Grateful American: A Journey From Self to Service by Gary Sinise is an eye-opening look into the life and mission of the well- known actor. Until reading this book, I never realized the author’s many connections to the Chicago area. This discovery, along with sharing the same year of birth and faith, made his story relatable to me personally.
I had no idea Gary is one of the founding members of the Steppenwolf theater in Chicago. I know many people who frequented the plays there… small world!
What I found most fascinating is the trajectory of Gary’s life. Here’s a pot smoking kid who was seemingly without direction until a drama teacher suggested he audition for a high school play. He’s accepted as a chorus member in West Side Story and he’s hooked! As is often said, the rest is history. It’s not without it’s ups and downs, but Gary’s passion for acting led him to great heights. It also led him to his wife of many years. He writes about his wife’s battle with alcohol and how tough that was.
Most importantly, this book is about Gary’s journey and mission to provide aid to our country’s heroes and their families. His firsthand accounts are gut-wrenching, but the stories are true and it’s clear that so much more needs to be done for our veterans and first responders in need.
I came away from this book with grateful for Gary’s commitment of service and for his willingness to share his story, time, money, and talents in service to others. I definitely recommend this book!