LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — Americans are giving more to charities that help military families after the reported killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. special forces.
Actor Gary Sinise, perhaps best known for his role as war veteran Lieutenant Dan in the film “Forrest Gump”, has consistently been one of the biggest supporters of those charities.
Sinise told KNX 1070′s Dick Helton that the al-Qaida leader’s death has brought renewed focus on the needs of military families.
“We’ve got these warriors out there deployed constantly — some of them multiple times — and that puts a lot of stress on them,” Sinise said.
“There are some serious bad guys out there that are determined, like Osama bin Laden and his crowd, to do some serious damage to us,” he added, “and these people are out there sacrificing day in and day out to try and prevent that from happening.”
The “CSI: New York” star said his celebrity has afforded him opportunities to give back to those servicemen and women who have given so much to their nation.
“I’ve been able to do incredible things and meet extraordinary people out there because I happen to be on a television show or happen to be in some movies,” Sinise said.
The Virginia Beach, Va.-based Navy SEAL Foundation says donations surged about 60 percent week-over week after news that bin Laden was killed in Pakistan by a SEAL team.
Director of Development David Guernsey said Tuesday the foundation — which provides funeral assistance, morale services and scholarships for the children of SEALs — received $6,000 in donations last Monday alone.
Sinise said he’s currently focused on building homes for severely wounded soldiers, including one Marine corporal who lost both his arms and both his legs in Afghanistan.
“We’re going to build him a special house,” Sinise said.
Anyone interested in donating to the charity can visit the Tunnel To Towers Foundation website.