upset she was that he enlisted so soon after they had gotten married. I, knowingly, asked why he did it. She said that he felt an obligation to his country. That the honor of serving his country was something bigger than he could imagine – that he couldn’t allow it to pass him by. I read letters thanking and acknowledging him for his bravery and leadership during his service. I read detailed accounts of combat and how he had gone above and beyond the call of duty. But what I read that had the most impact on me was not a congratulatory note from his higher-ups…it was what was written on my Grandmother’s face. The love and respect she had for my Grandfather, who had bravely risked his life for his fellow Americans…for her.

I wake every day to a free country. I wake knowing that I am safe when I walk out of my home. I wake to my children’s smiling faces. And with all my heart – I humbly thank you.

Max Martini

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