Free Concert in Dallas for the Troops with Gary Sinise – Dec 30

Gary Sinise and The Lieutenant Dan Band will perform a Free Concert in Dallas immediately following the 2010 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl on December 30.  The concert is free to the public and will pay tribute to the United States service members in attendance at the game, with a special focus on the wounded warriors.   The Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will be televised live on ESPN from Ford Stadium in Dallas, Texas. The game kicks off at 11 a.m. (CST) on Thursday, Dec. 30, 2010. Following the conclusion of the game, the concert will begin in the Armed Forces Adventure Area presented by Armed Forces Insurance, located in the Westcott parking lot directly north of Ford Stadium. In addition to the concert, the Adventure Area will feature military hardware and equipment and interactive displays, offering fun for all ages. The Adventure Area will be open prior to kick-off from 8:00 to 10:30 a.m. and immediately following the game until 5:00 p.m.

“We are honored to have Gary Sinise and The Lieutenant Dan Band performing in our Armed Forces Adventure Area this year and appreciate Armed Forces Insurance’s instrumental role in making this occur,” said Brant B. Ringler, executive director of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. “What Gary has done to support the USO and to serve the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces is truly extraordinary. These efforts fall directly in line with our bowl’s mission to honor those who have and continue to faithfully serve and protect this country.”

Gary Sinise’s musical career began in 1997 when he met Kimo Williams while working on the production of A Streetcar Named Desire. During technical rehearsal the two began to discuss their love for music and shortly after began frequent “jam sessions” with other Chicago area musicians. In 2003, as Sinise began focusing his efforts and notoriety towards serving the USO (, it became clear that those early jam sessions had laid the foundation for what would become The Lieutenant Dan Band.

Per Gary Sinise’s request, the USO agreed to allow the newly founded band to accompany him on one of his many tours. Thus, in February of 2004 The Lieutenant Dan Band launched their first overseas USO tour in Korea, Singapore and Diego Garcia. Since that time, Gary Sinise and The Lieutenant Dan Band have played an average of 30 to 40 shows per year with 75 percent of those shows for the USO, charities or other benefits.

The “Lieutenant Dan” name represents the character Sinise portrayed in the 1994 film, Forrest Gump, a role for which he earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. As he began visiting troops around the world, people who did not know him as Gary Sinise, the actor, would recognize him as Tom Hanks’ Forrest Gump co-star, “Lieutenant Dan”. Those in the military seemed to identify strongly with the character, and so the name for his group was an easy choice.

The Lieutenant Dan Band covers everything from Stevie Wonder and Jimi Hendrix classics to contemporary songs by Kelly Clarkson, Evanescence, Beyonce, Lonestar, the Zac Brown Band and much much more. Even tunes from the 40′s big band era. There’s something for everyone and each show highlights the musical diversity of the band, as well as the passion and energy each member brings to the stage. To learn more about Gary Sinise and The Lieutenant Dan Band, visit the band’s web site at

Owned and operated by ESPN Regional Television, the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl is the original bowl to feature a military theme. Patriotic overtones recognizing all five branches of the military are prevalent throughout the game. Past Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowls have included fan-fest areas showcasing military hardware; flyovers; demonstrations by several of the military’s top skydiving teams; on-field induction ceremonies; military bands and honor guards; and the awarding of the annual “Great American Patriot Award” (GAPA) presented by Armed Forces Insurance. In 2009, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, accepted the GAPA at half-time on behalf of the men and women of the armed forces. Previous recipients include General David H. Petraeus, Preston “Pete” Geren and Gordon England.

Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company, joined the bowl on August 23, 2006 as the title sponsor of the postseason college football game formerly known as the PlainsCapital Fort Worth Bowl (2003, 2004) and the Fort Worth Bowl (2005).  2006 marked the first year for the adoption of the “Armed Forces Bowl” name, making the official title the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. Bell Helicopter has exercised its option for title sponsorship of the game twice. The current agreement was signed September 2009 to continue the sponsorship for the 2010 and 2011 games.

Ticket prices for the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl are $50 until November 15, 2010, at which time the ticket price will increase to $60. Military veterans receive a discounted ticket price of $30 and active-duty personnel receive free admittance via the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl corporate military ticket underwriting program. Tickets for this year’s game can be obtained online at

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