Look what Lieutenant Dan (Of Forrest Gump fame) is doing now in Iraq ?
Gary Sinise (best known for his role as Lieutenant Dan in the film Forrest Gump) is a cofounder of the organization Operation Iraqi Children.
On a visit to Iraq in 2003, Mr. Sinise was saddened to see that Iraqi children often go to schools that lack in everything from pencils, and books, to working toilets and floors.
Under Saddam Hussein the school system was not updated.
"How are the kids supposed to lear anything in school without basic supplies, such as pencils and books ?"
Sinise continues to stay in touch with the troops in Iraq. From them he hears the good news that he says is overlooked in press coverage from Iraq.
"I get another side of the story that we don't hear through the media," he said. "And it's more positive things happening than you would think based on the perception that we have on a daily basis."
The news reports, he said, are "always about a bomb or a suicide bomber or somebody getting killed. Of course that's dramatic and all of that but, on a day-to-day basis, there is a lot of improvement; there's a lot of hope, a lot of kids that are going to school that never got to do that before."
What difference might a school book make? For Sinise, all the difference in the world.
"If we can help these little kids," he said, "and they can see that there is freedom to learn - to just go to school and have a pencil and learn - something might happen in the way they grow up, and take charge of their own country."
Here is their website: http://operationiraqichildren.org/.