« The Ben Shapiro Show

Sunday Special Ep 37: Gary Sinise

2019-02-08 | 🔗

Gary Sinise, award winning actor, philanthropist, and author of the new book "Grateful American," joins Ben to discuss his road to Hollywood success, how he's stayed grounded through it all, and his passion for supporting our troops, veterans, and their families. Date: 02-10-2019

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
One of the things I was gonna do in Germany was go to launched or medical center, which is the main hospital in Germany, where people come right off the battlefield and they go ass I walked in and I had a U S own head on and I didn't know what to say or out started. Somebody looked at me and he said to ten days. Hello and welcome to the Sunday special our special guest today is garrison, ease his brand new book outward and be talking with him about his job. Me and acting his journey in service. His work with the military will get to all of that, but first with only days left until valentines, it seems like everybody is selling bouquet drugstores supermarkets, gas stations, you name it yours Someone deserves better than that and that's why every valentines I order from my Rose authority, one eight hundred flowers, dotcom right now you get eighteen red roses for twenty, ninety nine or upgraded to twenty four assorted roses, plus a base for ten bucks more,
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and I really appreciate this year and his brandy book. The book is great American a journey from south to service and it really is an inspiring, but more? Let me know really divided time. Obviously Gary and it's it's really difficult, have most Americans, but it's really uniting story. So, let's start from beginning, how did you get into acting? We grew up your tongue, you earlier the Europeans outside of Chicago. How do you go from there to world famous movie star dwellers bit of a long journey. But I was there the storing the book where I, when I talk about that, just a circumstance: man, I stumbled into rarely really or somebody stumbled into me when I was in high school. I was kind of a and roller I had blame bands I played and bands from the time I was my fifth this fifth sixth grade or something like that. I had guitars and played right bands than I. I did that and junior high school than I got in high school, and I had a lot of trouble in high school. I was I was academically. I was really struggling
This was in this late, sixties and early seventies. It was high time that the crazy thing for on Vietnam. War was happening during this time. I got caught up in some some mischief there during during my house I school years- and I was I was struggling of his eminence Trouble and you know, one of the things I did to escape was shows play music and play in play and bands, and I'm sorry in this hall way, one one time when I was a sophomore in high school. This is Highland Park High School in Illinois, on the north side Chicago North suburbs. I'm stand on an all way in this little lady. This little blonde lady comes blowin down on me. She was like a hurricane typhoon or you just weapon by and I'm standing here with my rock and roll pals, you know, look pretty scrubby in
and I'm grungy and everything she turns around. She does. She goes on. I ve ever been in a play. I should have known and we're rockers. You know and she said well. I am directing Westside story, a new look perfect, for one of the gang members, some common audition for the blind she blew off down at all. We can't looked at each other and laughed and everything like that. But the year before When I was a freshman, I went to another high school in Glenn, Ellen Illinois There was a Glenn barred West and they had done West side story at the school. When I was a freshman and I went to see it and I thought I was gonna- be funded, get on state. Play gang member and you know you die and soon rumble in knowledge,
so you know I thought about it a little bit and after school there was the audition and I decided well, let me just go down there and just see what's going on, so I was standing outside the audition, all the pretty girls are going in and then it to audition, I'm sure. So I turn in my bass player was in my band. I said: let's go in and we went in and they handed me a script. I didn't know what at what I was doing or anything like that night up there. I started stumbling around Megan Joe some people were laughing and she put me in the play, and that was the beginning of my acting after that a change My whole life I mean out. I was really a struggling kid. I was ever a lot of trouble and- and I write about then the book you know- and I think I think young people might be able to connect to that. You know I was just not act. Emerald academically. I had a lot of trouble. I never learned how to read and write properly. I dont think when I was in the unknown
fundamentals, you learn and first second third grade. I is one paying attention and all I could barely read. So when I got up there and audition for the play, and then I got in the play and then I found this community of people. That kind of really I just felt comfortable in it, and then I just wanted to do it over and over and over and all through high school. I kept acting in place and I ended up being one of them. In a one of the top guys in the theater department and because I was such a screw up and early in high school. I didn't have enough credits to graduate on time with my class, so I had to go back to high school for final semester, So are we supposed to graduate and nineteen seventy three and we we say and about that I graduated nineteen, seventy three and a half and that's when I grant
