Grateful American: A Journey from Self to Service

Version: Unabridged
Author: Gary Sinise , Marcus Brotherton
Narrator: Gary Sinise
Genres: Biography & Memoir
Publisher: Thomas Nelson on Brilliance Audio
Published In: February 2019
# of Units: 10 CDs
Length: 12 hours
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New York Times Bestseller: The moving, entertaining, never-before-told story of how one man found his calling: to see that those who defend this country and its freedoms are never forgotten.

'The book is called Grateful American, and I promise you after you read it you will be grateful for what Gary has accomplished and contributed to our country.' -- Clint Eastwood

As a kid in suburban Chicago, Gary Sinise was more interested in sports and rock 'n' roll than reading or schoolwork. But when he impulsively auditioned for a school production of West Side Story, he found his purpose--or so it seemed. 

Within a few years Gary and a handful of friends created what became one of the most exciting and important new theater companies in America. From its humble beginnings in a suburban Chicago church basement and eventual move into the city, the Steppenwolf Theatre Company launched a series of groundbreaking productions, igniting Gary's career along with those of John Malkovich, Joan Allen, Gary Cole, Laurie Metcalf, Jeff Perry, John Mahoney, and others. Television and film came calling soon after, and Gary starred in Of Mice and Men (which he also directed) and The Stand before taking the role that would change his life in unforeseeable ways: Lieutenant Dan in the Academy Award–winning Forrest Gump.

The military community's embrace of the character of the disabled veteran was matched only by the depth of Gary's realization that America's defenders had not received all the honor, respect, and gratitude their sacrifices deserve. In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, this became Gary's mission. While starring in hits like Apollo 13, Ransom, Truman, George Wallace, CSI:NY, and Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, Gary has worked tirelessly on behalf of those who serve this country, entertaining more than a half million troops around the world playing bass guitar with his Lt. Dan Band, raising funds on behalf of veterans, and eventually founding the Gary Sinise Foundation with a mission to serve and honor America's defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need.

Grateful American is the moving, entertaining, profoundly gripping story of how one man found his calling: to see that those who defend this country and its freedoms are never forgotten.

Reviews (3)


Written by Mclean on July 26th, 2020

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Inspiring book! Love it and makes you think that we all could do so much more!!


Written by Doug H. on February 19th, 2019

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I just finished this book, and all I can say is, "WOW!" I had no idea about the depth of this man's character or his achievements. I was a fan before, but now I am a HUGE fan! The passion he puts into his work with our veterans, first-responders and their families is amazing. If you want to read a story about life, its struggles, and the triumphs experienced in the midst of these, I recommend this book highly. I couldn't put it down.

Written by Tim F. on February 17th, 2019

  • Book Rating: 5/5

How refreshing it is to listen to a proud, grateful American speak so highly of this fine country’s veterans. I’m proud to have served in the worlds greatest Navy, and even more so proud to have come from a patriotic, military family. I appreciate the kind words Mr. Sinise shares concerning our veterans. His words indeed warm my heart.

Author Details

Author Details

Brotherton, Marcus

Marcus Brotherton worked in youth ministry for nearly a decade before switching to writing fulltime. He holds a master's degree in practical theology from Talbot Seminary.