Dear Fellow American,

Freedom isn't free, and Memorial Day is the one day out of 365 that all Americans take a moment to reflect upon why we're blessed to live in the land of the free and home of the brave—our veterans and active duty troops.

You know me as an actor, but you may not know that I spend a substantial amount of my free time supporting military charities, like the American Veterans Center, host of the annual National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, DC.

For nearly 70 years, Washington, DC, was without a parade on our Armed Services' most sacred day. In 2005, the American Veterans Center revived the tradition of a Memorial Day parade in our nation's capital, and today it serves two vital civic purposes: to give the general public the opportunity to honor our service members and pay tribute to our veterans, while allowing active duty troops, veterans, and re-enactors showcase the sacrifice of all our veterans in an exciting procession of American history the whole family can enjoy.

I'm honored to serve as the Honorary Grand Marshal of the National Memorial Day Parade, and I hope you'll join me this year. Even if you can't come all the way to Washington, DC, you can march alongside me through the Virtual Boots on the Ground—the online parade.

Please follow this link to register for the virtual parade, select your avatar, and join thousands of patriots across the country to honor America's veterans from the Revolutionary War to the war in Afghanistan.

After you complete your registration, please make a generous tax-deductible contribution to support the American Veterans Center's efforts throughout the year, including events for wounded veterans at Walter Reed/Bethesda Naval Hospital, programs to educate our youth about the history of America's veterans and their legacy, and the publication of American Valor Quarterly. Whether you can give $25 or $2,500 your contribution will make a huge impact on what the American Veterans Center is able to provide for our veterans throughout the year.

I remember the way our Vietnam Veterans were treated upon returning home. It was a difficult time in our country's history and we must do all we can to make sure that when our men and women are sent to war they are never again forced into the shadows and treated badly, as our returning Vietnam Veterans were. That's one of the reasons I am so active in the veterans' community.

Taking the time on Memorial Day is the least we can do to honor and remember the men and women who have sacrificed family relationships, jobs, and economic stability to go off and fight for our country. So whether you live in the Washington Metro Area and plan to attend this year's parade or you live as far away as Hawaii or Alaska, I encourage you to join us on May 27, 2013, to honor America's veterans.

Please follow this link to register for the Virtual Boots on the Ground parade and join thousands of veterans, active duty troops and civilians across America to pay tribute to our veterans. Then please make the most generous, tax-deductible contribution you can afford to the American Veterans Center to support the parade and our activities throughout the year.

With your support and participation in the virtual parade, we'll promote our veterans' legacy, remember those who gave all, and preserve their sacrifices. Thank you in advance.


Gary Sinise
Honorary Grand Marshal, National Memorial Day Parade

P.S. Join me on May 27, 2013, to pay tribute to America's veterans and active duty troops and remember that freedom is not free by participating in the National Memorial Day Parade. Please follow this link to register, select your avatar, and join millions of your fellow patriots on Memorial Day. After you register for the virtual parade, I hope you'll make a generous tax-deductible contribution to support the efforts of the American Veterans Center.

The National Memorial Day Parade is a project of the American Veterans Center. Donations to the American Veterans Center are 100% tax-deductible.