Theodore's World: Actor Discusses Support for Troops & Iraqi Children

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January 23, 2006

Actor Discusses Support for Troops & Iraqi Children

Actor Gary Sinise

Many American troops have taken it upon themselves to reconstruct schools and gather learning tools for the children of Iraq.

Their efforts have been met with immense gratitude from the local Iraqis and their children.

Actor Discusses Support for Troops, Iraqi Children
By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 22, 2006 – When not appearing on the CBS show "CSI: New York" as Detective Mac Taylor, actor Gary Sinise devotes much of his time to raising support for U. S. troops. Sinise, who is planning his third trip to Iraq with the United Service Organizations, appeared on ABC's "This Week" today to talk about his new venture to help the children who have felt the effects of the war in Iraq.

On his last trip to Iraq, Sinise accompanied a U. S. military unit that remodeled an Iraqi school. He watched the troops transform what had been a cinder-block, dirt-floor structure into a building with concrete floors, windows and fans, he said.

"It was not much, but to these kids and those Iraqis who had been living there with this school, it seemed like a brand new place," he said.

Sinise said seeing the school being remodeled and witnessing the gratitude of the Iraqi children at the school and when he rode with troops on convoys motivated him to come home and found the program, Operation Iraqi Children.

Operation Iraqi Children provides a way for Americans to send school supply kits to Iraqi children. Sinise and author Laura Hillenbrand founded the program in March 2004.

"It's a way for you to support the children by sending pencils, beanie babies or soccer balls," Sinise said. "That all started because of one of those convoys I was on. "

Sinise said his experience playing Lt. Dan, an injured Vietnam veteran, in the movie, "Forrest Gump," helped him identify with the troops he met with in Iraq.

Servicemembers today have much more support than during the Vietnam War, he said, noting that it's important to maintain that support because military service is a sacrifice that should not be taken lightly.

"It's an honorable thing to serve your country," he said. "We need those volunteers; we need those defenders. "

Operation Iraqi Children is a partner in the Defense Department's America Supports You program that showcases America's support for the men and women of the armed forces and the myriad ways the country is expressing that support.

Lt. Col. Nicholas Zoeller, commander of 13th Corps Support Command Civil Affairs, poses with an Iraqi girl. (US Army photo by Spc. Blanka Stratford)


Maj. Tracy Fong, officer for the 13th Corps Support Command Civil Affairs, plays with an Iraqi boy. (US Army photo by Spc. Blanka Stratford)

Posted by Wild Thing at January 23, 2006 12:07 AM


A fine example of what is really hapening in Iraq. There are so many more great projects that we don't hear about in the MSM. Thanks to bloggers we do.

Mr. Sinise is one of the few actors doing something positive for the Iraqi people and our troops.

Thanks Wild Thing!

Posted by: RightToCarry at January 23, 2006 05:33 AM

Hi RightToCarry I agree and shame on the media for not putting this kind of thing in the news and all the other positive things happening.

Thanks for your comment.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 23, 2006 09:21 AM

Thanks WT, great photos that should be on the front page of any news media outlet along with the bad stuff. Actor Gary Sinise is bucking the mainstream mentality of the Hollywood set by supporting the military and the Iraq war, risking his career future for a good cause. I hope he doesn't get black balled in the industry for supporting American ideals.

Posted by: Jack at January 23, 2006 12:13 PM

Hi Jack I agree if only the media would show all the good things happening what a difference it would make in so many ways. ( wishful thinking)

Gary Sinise is a really nice man, I have met him and he was a real gentlemen. He has been going to Iraq and other places to support the troops with his singing group. I agree with you about that too,about how Hollywood could black ball him.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 23, 2006 12:42 PM

It's impossible for left-leaning journalists, or any other leftist, to report on this sort of thing because of the quirks, intellectual corruption, emotional dysfunction and idiosyncracies of the type.

Leftist thinking is a squirming mass of prejudices, superstitions, paranoid fantasies and base urges, all swirling around visions of "people" rather than individuals.

They confine human interest stories to any category that can include victimization, injustice, or brutality because it's all they see. Human goodness on a small scale is pointless to them. They have this in common with all the totalitarian/fascist/statist movements down through history.

Posted by: Rhod at January 23, 2006 03:53 PM

Rhod you're right every word you wrote!!!!!
Thank you so much for your comment.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 23, 2006 04:16 PM

Thank you, Wild Thing.

It's impossible to overestimate the danger these people pose for The West. While we have real and violent Islamist enemies gathering abroad, there's something alien and vicious growing right here at home.

Leftists, in their smugness and personal manias, are utterly indifferent to the facts of the objective world. I see this time and again around me here in the Northeast. The soft and melancholy faces of these Iraqi children would mean nothing to them.

The hippies of my generation were dense and politically stupid, but they possessed a sort of decency and warmth that is completely lacking in their kids. They raised monsters. I know this isn't what your thread is about, and I apologize for taking it in this direction.

Posted by: Rhod at January 23, 2006 05:29 PM

Rhod, what you say is the truth and that is what this blog is abou. I love your comments and posts. I want you to always feel you can come here and rant away or cheer for things. This is a little home online for all who enter.
Just pull up a cozy chair and say what is in your heart.

Sometimes a conversation begins with one thing and continues on into other things, that is great too. It means there is a natural flow and I like that.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 23, 2006 06:10 PM