but TAT I kept doing it and I met one of my best friends in high school remained one of my best friends for years Jeff. Harry whose well known actor here in town and then use when he was in the play, Westside story and Jeff, and I became fast friends best friends did a lot of work together in high school. He went off the college and then I started step and will theater and he came and worked with us in one play, and then we founded what has become a theatre. This for forty five years now, can talk a little bit about stability, theatres of provokes. You don't know, step of theatres, no one in the story, the owners in the country you were obviously a founder of it. What what was the original idea of it? And what do you think the legacy of it has been the original idea was just kids. One into do play is that was it we just wanted a did the inner. Can it mean that Mickey Rony Judy Garland, let's put on a plague anything, and we did that and we found a church kind of them
would let us use the church during the week and we would rehearse our players and perform a mother on on Friday and the third. Every Saturday night, some and them that became the foundation of Step and Wolf Theatre. You know it was really started by eighteen year: old, kids, seventeen eighteen year old kid and now the stator. As I said it's I mean this was one thousand nine hundred and seventy four. We got this going. So it's forty five years old. Now that we on for building for building another one. I mean it's, it's it's kind of crazy. When you look back and you see what teenagers with passion and a dream and a desire and enough energy and and kind of this- you don't know You don't know kind of attitude gets you in it. It laid the groundwork for something that we built as we moved from Highland Park. Illinois to the city of Chicago renovated, another space that David Mammoth had originally started. We took that all
We were in their for eight years and then we built a building from the ground up and now we own three or four buildings in the same area, Minute is a pretty amazing american story and something that probably could only happened. America that the high school screw up could be doing this sort of savages. You know, through sheer willpower and creativity, because we now living in a time when people tend to spend a lot of time. Thinking about how demise. They are how difficult they ve had it in disseminating come from a background where you're significantly privilege the the north. Privilege of living in the United, my dad and I write about the family in a book. My dad was a film editor in Chicago he started. Easel started, learn in the film business when he was in the navy. He processed film that was being able to in the navy during the korean WAR at one point they send you want to go on a ship or you want a camera and he took the camera and he started take, in pictures, then they put him in the lab at the Pentagon in
and no Diana costumes are bids enable base right. There in D C and they put him in there and he was receiving the Topsecret. Film was coming back from the front in Korea and he had topsecret clearance and he would process this film and go over the Pentagon it and they would analyzed the war footage to help them with their battle plans, and things like that. So he learn the film business. He was editing things and they all that and then, when he got the Navy went back to Chicago and started on film film company it was made a modest living. It wasn't. You know the tremendous living body moved. He moved us from the south side where I grew up and I was born and Blue Island Illinois lived in Harvey Illinois and then we moved up to the north them suburbs of Highland Park. That's where I went to school. That's where I looked. I got into acting that's where I met Jeff fairy as we're step, and we started, and it was really it was just
I was kind of a kid who was always kind aimless. My dad was work and all the time I describe it in the book and I start sort of on my own. My mom had her hands full dealing with my my sister, my brother and her. Mother and her sister- and I was kind of crazy out there. Learn and things on my own trying to figure it all out. So I at an early age. I think I learn this sort of do it yourself go at it. If you can think it, you can do it sort of attitude. You now don't wait around for somebody else. Your and so that's that's that's where all that came from him Nanda. I continue to do that. As time went on dad you get Chicago out to Hollywood sign, and my own parents made my dad and bomber both from Chicago they end up in Hollywood, because my dad wanted to do fit scoring for films It was a dream. It never worked out form. How did you end up out here? Well,
the combination of thing you know I started step and more with my bodies, Jeff Parian, Terry Guinea, and then them my parents. In nineteen. Seventy, some they moved to allay from Chicago My dad was a fail matter had a business in Chicago. They wanted it open a West Coast office. So He opened that our office out here in nineteen Seventy seven and one thousand nine hundred and seventy nine I took a little break and came out here, took a little break from Steppenwolf came out here, live with my parents to try to get in the movie business. There's some funny stories about some of the things. I do back then, but it didn't work out, I just really struggle, I couldn't get at the door, I was trying to sneak onto lots. I was Tryin audition for things I couldn't get a job. I couldn't get an agent that you know it was just that just a terrible time. They kept tell me to go and get acting lessons, and I had this.
