King George News

Cathy Dyson writes about King George County. You can email her at

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Coming Sunday: a story about an inspiring veteran

King George resident Leslie Smith and actor Gary Sinise.

Leslie Smith of King George County has photos of various celebrities in her living room. She’s profiled in a story, set to run on Veterans Day, and I asked her to pick a couple photos for use with it.

One she chose is this one of her and actor Gary Sinise, because she’s known him for more than five years. The two worked together on several projects, including the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial.

Smith said Sinise invited her and Isaac, her service dog, to be in a background scene for his show, “CSI:NY” last season when the segment focused on the Brooklyn Wall of Remembrance.

I’ve been a big fan of Sinise since his role as Lt. Dan in “Forrest Gump.” I’m still irritated that he didn’t win an Academy Award for his performance.

Sunday’s story about Smith, a retired Army captain, focuses on the horrific medical ordeal she’s endured since she was in Bosnia 10 years ago. Smith lost a leg, then vision in both eyes to some mysterious illness, yet she refuses to give up. She travels the country, doing public-speaking engagements on behalf of disabled veterans.

I hope the story conveys a fraction of the inspiration she offers to others.