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Gary Sinise raises $1.3M for service members after donating his custom jeep

Gary Sinise explains why he started the Gary Sinise Foundation during a meeting with military and local media at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., April 29, 2016. (Master Sgt. Jeff Walston/U.S. Air Force)
January 22, 2019

Actor Gary Sinise raised more than $1.3 million by auctioning off his custom 1981 Jeep CJ7 on Friday for money to support first responders and military members.

The jeep was customized by Richard Rawling’s Gas Monkey Garage and donned in a red, white, and blue patriotic theme featuring the Gary Sinise Foundation logos, Fox News reported. It was auctioned off by Barrett-Jackson auctions.

The jeep first sold for $200,000, and project partner Sunbelt Rentals threw in an extra million in donations. The buyer ran the jeep through the auction a second time, raising an additional $100,000.

The jeep was completely refurbished and revised with a 4-inch lift kit, according to Gas Monkey Garage. It has a completely rebuilt original 258cu.-in. 4.2-liter engine with a BorgWarner T150 3-speed transmission.

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Sinise took the buyer to a private dinner and a tour of his Gary Sinise Foundation — the nonprofit he created after his visits to wounded warriors in various hospitals during 2011.

About the many who participated in the auction, Sinise said, “My first car auction, it’s going to be hard to top that. There were a lot of veterans out there in the audience, so I got to acknowledge them and say thank you.”

He added, “When our veterans came home from the Vietnam War, they were not treated well and had to disappear into the shadows. When we started deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan, I wanted to do my part to make sure the men and women doing their part were appreciated.”

Gas Monkey Garage said they were ecstatic to build and customize the jeep with Gary Sinise, adding that they “plan to feature the foundation and Sunbelt Rentals for a future episode of Fast ‘N Loud.”

They said, “While building cars is our passion, this build allowed us the pleasure of aiding Gary Sinise in his passion for helping our defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need.”

Ever since Sinise’s role as Lieutenant Dan in Forrest Gump, he has been dedicated to supporting, honoring, and entertaining those who serve the country.

His new upcoming book “Grateful American,” shares his story of how he dedicated his life to serving active-duty military and veterans. It will be available Feb. 12.

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A record 9.6 million was raised for charity from 13 donated cars at the recent auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., according to Barrett-Jackson.