Theatre Company in Chicago that I worked with and they said, and I will tell him about them. They said why I never heard of it. Go get some less and so I was really frustrating for us very frustrating time. So I went back to Chicago. I went back to my theatre, company ended up being the artistic directors started, directing a lot and directing plays and some of the place, and I was doing just pit, one of whom was one of those called true West by SAM Shepherd, John Malkovich, and I were in that together and we moved to New York It was a first play that we moved in New York from stepping over now give Israel was an early member, the company. We worked together lot and did that play and it was, it was just a big hit. It was you, it was a boy,
hit for us. We moved to New York first thing: there Malkovich became a movie star after doing that play and I kept erecting went back to Chicago kept directing ended up doing some. Some plays a really doing well, one of those plays was called orphans. That John Marconi rest. His soul was in along with Kevin Anderson and Terry Guinea. We did it off. Broadway was a big head and I was offered movie. Do. Buyer David Putnam, who produce chariots of fire he produced the mission they produce, killing the killing fields who he was a big produce for, and they gave him a job running Colombia pictures and he came to see that play and eventually they offered me
erecting deal at Columbia, pictures and I was running Stepan, woven doing things of stepping over and I felt well. It was time to get to gonna break away. Do some other things, so I came out here and took the deal and was with Colombia pictures for a couple years trying to find something to direct for them. That was our deal. They had. It was a first look deal, so they at the first look at anything that I wanted I never found anything that that they wanted to do, but I find another project that I ended up doing for another studio, and that was the first movie I directed called miles from home with Richard Gere and Kevin Anderson, Brian Dennehy, Helen Hunt and Penelope Ann Miller. A bunch of people are in it and it was a good first try eventually, I think my second movie was much better. It was of mice and man. I knew that story very, very well. Now,
Shania done it on stage you don't like ten or twelve years before I directed the movie, so I was able to get the rice from Elaine Steinbeck to make that into a movie, and I was a little more sure handed, I think at that one, but that it was eighty seven one thousand nine hundred and eighty seven when I moved to Hollywood and and then after of mice and men, Forrest Gump came along and You know very well in the second and ask you about the differences between directing enacting and how it is too to be behind the cameras opposed to further the camera. But first, let's talk about me Can your business more efficient hiring can be pretty time consuming you posted job to several my job boards only to get tons of the wrong resonates. Then you have to sort through all those resonates just to find a few people with the right skills and experience. Those jobs I stood overwhelm me with the wrong resonates: they're, not smart! That's why you should do. Smart thing and got reciprocated dotcom, Slash Ben guess. Unlike other jobs, supercool refunds, qualified candidates, for you is powerful aging technology skins, thousands of resonates to identify people with the right skills, education and experience
and then actively invites them to apply for your job. So you get qualified candidates fast. It's no wonder the Brooklyn or is rated number one by employers in the? U s that rating comes from ring sites, Untruss pilot with over a thousand reviews. Right now. My listeners contrive zip recruited for free at this Inclusive web address zipper, dotcom, slash than gas. If you love, they show show our support, for it ends the Procureur by going reciprocal dotcom, Slash Ben Gas being and g ascii that zip recruiter, dot, com, Slash, Benghazi, procures de the smartest Wade higher again check us out at sea precludes outcomes, Lasher Ben Guest, all right so back to your directing career, so you came out here is a director and yet I think, most people, know you more as an actor than they do as a director. What is the difference for you between being behind the Cameroon further can, which you prefer an didn't, did help you as an actor to be a director. In in theatre. Ah, it helped me as a director to be an actor
