FORT POLK, La. — The Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk invites the community to attend a free performance June 9. Hollywood favorite Gary Sinise and his Lt. Dan Band visit Fort Polk’s Headquarters Field for what the popular entertainer’s website calls an evening of “honor, gratitude and rock and roll.”
The concert is slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. and gates open at 5:30 p.m., but Fort Polk’s Directorate of Emergency Services advises visitors to arrive early. Those with Department of Defense ID cards can access Fort Polk from any gate and will be directed to the nearest shuttle bus parking lot.
Non DoD ID card holders must stop at the visitor’s control center near Access Point 1 to obtain a pass. To avoid long wait times for clearance to enter the installation, non DoD affiliated guests are encouraged to visit the visitor control center during the week before the concert and register for their pass.
Sinise, who has appeared in such hit movies as Forrest Gump and Apollo 13, along with the Stephen King mini-series The Stand, formed the band in 1997.
The band’s website, www.ltdanband.com, said the seed for the band was planted in 1997 when Sinise met musician Kimo Williams. In 2003, as Sinise began what has turned out to be an extraordinary commitment to the United Service Organizations, it became clear that those early jam sessions had laid the foundation for what would become The Lt. Dan Band.
Sinise asked the USO if they would allow him to take a band with him on a tour. The USO agreed, the band began rehearsing and in February of 2004, The Lt. Dan Band hit the road on their first overseas USO tour to Korea, Singapore and Diego Garcia. Gary and the band have played an average of 30-40 shows per year with a good 75 percent of those shows for USO, charities or benefits.
For those familiar with the Forrest Gump movie, the band’s name is no surprise. Sinise played the character of “Lieutenant Dan,” a role for which he earned an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor. Those in the military seemed to identify strongly with the character, making the name for the band an easy choice.
The band covers everything from classics by Stevie Wonder and The Police to contemporary songs by Kelly Clarkson, Katy Perry, Beyonce, Bruce Springsteen and the Zac Brown Band.
There's something for everyone and each show highlights the musical diversity of the band, as well as the passion and energy each member brings to the stage. Whether performing for troops overseas or at a local club, the goal is to have fun and rock the house.
For more information about the event, call (337) 531-1959.