According to Primetime Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actor Gary Sinise, known for playing titular Lt. Dan in “Forrest Gump,” the skills acquired by veterans in the military can be invaluable to businesses in the civilian world. Sinise joined Yahoo Finance Live to discuss initiatives supporting veterans in mental health, employment and entrepreneurship.
“Military skills revamped and retrained in the civilian sector can be very, very beneficial to any business,” Sinise said. “And we are trying to provide services to the Gary Sinise Foundation, or at least point people in the right direction.
President Joe Biden recently met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and President of the Afghan High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah in Washington on Friday, June 25, where he called on the Afghans to decide the future of their country amid Taliban advances as the last American troops withdraw after decades of war.
Sinise commented on the difficulties many ex-combatants face in reintegrating into civilian life after returning from overseas.
“[Transitioning out of the military] is always a tough challenge, especially if you’ve been in the military for a long time, ”Sinise said. “So these are people from all over the country, from various small towns, large towns across the country. And they may be looking for a job. They may have mental wellness issues that they have to deal with, that they have to deal with. “
Sinise pointed out Bob evans‘s From heroes to CEOs program, part of its Our Farm Salutes initiative, as being an effective support for seasoned entrepreneurs. The Heroes to CEOs program supports various causes started by veterans across the United States by providing grants to businesses totaling $ 100,000. Our Farm Salutes aims to support service members, veterans and their families through volunteerism, strategic partnerships, grant opportunities, outreach and donation.
The Gary Sinise Foundation has worked closely with Bob Evans for the past five years to provide services and advice to veterans making the transition to civilian life, according to Sinise. The foundation provides mental health services through its Avalon Network, a cognitive health and mental wellness network specializing in providing care to veterans and first responders suffering from post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury and addiction. He believes that nonprofit organizations and other corporate-run veterans initiatives provide important resources for ex-military personnel.
“We are teaming up with some very good companies and business leaders to try to do more for the men and women who serve our country,” added Sinise.
As for how Sinise got involved in the cause of supporting veterans, he said the journey began long before he portrayed a Vietnam veteran on the big screen.
“My own family’s veterans, that’s where it starts,” Sinise said. “I got involved in supporting Vietnam vets in the 1980s, before playing a Vietnam vet in ‘Forrest Gump’ when I got involved in supporting our wounded. And then September 11 happened.
Thomas Hum is a writer at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter: @thomashumTV
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