it was. I would say, because most of what I know as a director is from working with other actors and be an actor myself. So I always when I would direct would it I would direct from an actress point of view. I can we make this to dramatically viable in the in the story. How can we pawnshop this energy here? How can we do that? You know how would I play it and I think you know may make an answer, my dears about that and impart those two to other people, but and how do you shape the story in order to have it be compelling? So I'm always looking at that and what I know about directing movies or you know which I've only done a couple of his is what I know about acting and directing place. So I Just kind of the inner I didn't study, all that I went to hide
why didn't go to college? I just went right into founding Stefano Theater and working in this basement of a catholic school actually is where the the original Steppin Wolfe was in Ireland. Bark- and this is in I went than there was this big empty basement at this close down catholic school, and we asked the priest of. If you let us use it, I did and we Panem like one one dollars a year for attacks right of, and so in there we developed our skills. You know we were isolated. We weren't in the city of Chicago, where there there's a lot of other theatre there. We were an island bark Illinois, there's only one on there, and it was us so we weren't does
attracted by a lot of other things, and we stayed in the basement and just worked on her skills worked on our work. Is it kind of tuned up the way we we approach things our whole ensemble approach was developed in those early days when we were kids and I've carried that through through all these years Directing and acting carried it all, those fundamentals are we learned as kids? You know stay there and we learned it together. Really say you done theatre annually film and have also done a lot of tv, and I want to ask about the transition. From film to tv, so now tv is now consider to step down for a long time. There was like, if you're in the films then anyone's tv, those concerned reset now you're, saying all sorts of mainstream actors, big actors and firmly to step up to move to tv. You're really one of the pioneers in that. Actually what was it- like to move from the big screen to the small screen, what was that a bit of a culture shock, How did that were it? Will it was a little bit, I remember, being a little hesitant about it. I mean
I was offered a television series and ninety and two thousand for and I had done a few little television things prior to that? and I did a television movie with James Woods and in nineteen. Eighty nine call my my name is build. W played a good supporting role in that and add a couple episodic roles But nothing I was always looking for the big movie part and, where the big part on stage or something like that they never can. Centred settling down into a television series until it was presenting itself to me and then was, it was CSI. New York I was already a successful franchise. They had done CSI Vegas in than there were CSI Miami and now they're gonna spin off The third show within within four years, or something like that I mean she has. I Vegas came out two years later. They had a. Another shell in Miami and two years after that,
add another show they were putting up in in in New York, CSI New York, so I mean they spend this franchise off very quickly and I new they had allowed invested in this franchise. Cbs was gonna put a lot into it. Why met with Anthony's ichor, who created, CS. I franchise had a good meaning with him. We had a good talk and I was you know at that time, I was very focused on supporting our military. It was post September eleventh. I was working with veterans. I was supporting EFTA and why? In New York and fire family transport now foundation and nine eleven family members who have been affected by this terrible tragedy? Anthony wanted my character to to be. Somebody was affected personally by September eleven.
