Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif. --
Gary Sinise’s “Lt. Dan Band” performed at the Combat Center’s Sunset Cinema March 8 to a theater filled to capacity by service members and their families.
Fans began lining up for the free show more than an hour before the band was scheduled to begin. Their early arrival ensured them a seat in the soon-to-be filled theater.
This was the band’s seventh performance at the Combat Center in the past eight years.
The band was scheduled to perform in April of 2012 but were not able to make the show due to a car accident that the lead singer and frontman was in.
“We were glad we could come back this year,” Sinise continued. “Can’t forget our Marines, right?”
The Lt. Dan Band has been performing for service members since 2003, when they teamed up with the USO. They perform 30 to 40 shows a year for service members, 75 percent of them overseas.
The band played a variety of songs throughout their performance and had the audience up and screaming “Lt. Dan!” the whole night. Kids in the audience were invited on stage and Sinise was more than happy to reach down and shake hands with members of the audience.
Between sets, Sinise made sure the audience knew the reason for their performance that night.
“So many heroes in this audience that we can’t forget, so many families that are struggling, so many deployments and things that we’ve asked of our Marines,” Sinise said, addressing the crowd. “We’re here for you, to play for you and give you a good time tonight.”
Performing in front of service members is only one of the ways Sinise gives back.
“Gary has been a very dedicated supporter of the military,” said Col. Hal J. Sellers, assistant chief of staff, Marine Corps Community Services. “In 2010, Gary founded the Gary Sinise Foundation. That foundation is dedicated to serving the nation by honoring our defenders, veterans, first responders and their families.”
Sinise and his humanitarian and philanthropic work have earned him numerous awards nationally, including the president’s Citizen Medal, the nation’s second highest civilian award.
At the end of the concert, the Combat Center added to Sinise’s wall of awards with a token of appreciation, a framed picture of an M1A1 Abrams tank presented by Sellers.
The Lt. Dan Band is scheduled to go on to perform at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Az., followed by Japan later this year.