The Airpower Foundation was honored to help sponsor Hollywood Salutes Heroes, presented by the Gary Sinise Foundation during the week of the Oscars. The event was a three-day adventure, taking place throughout Southern California for over 80 of our nation’s wounded heroes. Each of the service members on the trip have been long term patients at Walter Reed National Medical Center in Bethesda MD, and were able to leave the hospital along with a guest to attend this life changing event for them. American Airlines and the USO joined the Gary Sinise Foundation as presenting sponsors.
American Airlines generously donated the use of one of their 3 yellow ribbon aircraft, Flagship Liberty, to bring the service members and their guest from Washington D.C. to Orange County, California. After arriving, the very deserving wounded service members and their guest received the ultimate VIP treatment from start to finish.
The week began with a welcome from Mickey and Minnie Mouse and a hero’s welcome from the hotel staff and resort employees. The three-day event included a trip to Bubba Gump Restaurant, Disneyland and Paramount Studios where they rolled out the red carpet along with the USC marching band to welcome the wounded service members. Celebrities, including Katherine McPhee, Rob Lowe, Patricia Heaton, Greg Kinnear, and many others spent time with the veterans during their visit. The guests were also treated to a 20th anniversary edition screening of Forrest Gump at the Paramount Theatre, where the producer of Forrest Gump introduced celebrity guests: Eric Roth, screenwriter of Forrest Gump, Robert Zemeckis, director of Forrest Gump, and actors Tom Hanks and Mykelti Williamson. After the movie, dinner was served where more of Gary’s celebrity friends dropped in to hang out, sign autographs, and take pictures.
The VIP treated week ended with a concert performance on the New York City street set at Paramount Studios by the Lt. Dan Band with many memories and friendships made for a lifetime.
All the celebrities, sponsors, and volunteers who made this trip possible for these well deserving American Heroes were honored to be able to give back to those who have given so much for our freedom.
Events such as this are made possible when you sponsor American Airlines Sky Ball XII, in support of the Airpower Foundation. Please visit https://www.skyballinfo.com for tickets and more information on how you can help support our nations military and their families. Thank you.