Sportsman Channel has signed actor and humanitarian Gary Sinise to become the official spokesman for the network’s “Salute to Service” initiative.
An effort to celebrate American servicemen and women and raise awareness of issues and opportunities facing veterans, Salute to Service launched on Independence Day and cuts across Sportsman’s linear lineup from series programming and documentaries to social media and editorial. Salute to Service takes center stage on Sportsman on every major holiday that commemorates the U.S. military’s sacrifices and successes, notably Memorial Day, July 4th and Veterans Day. In expanding its content and coverage in 2014, Sportsman Channel’s initiative reflects its audience’s strong connection to military service, stories, people and patriotism.
Sinise, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal of Lieutenant Dan in Forrest Gump, is also a dedicated veterans’ rights advocate and musician who raises funds and awareness through his Lt. Dan Band concerts and the Gary Sinise Foundation (www.garysinisefoundation.org). Performing close to 50 shows annually at military bases, charities and fundraisers, Sinise and his band support Gold Star families, veterans and troops around the world.
In 2008, Sinise was the recipient of the Presidential Citizens Medal, the second-highest civilian honor awarded to citizens for exemplary deeds performed in service of the nation and recently was named an honorary Marine, an honor bestowed on only 76 other people in the 200-plus year history of the Marine Corps.
Sinise also has produced and starred in the documentary High Flight that will make its world television premiere on Sportsman Channel next year. The film follows Sinise’s experience training and flying to 70,000 feet in a U-2 Dragon Lady High-Altitude Reconnaissance spy plane at the USAF Reconnaissance Wing at Beale AFB.
Sportsman Channel’s Salute began on July 4 and featured multimedia programming that included a social media ticker and personal testimonials from America’s servicemen and women. On Nov. 11 from noon to 7 p.m. (ET), Sportsman Channel’s Veterans Day Salute sponsored by Bravo Company will showcase soldier salutes made possible in cooperation with the Department of Defense, special vignettes and on-air social media messaging and salutes to all veterans. The network is encouraging Twitter conversation @SPORTSMANchnl via #SCVETSALUTE.
“Gary Sinise is an inspiration to anyone who ever asked themselves ‘What can I do to help vets?’ ” said Sportsman CEO Gavin Harvey. “His involvement in Sportsman Channel’s Salute to Service initiative will lend a powerful voice to our network team’s effort to do our part to raise awareness on behalf of the brave men and women who serve, and have served, our country.”
Noted Sinise: ”It’s an honor to join forces with Gavin and his team at Sportsman Channel. I'm eager to work with them to help raise awareness for veterans’ issues. Any opportunity to bring attention to our nation’s servicemen and women is a welcome one.”