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SINISE SALUTES MUNFORD’S CPL BROWN

By Trisha Byrd

Gary Sinise

Gary Sinise

Cpl Christian Brown arrives in Downtown Memphis for the concert.

Cpl Christian Brown arrives in Downtown Memphis for the concert.

On Nov. 1, at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis, Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band performed a concert to benefit Cpl Christian Brown.
Brown was wounded in Afghanistan, when he stepped on an explosive device. He arrived at the Center with police and Patriot Guard escorts. People were lined up watching as Brown arrived in a long black limousine. When the door opened and he got out, he declined the wheelchair and made the way inside on his prosthetics legs, to the sound of people applauding his arrival.
The ballroom was filled with people there to support Brown. Sinise, with his Foundation and the Tunnel to Towers Foundation have come together to put on concerts across the country to benefit wounded soldiers. They donate their time and money to see that these soldiers have a “smart home” built for them.
The Tunnel to Tower Foundation was formed to honor Stephen Siller, a New York fire fighter who died during 9/11. They have joined up with the Gary Sinise Foundation and are “Building for America’s Bravest”.
Sinise said he enjoys doing concerts to benefit these soldiers. That Friday night Sinise was enthused again to perform this time for Brown, who he considers a close friend.
The show lasted for a few hours and the fans, most of them standing for the whole time, and appeared to be entertained. They stood at the stage, listening, dancing, jumping up and down and clapping.
Other types of artist were on hand like Scott LaBaido an artist from Statin Island. He did a speed painting of the American flag to the sound of America the Beautiful. As he finished the painting, he reach up to the middle and pulled down two strips of adhesive tape revealing the twin towers. The painting was then auctioned off for $15,000.
In the audience were veterans of every conflict since the Korea War. They were there to support one of their own. They were young and old, but be sure, they were all proud veterans and you could see it in their eyes. The Marine League was there volunteering and supporting.
There were four women, Cindy Tatum and Molly Morel, both from Martin, Donna Bagwell, from Pontotoc, Miss., and Barb Benard of Columbia, Pa. These four women represent the American Gold Star Mothers, whose members have all lost a loved one in the service of their country. These women were amazing, telling stories of their sons, and showing the inner strength they all had. It was truly an honor to meet them.
Brown, who graduated from Munford High School, can’t wait for his new home to be built. He is tired of bumping into doorway and needing help getting things down out of cabinets. He is ready to start his own nonprofit foundation to help support soldiers transiting back from being wounded and depressed. He looks forward to getting back into the woods with his father, doing some fishing and hunting. He is very thankful for all the support he has received.

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