Gary started the Gary Sinise Foundation in 2011 with the goal of helping the children of fallen US soldiers. One of the programs supported by the foundation is ‘The Snowball Express,’ which each year with the help of American Airlines hosts a five-day experience for more than 1,000 children.
His website explains that the holidays can be especially challenging for grieving families, and no matter where these families are in the grieving process, they hope to inspire them to believe that anything is possible. Their wonderful trips for the children help to provide relief as a therapeutic retreat, during which the families can talk with and lean on each other for support.
When asked why he started the foundation, Gary said: "My personal mission is what led to the founding of the Gary Sinise Foundation in 2011, and with the help of supporters like you, we will continue to expand this mission in support of our nation’s defenders, veterans, first responders and their loved ones, while upholding the importance of keeping our country strong by taking care of those who serve."
"While our programs and projects have certainly made a difference in many lives, there’s much more work to be done."
Gary's mission is centered around the belief that freedom is something which we should never take for granted. He mentions that, "While we can never do enough to show gratitude to our nation's defenders, we can always do a little more."
As the children boarded their flight to Disney, Jen Tringale witnessed a touching sight:
"I walked out into the concourse to this scene at American Airlines was flying a plane full of children who had lost a parent in combat to Disney World on an all expenses paid trip and they threw a party for them at the gate," Jen explained.