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vii, 280 pages,  unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Gary Sinise shares the never-before-told story of his journey from trouble-making Chicago kid to cofounder of the legendary Steppenwolf Theater Company, world-famous actor, and tireless advocate for America's active duty defenders, veterans, and first responders.
Prologue: Stunned -- Yearning to breathe free -- Baptism -- The start of Steppenwolf -- The corner of Hollywood and love -- When we started to look beyond ourselves -- Glimpses of glory -- Steinbeck Country -- Big movie years -- Darkness and light -- Turning point -- A bridge between worlds -- Honor. Gratitude. Rock and roll -- Perfect timing -- Helping children -- Flurry of activity -- The Gary Sinise Foundation -- Why I'm still on a mission.
As a kid in suburban Chicago, Gary Sinise was more interested in sports and rock 'n' roll than reading or schoolwork. But when he impulsively auditioned for a school production of West Side Story, he found his purpose -- or so it seemed. Within a few years, Gary and a handful of friends created what became one of the most exciting and important new theater companies in America. From its humble beginnings in a suburban Chicago church basement and eventual move into the city, the Steppenwolf Theatre Company launched a series of groundbreaking productions, igniting Gary's career along with those of John Malkovich, Joan Allen, Gary Cole, Laurie Metcalf, Jeff Perry, John Mahoney, and others. Television and film came calling soon after, and Gary starred in Of Mice and Men (which he also directed) and The Stand before taking the role that would change his life in unforeseeable ways: Lieutenant Dan in the Academy Award-winning Forrest Gump. The military community's embrace of the character of the disabled veteran was matched only by the depth of Gary's realization that America's defenders had not received all the honor, respect, and gratitude their sacrifices deserve. In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, this became Gary's mission. While starring in hits like Apollo 13, Ransom, Truman, George Wallace, CSI:NY, and Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, Gary has worked tirelessly on behalf of those who serve this country, entertaining more than a half million troops around the world playing bass guitar with his Lt. Dan Band, raising funds on behalf of veterans, and eventually founding the Gary Sinise Foundation with a mission to serve and honor America's defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need.