Carl’s Jr and Joe Mantegna of the Gary Sinise Foundation Honor U.S. Military Veterans at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum

Actor Joe Mantega, Gary Sinise Foundation, honors U.S. Military Veterans. Photo by Jillian Dale

Actor Joe Mantega, Gary Sinise Foundation, honors U.S. Military Veterans. Photo by Jillian Dale

On June 16, 2016, CKE Restaurant Holdings (Carl’s Jr, Hardees, Green Burrito) co-hosted an event at the Reagan Presidential Library and Museum to honor all “veterans, active members of the military, first responders and everyone else who keeps our country safe.”  The event was also presented by the Gary Sinise Foundation through its ambassadorEmmy and Golden Globe nominated actor Joe Mantegna (Criminal Minds, The Godfather III). 

The Ventura Color Guard presents the colors. Photo by Jillian Dale

The Ventura Color Guard presents the colors. Photo by Jillian Dale

During the event, Carl’s Jr CEO, Andy Puzder, announced the annual Stars For Heroes campaign, which has raised more than $5 million since 2011. The campaign “harnesses the compassion and generosity of Carl’s Jr and Hardees customers, franchisees and employees to support our nation’s heroes including active duty military, veterans and their families,” Puzder explained.  Puzder urges everyone to visit Carl’s Jr and Hardees restaurants to help in accomplishing the goal of raising $1.7 million by June 19.  The Gary Sinise Foundation is one of CKE’s national beneficiaries and funds will be used to further the mission to provide support to those who currently serve, and have served, this country. 

Joe Mantegna and Andy Puzder (Carl's Jr CEO) honor US Military Veterans at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Photo by Jillian Dale

Joe Mantegna and Andy Puzder (Carl's Jr CEO) honor US Military Veterans at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Photo by Jillian Dale

The Gary Sinise Foundation, founded by Oscar nominated actor Gary Sinise (known for his role of Lt. Dan Taylor in Forrest Gump, and other films Apollo 13, The Green Mile), serves to provide support to “the heroes of our nation.”  In 2012, the Gary Sinise Foundation began building specially adapted custom smart homes for America’s severely wounded veterans through its Building for America’s Bravest partner program.

“In the end, people are good…but at times we have to combat evil. In the case of this country, we are that beacon of light. We are that example to the rest of the world and it is due to the sacrifices made by our United States military.  And that’s why they deserve our support now and forever,” Mantegna surmised.

Puzder recited a very profound Ronald Reagan quote, considerably profound in light of recent events in the Unites States and around the world.  “Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid. His words ring true today.”  Puzder continued, “Thankfully, turning our backs on difficult situations is not in our nation’s character. The United States of America has an important role to play in world matters, as President Reagan well knew, must be guided by a moral compass that puts human dignity and worth above all else.”

Mantegna described World War II veterans as the “greatest generation” and hard working, the reason we have the freedoms we do today.  They are still some of the most humble and respecting people who deserve our support. Ronald Rexanne, a World War II veteran, who served in the U.S. Navy as an electronics technician, rose from his wheelchair during the Pledge of Allegiance as a sign of respect, managed to let his sense of humor show through. “Make a note that I’m still young and good looking,” he asserted. 

Approximately 300 people attended the event where members of the military, veterans and familieswere served breakfast by Carl’s Jr.  The festivities continued with music by the Los Angeles Police Department Band followed by presentation of the colors by the Naval Base Ventura County Color Guard

For more information, please visit the CKE Restaurants Website as well as the Gary Sinise Foundation Official Website.  For information regarding the Reagan Library and Museum, please visit the Reagan Foundation website