Gary Sinise: Sometimes it's Lt. Dan now because they recognize me as somebody that maybe knows what they're going through because I played a guy who's lost his legs.
[Gary Sinise, acting: Sister Blanche cannot be annoyed with business details right now.]
By the time he played Lt. Dan, Sinise was already an accomplished actor, having founded the Steppenwolf Theatre in his hometown of Chicago and starred in productions from "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest" to "Of Mice and Men."
[Lt. Dan: That was my destiny and you cheated me out of it.]
But it was Lt. Dan who changed the course of his life.
Gary Sinise: The movie opened July 4, 1994 and about two weeks after it opened I got this call from the Disabled American Veterans. They wanted to give me something for playing Lt. Dan, for playing a disabled veteran.
The award is now on the wall of his offices in L.A.
David Martin: That's talking very specifically about Lt. Dan. "Nor will we forget that character's heroic struggle to rise above his anger to be-- to become not only successful but an unequivocally good human being."
Gary Sinise: There were 3,000 people in this ballroom. Those that could stand were all standing, giving me an ovation, and I was, you know, I, I, was so moved by it and really caught off guard by the emotion.
David Martin: What do you think it was that so moved you? Is it real amputees applauding a pretend amputee?
Gary Sinise: I'm an actor, I'm not a, I, I play parts, you know. These people lived the part that I played and were wounded and severely wounded, some of them, and, and they were applauding me for playing a part.
As of May 1st there were 1,459 amputees from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. 439 of them lost more than one limb. Dominguez is one of 39 who lost three.
Juan Dominguez: I basically thought I was worthless until one of the quad amputees that was there, he was walking around like it was nothing.
That was Marine Corporal Todd Nicely one of five surviving quadruple amputees.
Todd Nicely: I have a feeling 10 years down the road I'm not even gonna remember what it was like to have arms and legs.
He and his wife Crystal are about to move into a new house being built just for them in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri - paid for in part with money raised by Sinise at a concert last Memorial Day.
David Martin: What does this house mean for you?
Todd Nicely: For me, it means getting my life back, you know, being able to do a lot of the things on my own.
It's impossible to imagine what the Nicelys have endured since the day in March of 2010 when he stepped on a booby-trapped bridge in Afghanistan.
Todd Nicely: I remember thinking, "If I just keep breathing, I'll make it home to my wife, so..."
David Martin: You know, you can't sacrifice much more for your country and live to tell about it.
Todd Nicely: Yeah, that's true.