Lost his wife on September, 11th, he's also police officer. I knew a lot of veterans and police officers and they who were personally affected by that. So I connected to the idea of playing a nine hundred and eleven family member and they first responder pretty quick. Because I had been supporting them and once I got through the ideal under the the question of what will it be like to play the same guy week after week after week after week, once I got through that you know all the other. Things were staring me at the face in the face steady, work Stan Home a good franchise check all the all these things, and if its successful there it would be
you know a very rewarding personally and financially set at which it was so. It was the right thing at the right time to go from. You know what I was doing to television and
After the first year of struggling through figuring out what the shell was in. Everything like that, I really embrace the idea that I was plain the same guy every week and had this steady job and during that period, and I write about in the book all the things I was done- to help the military to put support various military charities and all is the fact that I had that steady work in hand that that job gave me a means to support many things that I believed in that I never dreamed about, and it really was the chapter in the book where I talk about. This is called perfect timing and the timing could not have been better to get. You know with what I was doing, my charitable side and the service work and get in getting handed this television series saying you worked on the stage Wharton big screening worthless
while screen, which do you prefer, and why is you see, people who are sometimes successful on stage? We can make the transition to film people her successful, unfilled, Chemic the transit transition to stage you ve got all three, which did you prefer more were certainly the upside and downsizing prefer employee bad. That's what I would say there and I I lied been involved in things. That kind of makes sense to me that that's it in I directed I've, acted in all the medium send. You know the parson. I've done. Stage- have been very rewarding. Generally, you know what I'm done in film on television is generally been rewarding. And the valuable- and I don't feel like I spend time on well Spent-
so it's hard to say men. You know that I prefer one over the other. Each one has given me something special in Vienna. I've done what I think is good work in all those mediums. While the book so obviously goes into deep detail and menacing necessary detail about your relationship with the US military. So when did you first started getting involved with Oliver Outreach efforts on half of the military with first responders, with with police across the country. Would it start with lieutenant an enforced scamper. Were you doing work with military before that? Well now, was that was certainly part of it and then then the forest Gump character was wounded, veteran lost both his legs, ass, suffering, terribly from post, traumatic, stress and and playing that part led me to to start working with our wounded twenty five years ago.
Forest gum came out twenty five years ago this year, so June. Sixth, this summer, it'll be twenty five years now, was certainly a part of getting involved with with our wounded but prior to that? Actually, I'm I began supporting Vietnam veterans groups in the Chicago area, getting involved with it with supporting them back in the early eighties. My wife's two brothers served in Vietnam and her sisters, husband also with combat panic in Vietnam? So when I met her in nineteen sir really we started dating and we got me ninety one, we start day dating seventy six. She was a part of the early history of seven orphan from the early on some. She introduced me to her brothers and sisters, husband, and I asked them about Vietnam. I started my
I was. I was at eighteen years old, one thousand nine hundred and seventy three. It was the last year of combat operations in Vietnam. The draft was over 1980s. Eighty three IRA recall registering for selective service, but the draft- silver sol- and I remember, during high school, I'm I'm doing all those players, I'm playing my in my rock band, I'm chasing those girls into the auditions and everything like that and every night on television. During that time there are casualty reports. There are terrible stories about Vietnam and my mom and is watching the television like this and I'm
call my girlfriend and figuring out what the at least is gonna be an I'm, wasn't really paying attention on a much, but when I met those family members of my wife- and they start talking to me about what it was like for them to be in Vietnam and then what it was like for them to come home from Vietnam to a nation that has turned its back on our on our military had rejected the Vietnam veteran. Something happened to me. I just started thinking about that. A lot- and I remembered taken over artistic director of her Steppin wolf and one of the things I wanted to do was fine, some material that I could do. That was focused on the story Vietnam veterans, and I read this- saw as artistic directory always looking for plays and you get all these publications from different cities that to have
list of play is that are going on those cities and what's going on so I I would do that, and I got one thing that was from L a call. The drama log it, was kind of what's going on in now sort of no small thing there is an ally- and I read this story about a play that was written by a group of Vietnam veterans and where they were actually performing the play that they that they wrote so every night these guys would re create their own,
stories of what happened to them in Vietnam onstage, and it got very good reviews. It was a big heads sounded very powerful. I immediately got an airplane and flew out to see it. Some nineteen eighty and I was I was just knocked out. I went back the next nine saw it again and I went home to Chicago and I wrote to the guys that that did it and I said, would you consider letting me do this play to tell your stories that year telling yourselves on stage every night? Would you let me do that at several of them they said no with should only be performed by veterans. We don't want anybody to do it, but better. Eventually the plate closed in LOS Angeles, and I just kept asking him, you know what are you going to do with it? I don't know know know. Eventually
we were doing apply in Chicago Amalgamated directed and it was called Bowman Galliot by Lansford. Wilson was high performance street. It was it took place in a diner, lay a seedy diner in New York. So it's got all the night people out there that the hookers in the pimp drug annexed to this job. Even though you know the people running around. It was like thirty, eight people, onstage I'll, just be crazy with very high energy and we put Springsteen Muse again if we put the Tom waits Muse again and we put regularly Jones and which is very we and our very step and one that was kind of our thing, and so I said I said to the sky John, the fuse girl who had created this play tracers about these Vietnam veterans, I said, come see it so he flew out. He saw. And he was a lie. I loved it and then he gave me the rights to do the play I did at their veterans.
