After years of charity work on behalf of veterans, the Oscar-nominated actor who played Lt. Dan in Forrest Gump, has launched a mental health wellness network to provide ‘transformative care, treatment, and training’ to veterans and first responders who are experiencing post-traumatic stress or substance abuse.
The Gary Sinise Foundation Avalon Network aims to establish 20 treatment sites nationwide to serve thousands of veterans, first responders, and their families.
“When I formed the Gary Sinise Foundation in 2011, it was rooted in a personal mission to provide support, raise spirits, and improve the mental wellness of our nation’s heroes and their families,” said Sinise, the Foundation’s Chairman.
“Always wanting to do more, as the foundation approaches its 10th anniversary this June, I am proud to announce the launch of the Avalon Network to help heal the invisible wounds afflicting too many of our veterans and first responders—transforming struggle into strength…”
An estimated 30% of first responders in the U.S. are dealing with depression and post-traumatic stress, and 1 in 3 veterans have suffered with mental health and brain issues since 2001.
Building on the work of the Marcus Institute for Brain Health and the Boulder Crest Foundation’s Warrior PATHH program, Sinise is partnering with the Co-founders of The Home Depot, philanthropists Bernie Marcus and Arthur M. Blank, who each invested $20 million from their personal foundations to lay the groundwork.
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According to The Gary Sinise Foundation, the Network marks the first time that Marcus and Blank have partnered together since co-founding The Home Depot in 1978.
“We’ve lost more veterans to suicide than we have on the battlefields of the Global War on Terror,” said Bernie Marcus. “Our veterans and their families put their lives on the line for us and they deserve the highest level of care available.”
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Those who are suffering can apply for assistance here.
“We’ve found the perfect partner in the Gary Sinise Foundation to scale this idea into a national network that will provide cutting-edge care and improve the quality of life for our nation’s heroes in one of the most critical times in our history,” said Blank.
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Since 2003, Gary Sinise, along with his “Lt. Dan Band,” has contributed hundreds of personal appearances and concerts on military bases in Iraq and around the world. He has helped to raise millions of dollars, as well as donating his own money to help give back to military personnel and their families.
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