ORLANDO, Fla. — Almost 2,000 Gold Star families from across the nation just wrapped up a five-day trip to Walt Disney World courtesy of the Gary Sinise Foundation.

  • More than 1,700 Gold Star family members vacation at Disney World
  • Gold Star families brought together courtesy of Gary Sinise Foundation
  • American Airlines volunteered charter flights, workers for trips to Orlando

The trip was part of the foundation's "Snowball Express" program, which brings Gold Star families together each December for a "fun, inspiring, and therapeutic" getaway.

Gold Star families are loved ones of those who have died during military service.

The 1,722 family members were flown to Disney World from around the nation by American Airlines, which volunteered crew and charter flights for the trip. Sinise also flew out and met with the families.

The trip allowed families to "heal, connect with other Gold Star families, and celebrate," the foundation said.

Sinise portrayed Lt. Dan in the 1994 Oscar-winning movie Forrest Gump. Since then, he's been hailed as a tireless supporter of military and first-responder families and veterans. He routinely meets with and performs for troops with his band, the Lt. Dan Band.

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