All over the area, came to see the play a lot of Vietnam veterans, and this isn't one thousand nine hundred and eighty four. So this was The Vienna veteran Wall adjust open and nineteen eighty two. So this was still a time or Vietnam veterans we're just not used to coming out of the shadows and telling their stories, but our play became this rallying point and veterans would come from all over and we ended up creating a night at Stepan off every week. There was just simply for the balance and that began a series of events and things of my that that laid the bedrock for my veterans, work when into the nineties and then posts of timber eleven, then just second and ask about lieutenant in how to play their part in your work, with the? U S, cell and generally, what people don't get about the military. But first, let's talk about your impending doom life in
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tenant and how that change. Your perspective notes are so obviously you are already incredibly pro military. You already wanted to tell the stories of people who have served in and done that amazing work. What changed your perspective about play lieutenant down. I remember when I I I didn't. My men, and that I think God, the attention a little bit of the producers of forests gum at least to give me an audition here's, a guy directed and produced in one of the two two main guys in the movie. That gun The attention of the producers and the director Robertson MAX so I got an audition and I read it and
was gonna dish in the play of the unknown veteran, and here I was the and I was had been supporting Vietnam veterans for ten twelve years. At that point, I in various ways very much wanted to play that parts. Just you know I directed that play tracers. I had a cast of guys over just amazing in all playing the Vietnam veterans. I wanted to be them. I wanted to be up there doing that myself, but I was the director and it was my passion project now. Here is an opportunity for, made a play. Vietnam, veteran in a way to honour my wife's two brothers and sisters, Hudson and all the many Vietnam veterans and I had had met. It was a great story, story of Vietnam, veteran that actually ends well up until that point. In
They start making movies about Vietnam about nineteen, seventy eight three years after the fall of Saigon And there was a deer hunter and coming home in casualties of war in the enemy's various movie started. You always wondered at the end of those films it if the Vietnam veterans it was going to be okay, At the end of every one of those movies, you're, just not sure if gonna be a be, ok, at the end of coming home, one of em kills himself at the end of the deer hunting, the under the dear hunter you're, just you're, just like it was always tragic and an you just didn't see any way for the Vietnam veteran to be okay, along comes we're screwed up and he goes through all that same despair and anguish in heartbreaking.
