How Awesome Is Gary Sinise? And, Thoughts on 'Apollo 13'

Today's cuppa: Irish breakfast tea

0_61_320_sinise_special2 When he's not being the star of CBS' "CSI: NY," actor Gary Sinise is honoring America's fighting men and women, working with the USO and raising money to help schoolchildren in Iraq.

And he's so low-key about it that many of his fans may not even know, but somebody knew, because he just won the Presidential Citizen Medal, the second-highest award given to U.S. civilians, for his humanitarian efforts.

On a side note, it's much like actor Adam Sandler and his quiet efforts to support serving and wounded troops. Click here for some photos from the Spike TV Guys Choice Awards, held last May in Culver City, in which Sandler won the Brother in Arms award. He's posing with a group of soldiers that joined him on stage for the honor.

And yes, folks, I was there, chillin' with the troops backstage and having a high old good time. I asked one young Army man if eating sand during a tour in Iraq was worth it to see Cameron Diaz in a red dress. You can interpret his huge grin however you want.

Click here for an edited version of the story I wrote about the event.

Anyway, Sinise appears on Fox News today in a special highlighting his recent visit to the troops in Iraq. Click here for information and a video promo.

Sinise also appeared on my DVR last night in "Apollo 13," one of my all-time favorite movies. I could say a lot about it, but I have to rush off to Press Tour soon, so I'll just say that it's a great example of a fast-disappearing American trait -- the can-do spirit.

When things go south, Americans have always found a way to turn it around. And it's not done by yelling and posturing and pointing fingers. Instead, we, as Ed Harris' Gene Kranz says, "Work the problem, people." Kranz also doesn't care what the lunar module was built to do, he cares what it CAN do.

You work with what you have, and you find a way. That's the American way.

Things are pretty bad right now. Enough of the yelling and posturing and pointing of fingers.

Work the problem, people.

OK, off the soapbox now.

PS: Real news clips in the movie also reminded me of the news-reporting magnificence of ABC's Frank Reynolds and the science-reporting magnificence of ABC's Jules Bergman. I once wrote a fan letter -- yes, I did -- to Reynolds for his wonderful coverage of the first space shuttle launch, in which he exclaimed, if memory serves, "Go, baby, go, fly like an eagle!"

Get sniffly just remembering it. Ah, well, those were the TV-news days.

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