LANCASTER (CBSLA.com) — Actor Gary Sinise was so inspired by a group of Lancaster students after they raised more than $180,000 to help a wounded veteran that he’s throwing a concert to support the effort.
Army specialist Jerral Hancock, who was paralyzed serving in Iraq and gets by in a motorized wheelchair, finds it difficult to move around in his mobile home.
Several Lancaster High School students were moved by Hancock’s story and resolved to raise the funds to help him buy a new house.
“He’s so deserving of everything. He deserves this house more than anybody,” senior Kaelynn Edwards said.
Since May 2013, they’ve raised $182,000 in an operation they’re calling “All The Way Home.”
“It blows me away how they hit the ground running…they haven’t stopped,” SPC Jerral Hancock said.
On Thursday, Sinise joined the students and Hancock via Skype to commend them for what they’ve done. The actor, who famously played the role of “Lt. Dan” in the 1994 film “Forrest Gump,” has become an active supporter of the veteran community through the Gary Sinise Foundation. He even formed a music group, Gary Sinise & the Lt. Dan Band, whose concerts raise money for wounded veterans.
The actor was so moved by the students’ efforts that he’s getting involved. The Lt. Dan Band will hold a concert May 10 at JetHawks Stadium in Lancaster with all proceeds going towards reaching a $500,000 fundraising goal. The students have taken an oath that they’ll work to find sponsors for the concert and sell 3,500 tickets by May.
“Jerral, you’ve inspired all of us with your service and your family, and you deserve to come all the way home. God bless you,” Sinise told Hancock.