Loneliness and anger, and all these things. But what happens at the end of that story? You successful he's wealthy he's married he is moving on, was lying, stand up on new legs if you move on and it's a happy ending for Vietnam Banner, and we have seen that movie that story, but yet that story was a story many Vietnam veterans, so just added been told there were many Vietnam bearers came back While there are many dead struggled for many many years. There were also many that were able to put their service years behind them. Then move on and business and and be ok and here along comes Lieutenant Dan and that's his story. So I very much wanted to play their part. I was lucky to get it. It introduced me to an organisation called the de AV disable american veterans
which I supported now for twenty five years, because you know almost twenty five years ago, but I'm about a month after the movie open, they invited invited me to come to their national convention. I tell the story in the book and they gave me an award for playing lieutenant. Anne and they wanted to honor me for plain lieutenant Dan in what they thought was an honest portrayal of a catastrophic Lee injured soldier, and they just felt it was. It was so many members of the DVD Vietnam veterans themselves. I just wanted to recognise that work and that began our relationships. As I said, as lasted twenty five years every year I go to their national convention. I play concerts for them. I don T say: is I've done a fund raising different things for them,
many friends within the Davy we have a programme of my foundation lives in partnership with the De Amy. That really started me focusing on our wounded. Then, along comes September eleventh and we deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan are guys starting girls are our folks started, getting hurt, start again killed, and I was just I just- could not sit by and do nothing. You know that was such a ever stating attack on our country, and now we are deploying in reaction to that, and it was also became kind of a divisive time because as you recall, during the Iraq war after we went into a rack two thousand three than two thousand four five six seven things start again getting worse there in insurgency there
Abu Ghraib. There was all these things during those years. You could just see it. I mean what was happening in the coverage of it was Very similar to what was what had happened in the Vietnam WAR. Things are just not going well and in I just pictured our guys sitting over there watching television, thinkin gosh things are not going well and aims, right here saying and on the news every night, and and I didn't want our folks, deploying in reaction to the terrible event. People were signing up because of those airplanes going into those buildings. I didn't want them to feel that they were being neglected or that country would was gonna turn its back
recent- and it was a divided time if you recall some people- supported George Bush in the efforts to two to go into Iraq and Afghanistan. Some people didn't and it was it was being. There was a very divided time and I wanted to help me and I wanted to help our service members get through it. So, and you know just personally- and I say this in the book- my heart, which is broken after that terrible day, it was broken, and I needed to do something to tell people that I felt having been involved with Vietnam Veterans wounded veterans through the Davy in the Eightys and Ninetys. My role now would be to to support the active duty. Folks were responding to that attack. You know you, you tore plenty in with with members of the military meeting members of the military and do you have any sort of memories that stick out of that tongs. Evaluation done a ton of it
an enormous number of other members, the armed services he had just just all. Throughout all the travels and everything eyesight you know a number of stories in the book about that have affected me and that have galvanized my my passion for for making sure that we don't forget that what our defenders do for us on a daily basis, and some of those stories are in the book- and I remember that you know I tell a story about a kid. I remember when my grandmother passed away and she was in her sixties and she was a heavy smoker.
And she just wasted away in the hospital, and I went to see her, and I was just so. I loved my grandmother- and I was just heartbroken seeing urges laying in the bed was There was terrible- and I just ran out of the hospital, and I never want to go back and go back to ask, but unless I was on a journey, and when I started doing you are so. My first trip was to Iraq in June of two thousand three. Then I came back then I went in and in July I, three weeks later, I went to ITALY Desert troops there and then, but a month later out in August, I was in Germany a visiting troops there, I just one I just went boom boom boom. I was going down there,
my job at the time, and one of the things I was going to do in Germany was go to Landstuhl Medical Center, which is the main hospital in Germany, where people come right off the battlefield and they go to the hospital and they're stabilized in Germany, and then they're sent home to the states the one of the hospitals here- and I was very apprehensive about going. I didn't you know I was just like what what's it going to be. Like you know, hospitals, I guy, I can't stand the thought of it and I remember my grandmother withering away, and it's just- and I thought I now, I'm gonna see guys have been blown up shot at and burned up, and I was very nervous about. I remember since I can remember sitting on the bus as the bus approached the hospital and we put on this little van and we pull up and just as we pull up a big bus pulls up
and a whole bunch of people run out of the hospital and they start unloading, Gurney's that have just come off the air airplane from the battlefield sent back to the hospital wires and tubes, and you know I ve and you know everything there in others. These guys are all stabilized, but they gotta get in there because they got surgery right away as soon as I get there. That team ran out so professionally getting. Them out of that those buses quickly and I just stood there and watched. This was the first thing I saw the husband like seven or eight wounded guys been carried into the hospital on Gurney's all with wires and MRS Legs, and all this I was just think, ok take a deep breath here. You know in a first,
put me in a room that had about thirty guys in it, and these were all guys that were banged up cuts, bruises gunshot wounds, whatever it was, but they were going to get patched up and sent back to the battle. And they were all in there and they were waiting in jail on their face from burns or whatever you know they were gonna, get fixed up and sent back to the war zone I walked in and I had a u s S head on, and I'm like this is now remember. This is before she assigned York, so I was Lieutenant Dan but in Ireland and much else. So I didn't know what to say or how to started. Somebody looked at me and said Lieutenant Day and any Annie Burstin to smile, and all had these thousand yards stairs on on. You know they were
quiet and there it was quiet, nobody anything and then one guy just lit up and start smiles call me lieutenant Damn and everybody started come around laugh and then taking pictures and all of a sudden, the whole mood in the room just completely change. Nobody knew what my real name was. I just saw me from the movie and they wanted to talk about the movie in there and I saw gosh and then I left that room after being in their from ninety minutes or so shaken has taken picture signing off autograph to go upstairs to the hospital roads, but I knew when I left the room gosh. I just brought something in that room. That was really really positive.
