Actor Gary Sinise

Actor Gary Sinise

How about Lt. Dan as Time magazine’s Person of the Year?

That suggestion by actress Patricia Heaton has generated nearly 19,000 retweets and nearly 39,000 likes in just a day.

Lt. Dan, from the hit movie “Forrest Gump,” is actor Gary Sinise, who started a foundation to help U.S. military members, first responders and others.

He explains on his foundation website that he’s advocated for service members for nearly 40 years, beginning with free dinners and performances at the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago.

He’s also supported the Disabled American Veterans group and in recent years has backed active-duty troops.

“His portrayal of Lt. Dan Taylor in the landmark film ‘Forrest Gump’ formed an enduring connection with servicemen and women throughout the military community. After several USO handshake tours in 2003, Sinise formed the ‘Lt. Dan Band’ in early 2004 and began entertaining troops serving at home and abroad. The band now performs close to 30 shows a year for military bases, charities and fundraisers supporting wounded heroes, Gold Star families, veterans and troops around the world,” the site explains.

He’s already earned the Bob Hope Award for Excellence in Entertainment from the Medal of Honor Society, the Spirit of the USO Award, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the Doughboy Award, the Sylvanus Thayer Award and the Dwight D. Eisenhower Award from the National Defense Industrial Association. In 2008, he received the Presidential Citizens Medal, the second-highest civilian honor awarded to citizens for exemplary deeds performed in service of the nation.

His charter is simple: “While we can never do enough to show our gratitude to our nation’s defenders, we can always do a little more.”

Heaton’s suggestion came out shortly after Time announced its Person of the Year is slain columnist Jamal Khashoggi and others in the news industry who have been murdered or jailed.

Heaton wrote: “Hey @TIME, why isn’t @GarySinise ever on the Person of the Year list? … He raises $30M a year to build homes for wounded vets…”

Her suggestion followed an announcement by Sinise that more than 1,000 Gold Star children were traveling with a surviving parent to Disney World “as part of our @GarySiniseFound Snowball Express program.”

Actor James Woods was on board.

“Honestly Gary is one of the very finest civilian Americans out there.”

Responding to Heaton’s suggestion was Big Tex, who wrote on Twitter:  “Agree 1000%! As a retired military member, ‘Lt. Dan’ has done so much for us, our families & our future. His countless hours of selfless devotion to the USO as well. I hope our paths will cross one day so I can shake his hand & [s]ay thank you.”

Twitter user The TRUTH, however, pointed out Time’s bias: “@GarySinise isn’t liberal so they won’t reward his amazing work.”

But there was no doubt about his worth to veterans.

“Without a doubt, Bob Hope reincarnate,” said Chuck McCalip.

Patricia Heaton (NBC's "Today")

Patricia Heaton (NBC’s “Today”)

Sinise has faced opposition because of his political views.

When he was chosen as grand marshal for the 129th Rose Parade a year ago, critics charged he was divisive, because of his connections to President Donald Trump.

In 2016, Sinise told WND and Radio America in an interview that he wouldn’t be anywhere else on Memorial Day than with the national concert on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol.

“The freedom to enjoy the backyard and the barbecue and the ballgame and all of that comes with a cost,” he said at the time. “The men and women who are a part of this concert, and the stories that we tell about those who have served over the years are very, very important.”

Heaton has been known to throw a metaphorical bomb into the politically correct culture.

A recent comment came when evangelical leader James Dobson called out Iceland for practicing “eugenics” by killing Down syndrome babies in the womb.

Heaton was outraged.

“Iceland isn’t actually eliminating Down syndrome. They’re just killing everybody that has it. Big difference,” she wrote.

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