The Gary Sinise Foundation, which serves “our nation by honoring our defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need,” announced on Tuesday that it is moving its headquarters from Los Angeles, Calif., to Franklin, Tenn.
“It will be very, very good to be in a state that’s connected to seven other states, all of them with military bases and many, many veterans and all those communities around Tennessee,” actor Gary Sinise said in a statement. “Having our foundation more centrally located in the country will be a very, very positive thing for the work that we do.”
The foundation has been located in Los Angeles since it was established in 2011, and while it is moving to Tennessee, the organization will maintain existing chapters in San Diego and Orlando.
Sinise said he is moving his family to Tennessee, as well.
“I’ve been in California for 35 years and was thinking of next steps that might be exciting for the family. We have little grandchildren,” Sinise said. “I had a lot of friends there (in Tennessee). It’s a great entertainment industry there. They’re very, very supportive of veterans and would be a good place for the foundation and the family.”
The Gary Sinise Foundation said the move “provides a practical benefit” for the organization, noting that census data shows as many as 430,000 veterans currently live in Tennessee. Surrounding states are also home to multiple large military bases, like Fort Campbell in Tennessee and Kentucky, Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Benning in Georgia.
“I’ve been traveling across the country multiple times a year for decades now,” said Gary. “Our move to the Nashville area is going to be a great benefit, not only to the family but to the foundation.”
Sinise encouraged Americans to support veterans in any way they can.
“There are men and women who have served or are currently serving our country everywhere, in every state, and if every citizen just made it a priority or took some responsibility just to let those folks know that what they do is appreciated — and you can do that in different ways by just buying them a meal, or patting them on the back or saying thank you, or donating to an organization that provides all kinds of different programming.”
In December, the foundation connected 750 families – including 1,800 children – of fallen United States troops with celebrities during its second virtual Snowball Express event.