Gary Sinise is helping pay off veterans’ mortgages through Veterans United

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I suggest you grab some tissues now, because you are going to need them. We don’t talk about Gary Sinise too much on here because Gary lives a quiet life, doing wonderful things for the sake of making people, mainly veterans’ lives better, and never asking for any credit for it. But when we catch wind of one of his good deeds, we like to recognize it. Recently, Gary, who runs the Gary Sinise Foundation, partnered up with Veterans United Home Loans to help let some veterans know their mortgages had been paid off in full. Also assisting in distributing mortgage payoffs are J.R. Martinez and Joe Mantegna.

Veterans United Home Loans announced on Wednesday the launch of the “Make It Mean More” campaign on Twitter, where for every “thank you for your service” tweet sent out, $25 will be donated to pay off veterans’ mortgages.

To make things even more special, the company joined forces with a handful of veteran advocates, including actors Gary Sinise, J.R. Martinez and Joe Mantegna, to surprise those who served in the armed forces with the big news via Zoom.

“The #MakeItMeanMore campaign is an amazing example of how we, at Veterans United and the American people, can be part of something so much more,” Pam Swan, the vice president of military relations and business development at Veterans United Home Loans, tells PEOPLE.

In a video provided by the lender, Sinise, 66, had the opportunity to surprise Bill Day, a Navy veteran and single father of four from Albany, New York.

“I get to be the messenger to tell you that you’re gonna get your entire mortgage and your loan paid off by Veterans United,” Sinise told Day in the video. “You’re not gonna have to worry about any of that.”

Taken aback by the news, Day responded, “What? Me!?” No, I don’t deserve that!”

He went on to explain why the news felt like a huge weight lifted.
“My son is… severely autistic and we’re having so many issues that this is gonna just help,” Day said, before getting overcome with emotion and pausing to wipe tears from his eyes. “It’s gonna help a lot.”

[From People]

I posted Gary’s Zoom call video below. I cried. Then I went on the company’s website and watched the other videos and cried some more. This will make a huge difference in these folks’ lives and is an amazing way to reward them for their service. I love that Gary starts the call by qualifying that he is just delivering the good news and doesn’t want any credit for what’s about to happen. That’s the kind of guy he is. He does his work on behalf of veterans for their sake, not his own, that’s why we don’t hear about it that often.

One of the programs in his foundation is building specially adapted smart homes and modifying dwellings for disabled veterans’ special equipment. I wonder if this could lead to a further partnership with Veterans United Home Loans. This was a wonderful story. I hope you all had a chance to thank a veteran. If you haven’t yet, you can start with our very own Oya, who is a proud veteran of the US Navy and we are very honored to work with her – thank you for your service, Oya.

Below is Gary’s video announcement. It’s touching. Everything Gary does is touching. The last time I checked in on him, he was making me cry with this tribute to the oldest living veteran. Every time I click on a Gary link, I’m left in tears. Dammit, Gary!

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Embed from Getty Images

Photo credit: Instagram, Twitter and YouTube

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32 Responses to “Gary Sinise is helping pay off veterans’ mortgages through Veterans United”

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  1. BearcatLawyer says:

    Lt. Dan is out here doing the real work!

    And Oya, thank you for serving. We love you.

  2. Chica1971 says:

    Wonderful! Much respect and admiration for low key support and help.

  3. Lauren says:

    Even though I’m not american, thank you for your service Oya. I have heard a bit about Gary’s charity work, but this is really something.

  4. Stacy Dresden says:

    Pretty fantastic.

  5. Lightpurple says:

    Thank you, Oya

  6. Chris says:

    This is fantastic. It’s good to be reminded that there are good people in the world doing things to help people who definitely deserve it.

    My brother was stationed at Camp Pendleton and said Sinese was there quite often for ceremonies and the like. He doesn’t make a big show of it. What a kind person.

    Thank you for your service Oya!

  7. Miranda says:

    Such a generous and selfless thing to do, but I can’t help being kinda pissed off that so many of our veterans are forced to rely on charity. My family has almost no history of military service (though a couple of my great-uncles were part of the OG Antifa, fighting with the Italian resistance during WWII), so this is something that I never realized until I met my fiance, a Navy vet. It seems naïve now, but I was shocked to learn that so many of the friends he served with were on food stamps. There’s also an issue with substandard on-base housing, and plenty of other things. It all adds up to a travesty, and it’s infuriating to listen to politicians (especially war-mongering Republicans…) pay lip-service to the military, but then refuse to lift a finger to help ensure that our vets are taken care of. FOR LIFE.

    • Chris says:

      Completely agree. It drives me crazy to see how much Republicans pay lip service to honoring our troops when in reality they couldn’t care less once they don’t need them anymore. Mental health issues are rampant and transitioning from the military to civilian life especially concerning jobs is a difficult process we don’t do enough to support. The military also leaves military members with health issues and doesn’t do anything about it. My older brother developed knee problems and my younger brother got scoliosis both from their duties in the military. It’s straight up embarrassing that so many vets and former military are struggling.

      • Miranda says:

        Oh God, from what I’ve heard, healthcare is a nightmare, especially for women. A few months back, I was catching up with an old friend who had joined the Army right out of high school and had recently been discharged. She told me that she went to the doctor for severe pelvic pain and nausea, and he told her not to waste his time by coming in just for PMS, but gave her a prescription for Vicodin just to shut her up. Another doctor basically told her it was all in her head. So after being discharged, she made an appointment with a gynecologist, who almost immediately diagnosed her with endometriosis. She had to live with constant pain for almost 5 years because they STILL don’t know how to handle women’s health.

