Former “Sopranos” Star Was Friend to Veterans
I am a huge fan of James Gandolfini, who played the mob boss Tony Soprano in the great HBO series “Sopranos.” I am an even bigger fan of his other work in promoting injured military heroes.
Gandolfini, 51, who passed away June 19 from a heart attack, produced two documentaries for HBO focused on veterans' issues: "Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq" in 2007 and "Wartorn 1861-2010" in 2010, according to Mother Nature Network (MNN).
In one interview, MNN reported, the actor revealed that he decided to give a voice to veterans after traveling to Iraq in 2004 and then visiting Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C.
He said, according to MNN: "It all started when we were doing “The Sopranos” and I would get letters or feedback from people saying the soldiers [in Iraq], they would go out and patrol and then they’d come back and watch 'The Sopranos',” Gandolfini told the NY Times.
In "Alive Day," he profiled 10 injured Iraq War veterans and the challenges they face readjusting to society and family life.
Gandolfini did great work to bring attention to the plight of veterans. He will be missed.
Learn more about Gandolfini’s work for veterans here.
Richard VanHouten is the founder and CEO of Veterans Support Organization.