During a Skype call to Marietta Monday, actor Gary Sinise said he's anticipating a big showing of community support during his band's upcoming benefit concert for wounded Marietta soldier Kyle Hockenberry.
The Lt. Dan Band, named for Sinise's iconic role in "Forrest Gump," is set to play at 7 p.m. Aug. 16 at Marietta College's Dyson Baudo Recreation Center. According to Sinise, the audience should expect a high-energy performance that's fun for the entire family.
"If you haven't heard the band, you're in for a real treat," said Sinise, who spoke to the media gathered at Washington State Community College during the video conference call on Monday.
JASMINE ROGERS The Marietta Times
Chris Kuban, media contact for the Tunnels to Towers Foundation, introduces actor Gary Sinise during a Skype media event at Washington State Community College on Monday.
The 13-person band performs a variety of cover songs that span all genres of music.
"We cover everything from 40's swing to Jimi Hendrix and Katy Perry," explained Sinise.
Sinise got involved with Cpl. Hockenberry's cause after hearing his story from a friend.
If you go
What: The Lt. Dan Band, featuring actor Gary Sinise and a variety of fun cover tunes.
Where: Marietta College's Dyson Baudo Recreation Center.
When: 7 p.m. Aug. 16.
Tickets: Online at www.supportkyle.com, Peoples News locations, The Sound Exchange.
"I saw the story that was written about him and I contacted my partner at Tunnel To Towers about doing something for Kyle," said Sinise.
Together the Tunnel To Towers Foundation and the Gary Sinise Foundation run "Building for America's Bravest," which aims to build houses specifically designed to meet the needs of wounded veterans.
SPC Hockenberry, who lost both legs and his left arm in an explosion on June 15, 2011 while serving in the Army in Afghanistan, will have a lot of input on the design of his home. According to Chris Kuban of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, Hockenberry's first request was that it be a log home.
Hockenberry's guidance will be crucial throughout the process, he said.
"In many cases, this is going to be their first and their last home that they ever have," he said.
Therefore, the foundation will work closely with Hockenberry throughout the process, getting his opinion on everything from the color of the walls to the height of the counter tops.
Perhaps most importantly, the house will be equipped with technology that will help Hockenberry retain his independence. The house will feature an intercom system accessible from anywhere in the home, lighting that is controlled by the touch of a single button and a shower that can accommodate Hockenberry's wheelchair.
"What we like to do is make the home as independent as we possibly can for the wounded veteran," said Kuban.
The upcoming concert will be a large step toward funding Hockenberry's home. With all of the necessary technology, the home is estimated to cost around $375,000.
Tickets for the concert range in price from $35 to $75. They are available online at www.supportkyle.com, at all local Peoples News locations and at the Sound Exchange in Parkersburg.
Sinise said he encourages the community to come out and show their support for Hockenberry.
"I couldn't be prouder of being a part of something that is actually making a difference in so many of these wounded warriors' lives," he said.