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Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation honors actor Gary Sinise

Gary Sinise at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., April 29, 2016. (Master Sgt. Jeff Walston/U.S. Air Force)

Gary Sinise, who is best known for his portrayal of Lt. Dan Taylor in “Forrest Gump,” is joining a prestigious list in his home state.

Springfield’s Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation recently announced Sinise as this year’s winner of its annual Lincoln Leadership Prize. During a virtual ceremony in April, the award-winning actor and philanthropist will be recognized for his commitment to helping support veterans, active-duty military, first responders, and their families.

“President Lincoln cared deeply about the troops, and there are few people today who care more — and do more — for our men and women in uniform and their families than Gary Sinise,” said Sergio “Satch” Pecori, chairman of the ALPLF Board of Directors. “While we, of course, can’t speak for President Lincoln, we believe he would be most supportive of this choice.”

Established in 2006, the Lincoln Leadership Prize honors individuals for a lifetime of service in the spirit of Abraham Lincoln. Previous winners of the award include former United State Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, and filmmaker Steven Spielberg.

“I am deeply grateful to be honored among the distinguished individuals who have received the Lincoln Leadership Prize,” said Sinise, who was born in Blue Island, Illinois. “I support the important work that the Foundation, Library, and Museum are doing, and am pleased to play a small role in helping to raise awareness of their shared mission.”

For more than a decade, the Gary Sinise Foundation has provided those who serve our country with support in the form of adaptable housing for wounded veterans, access to innovative mental health treatments, and by rallying around families who have lost loved ones.

“The lessons and leadership example of President Lincoln have never been more important to our country, and our responsibility is to do all we can to ensure those lessons are understood and shared,” said ALPLF President and CEO Erin Carlson Mast. “This year, for the first time, we are holding our signature fundraising event virtually. I hope all who recognize President Lincoln’s and appreciate Mr. Sinise’s contributions to our country will join us.”

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