It change it. The whole mood in the room just showing up. I went upstairs and that's when I saw a lot of really badly wounded people. Some didn't, even though I was there, but their family members had flown it from the states to Germany and there were standing over hospital beds of amputees and waiting for them. The wake up- and I choose their mood just by showing up I'll, never forget that, because started our whole journey of trying to support our wounded than I've been on ever sent. Watson, it's amazing thing and it also damages emanate, gives you Rounded, I've lived in Hollywood, my entire life, you ve, been out here longer the vicar I've been there, but the fact is that reminded us. Is that you see so many people who are very wealthy and very famous who seem to have lost their grounding in reality and you haven't you think this year we are both between your family life and work with the trips. That's what helped keep you grounded in on solid ground part
Lillian part important partially, my just the the background from working in a basement for all- years. You know with with actors, Oh you lot of the actors at were with us in those early days Joan Alan Lorry Allen Calf, as I said, Malcolm Edge, Jeff Parry A lot of Bulgaria. Coal lot lot of folks are all just sort of grounded in this Illinois thing that we had at that time and room they remember the days where we all worked for free. We didn't get any money and everybody was just doing it for the love of it. That that gave us a lot of, I think, a good good fun. Mental sooner when we moved away from, that into something that we have all had to struggle for. You now know
He came out here. You know, I'm just got handed stuff right away. I mean everybody kind of in a work work that way you know. Malkovich was a little bit different because we went he start. We went to New York, he started doing movies app that, but MA am you know, everybody had a pretty good grounding. I think once we was, we started moving the movie, but it is already and just simply because we remember wasn't always glamorous and all that there is. There is a struggle for a lot of folks to get there, and I remember that an and certainly no, when you go to the war zones and you see how people are in the islands and you live with them that way for little bed. And he was a new sleep on what they sleep on and all of that, and you continue to do that- gives you a hug
hence a reality check the sure. So another right now you're spending an awful lot of time on touring, and I want to hear about what happens after the tourists over? What are your plans for the future to have that question answered? are you need to go further daily wire dot com answered That's the can get to hear the answer to that question and more, or behind the pay wilds nine. Ninety nine a month, but before I do all sorts of goodies and is not just the rest of this show- is also rest of my daily show, which means to additional hours per day, all sorts of great stuff go check it out over a daily wired outcome. Aright Gary's book is grateful. American, a journey from self to service. Everybody should go check it out and you're thanks. So much for stopping by really appreciate my clothes, but thank you events Shapiro show Sunday Special is produced by Jonathan, hey, executive producer, Jeremy, boring associate producer. Mathis Glover edited by Jonathan Fowler. Audio is mixed by Dylan Cates Aaron make up is by just well. There are Hidell graphics by Cynthia Angulo Ben Shapiro.
Show Sunday Special is a daily wire production, copyright, daily wire, twenty nineteen
Transcript generated on 2020-03-26.