Just as "Lt. Dan," his character in the movie Forrest Gump, regained walking ability through what Tom Hanks' "Gump" called "magic legs," actor Gary Sinise is attempting to give a real-life veteran Taylor Morris similar independence. Morris, an explosive ordinance disposal tech, lost all four limbs when he accidentally stepped onto an improvised explosive device while leading a team in Afghanistan. For his heroic sacrifice, the Navy veteran will get a "magic house."
On June 15, the same night actress Gwenyth Paltrow received the Renaissance Award at the Gene Siskel Film Center fete, Sinise, Oscar nominated for his role as Lt. Dan, hosted “Inspiration to Action,” as part of his charitable activities at the Gary Sinise Foundation, which provides assistance and support to military families.
The dinner was sponsored by Michigan Avenue Magazine at the Montgomery Club by Gibson and raised over $300,000 to build Morris a "Smart Home." These customized dwellings feature such amenities as automated utilities and retractable stove tops; as well as window treatments controlled by an iPad and "roll-in" bathrooms. Now, Morris is better positioned to meet the day-to-day challenges he now faces.
The private dinner also featured a live performance by Katharine McPhee, former American Idol contestant and star of the NBC show “Smash,” as well as appearances by Chicago comic Tom Dreesen and Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Sammy L. Davis.
(All photos courtesy of Gary Sinise Foundation)
Tags: American Idol, Amputee, Bomb, Congressional Medal of Honor, Forrest Gump, Gary Sinise, Katharine McPhee, Landmine, Michigan Avenue Magazine, Navy, NBC, Sammy Davis, Sammy L. Davis, Smash, Tom Dreesen, Tom Hanks, Veterans, Vietnam