      • Anna says:

        So agree @Chris It’s shocking. And also to see how active-duty service people’s families are struggling. Even service people who are unable to afford the gear they need to be protected. And yet this country spends billions, trillions, on “defense”…I guess that “defense” is to undermine democracy in other countries, support coups, and start wars so big boys can play with their war toys on the backs of honorable service people who give everything, as do their families. It’s heartbreaking. Every time I see a houseless person especially elder Black men, I think about what this country has done to those who’ve served, what they’ve endured both on the battle field and upon returning “home”.

        Also must say: Gary Sinise is wonderful. I’ve long been a fan.

    • Midnight@theOasis says:

      I agree so much with you. The way this country mistreats its veterans is appalling. Politicians use the armed services as pawns in their quest for power. They send kids off to war with no regard for their lives and no thoughts for their long term care. So many veterans end of homeless or struggle to get by. My uncle is a Navy veteran and served aboard an air craft carrier during Vietnam. He saw a shipmate commit suicide jumping off the ship. There are other things he experienced that he’s never discussed. He had to fight with the VA for help treating his PTSD. The VA kept insisting that he never served anywhere near where he claimed he did because of the official records. He was only able to prove his case and receive treatment because of letters he wrote me as a child. We were penpals and exchanged letters and I kept the letters. Only after showing postmarked years old letters did he get the treatment he needed.

      Thanks and God bless you Oya for serving.

    • FilmTurtle says:

      Agreed. That’s what I think about whenever I read these stories and it makes me sad.

    • Veronica S. says:

      Yes. I don’t mind charities existing, but I do think this encourages the government to continue not giving a sh*t about these people. It’s not going to get done anytime soon because people balk at it (which is exactly why it gets exploited), but we really need to address how the wealthy and corporations utilize charitable contributions in order to dodge taxes that would better serve the country as a whole by investing in infrastructure and social programs. It’s gross because it’s literally taking advantage of people’s desire to help.

      • Dee Kay says:

        Yes Yes Yes to this entire (sub-)thread. Charity is great but charity cannot and does not remedy huge failings on the part of government. It is the U.S. government and military that should pay for its employees housing while in service, their ongoing health care, and ensure that they do not live in freaking poverty for the latter part of their lives!!! If the govt is not willing to do that then it should not employ as many military personnel as it does!!!! I dislike the way that spotlights on cool charity efforts — which benefit at most a few dozen or a couple hundred people — distracts from the glaring problems in the government’s management of military workers and veterans’ affairs.

  8. Becks1 says:

    Thank you, Oya.

    This video made me cry. I love this. It’s something tangible that makes a huge difference.

  9. windyriver says:

    Thank you, Oya.

  10. lobstah says:

    Well this is wonderful. Thank you for stories like this, we need to focus on the GOOD right now!

  11. Alice says:

    Oya,thank you for your service!!

  12. Liz version 700 says:

    Thank you Oya. This made me cry. I love it when people with so much privilege give back in meaningful ways. These guys constantly do that.

  13. lucy2 says:

    What a wonderful story! Thanks for posting it.
    I saw Gary in a play years ago, he’s a wonderful actor, and I know that supporting veterans is something he has been deeply involved with for a very long time.

  14. FHMom says:

    I love this story.

  15. LeonsMomma says:

    Thank you Oya for your service to America.

    And thank you Gary Sinise for recognizing the sacrifices veterans made and taking care of them when the country doesn’t.

  16. manda says:

    I am usually the debbie downer in the room, but I seriously hope they consider and advise their donees of the tax implications. I would imagine that it could really add up! I hate that windfalls are taxable

  17. smcollins says:

    That was amazing. Now I’m sitting at my desk crying but in a good way. Thanks for sharing!

  18. fluffy_bunny says:

    Gary does a ton for military families. Last December I was at Disney World and the Magic Kingdom was overrun with people all wearing matching shirts saying something about the Snowball Express. Another day we ran into them again at Epcot so I googled and it turns out Gary takes families of fallen soldiers to Disney every year. They pay for everything. It was raining the day we were in the MK and all of the people that were with him had ponchos so they really think of everything.

  19. Melody Calder says:

    Gary Sinise is a fantastic human and this is a great campaign. I just feel the need to emphasize….. VU is in no way associated with the military, they are just quicken loans with a military name. Also, if you use them as your lender, you will pay significantly more in closing costs and most likely get a higher rate than competitors.

  20. Lauren says:

    He is an amazing actor and even better person!

  21. Renee says:

    This man is a National Treasure! I love his generous spirit.

  22. GoogleIt says:

    So I am the only cynical bitch here today, huh? Yes, Sinese does a lot for veterans and claims to be about patriotism and not politics. However, this guy has spoken at CPAC, he started the Friends of Abe group (Hollywood group where white Republican men can blow off steam), transitioned people from the Gary Sunrise Foundation into the Trump regime, gave a home to indicted fraudster and Steve Bannon cohort Brian Kolfage, etc. I have a feeling we are going to see a whole lot of these conservatives coming out with positive PR stories now that Trump has lost. They will all need to refresh their images and distance themselves from the nightmare of the last 4 years.

  23. Lizzythe2 says:

    Gary has always been a favorite of mine. Not only is he a wonderful actor who is seriously underrated but also a wonderful human being. His work for veterans is so needed. Love that he cares so much!

  24. waitwhat says:

    Thank you for your service, Oya.