When actor Gary Sinise visits Augusta today, it will be at the behest of a wounded soldier whose near-loss of his arms brings to mind the actor's most famous movie role.
Sinise, who is perhaps best-known for his Oscar-nominated portrayal of the amputee Lt. Dan Taylor in the 1994 movie Forrest Gump , will visit the Active Duty Rehabilitation Unit at Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center and attend the 319th Transportation Company Vietnam Veterans dinner today.
His visit is the result of a promise the actor made to Master Sgt. Tom Morrissey, who spent 35 months in the Augusta rehab unit after he was shot at close range in Afghanistan, according to Laurie Ott, the founder of the CSRA Wounded Warrior Care Project.
Morrissey met Sinise more than a year ago and told him about his experience at the unit.
"Mr. Sinise is now making good on that discussion to come see the unit that saved Tom Morrissey's arms from amputation," Ott said.
The dinner will be held at Richmond on Greene and will honor wounded service members. Tickets are sold out.
The proceeds will be used to help build permanent housing for wounded soldiers who live in Augusta. Ott said there are still opportunities for people to volunteer their time and money to the housing project.
"The housing piece will be the next part of the model we're trying to put together which is meeting the needs of those who serve us," Ott said.