Find out how to register, vote early, research a candidate and more in AARP's midterm election guide.
by Bill Newcott, AARP The Magazine, January/February 2008 issue
Gary Sinise would like your money. But what he really wants are your rulers. And your crayons. And some nice sharp pencils would be great, too. That's because Sinise, the poker-faced cop on TV's CSI: New York, is the driving force behind Operation Iraqi Children, a nationwide effort to send school supplies to kids who dodge bullets and bombs on their way to class in war-torn Iraq. More than 200,000 children have received the school kits—solicited by Sinise's charitable organization and distributed by U.S. soldiers. "The way we hear it, we think everybody over there's got a gun and everybody's shooting at each other," says Sinise, 52, in his flat midwestern drawl. "But there are millions of average people like you and me just trying to make a living and send their kids to school." Since 2004, Sinise's group has raised more than $1 million, largely through its website. Sinise also has been to Iraq three times, performing for the troops with his rock group, the Lt. Dan Band (named for the Forrest Gump character that earned him an Oscar nomination in 1994). "I just feel our defenders need our support," says Sinise. "There are serious people out there who want to destroy this country. If we didn't have these volunteers, what would we do?" He pauses and laughs, as if at the sheer audacity of the notion. "What would we do?"
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
Members save 20% on all personal checks, business checks and tax forms, and accessories.
Members get exclusive discounts and assistance from travel agents.
Members can apply for term coverage from AARP Life Insurance Program from New York Life.
AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
Explore all that AARP has to offer.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at