Actor Gary Sinise, whose memorable roles include Lt. Dan Taylor in the movie Forrest Gump, recognized Iowa's own Puppy Jake Foundation at an event held on July 24th aboard the USS Iowa battleship in Los Angeles.  Sinise is an ardent supporter of various veterans' organizations and frequently performs on USO tours for military personnel around the globe. He is a member of the advisory council of the Hope For The Warriors, a national non-profit dedicated to provide a full cycle of non-medical care to combat wounded service members, their families, and families of the fallen from each military branch.  Hope for the Warriors will hold its signature event – "Got Heart, Give Hope" -- aboard the USS Iowa with Sinise as the special guest. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Puppy Jake Foundation, Battleship Iowa and Hope for the Warriors.

The Puppy Jake Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to help wounded military veterans with the assistance of well-bred and professionally trained service dogs. Veterans’ injuries may be invisible such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or physical mobility impairments. The foundation advocates for increased awareness and accessibility for those accompanied by a service dog in everyday situations.

“Not only is it an honor to be a part of such a great cause, but our service dogs will get the opportunity to train alongside of the west coast, learning to handle the stress of large crowds and accommodate their future veteran,” said Becky Beach, the founder of Puppy Jake Foundation.

Eight service dogs in training were present, along with eleven volunteer puppy raisers for the celebration.  In addition to the USS IOWA, the outing to the Los Angeles area continued with training at Disneyland, a whale watch, the Aquarium of the Pacific, Santa Monica and Venice Beach.  Readers are encouraged to donate $25 to $100 to help sponsor a service dog for a wounded military veteran.