Gary Sinise rocks with vets in Chicago

April 22, 2009 7:25:46 PM PDT
The headliner at a bar in Chicago on Friday night is actor Gary Sinise and his band. Actor Gary Sinise provides star power. But the stars at Friday night's event are two Iraqi war veterans, both injured by explosives: Army sniper Shane Parsons of Ohio and Air Force vet Laura Narvaez of Florida.

"If someone like me goes out there and says thank you and pats them on the back and plays a little music for them and shows up...I think that can help, and I'm just trying to help. That's it," said Sinise.

Watch the entire interview with actor Gary Sinise.
Watch the entire interview with Air Force vet Laura Narvaez.
Watch the entire interview with Army sniper Shane Parsons.

And so is Kimo Williams, a Vietnam vet who started the Lieutenant Dan Band with Sinise. Williams also founded the United States Vietnam Arts Program. That non-profit group now helps injured vets through art.

"I wanted to provide what I call artistic tools....to these soldiers...if they have a vision of themselves as artist...they need to have the tools that would allow them to meet this vision," said Williams.

Those artistic tools are now gifts - a guitar for Parsons.

"I've always wanted to play guitar since I was a kid," said Parsons.

And a camera for Narvaez. Because of a brain injury, she says she can no longer read or write. Pictures will tell her story.

"This has just been literally like a God-send, it's my dream now," said Narvaez.

Two vets honored and recognized in front of hundreds at this Chicago bar. Two vets who will now have another way to express themselves.


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