American Valor Quarterly Issue 3 - Summer 2008 - Page 5

The Grand Marshals of the 2008 National Memorial Day Parade were “Today’s Heroes” - decorated service members from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. The parade was a chance to spotlight their tremendous stories of valor, too often overlooked by the media. Riding along with the Grand Marshals to help bring attention to their stories were Honorary Marshals Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna. Also accompanying the heroes of the U.S. Army was CSM Leon Caffie (pictured right, standing center), Command Sergeant Major of the Army Reserve. Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna have long been supporters of our men and women in uniform, and gladly donated their time to help call attention to the stories of our uniformed heroes. Sinise (pictured left), currently the star of CSI: NY on CBS, is perhaps best known for his role as “Lt. Dan” in Forrest Gump. His band, the Lt. Dan Band, has played for military personnel stationed around the world. Joe Mantegna (above) currently stars on the hit CBS drama Criminal Minds. In 2004, he was named chairperson of the National Salute to Hospitalized Veterans by the Department of Veterans Affairs and for several years has been co-host, along with Gary Sinise, of the National Memorial Day Concert. Perhaps the highlight of the parade was the inclusion of stag