The USO Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore joins forces with the Gary Sinise Foundation to give community members a chance to enjoy an evening of family-centered festivities to acknowledge and honor our men and women in uniform, May 23, starting at 5 p.m. at Pullen Field. 

Join the USO for the Invincible Spirit Festival featuring a BBQ dinner and music from the Lt. Dan Band. 

“The Invincible Spirit Festival celebrates the courage of our Service members, including wounded, ill and injured, and allows us to show our gratitude to their families and caregivers,” said Michelle Shortencarrier, senior manager of media and community relations, USO-Metro. “Beginning in 2012, the festival brings a fair-like atmosphere to wounded heroes, DoD and military organizations on the installation. Attendees will be treated to delicious barbecue prepared by Team Irvine and a powerhouse concert performance by the Lt. Dan Band.” 

In Sinise’s recent book, Grateful American, A Journey from Self to Service, he explained his motivation for ensuring the show goes on, with or without him, in a chapter called: Honor. Gratitude. Rock and Roll. In it, he wrote, “This band isn’t about gaining recognition or becoming an international rock show or making any money. The mission has always been about encouraging our defenders. The people who fight to protect our freedom need to know they’re supported by the country they love. It’s all about honor, gratitude and rock and roll. 

“Today, in the 17 years since we’ve been around, the Lt. Dan Band has played more than 400 shows for troops. This band is another part of my mission of service to honor our defenders and we’ve played all over America and all over the world in service to that mission. 

“The show has been crafted and fine-tuned over the years, but the basic message remains the same. We are a band created solely for the troops’ enjoyment. We are here today to say the hugest thanks we can, and to reflect the overall appreciation of a grateful nation,” he wrote. 

The event is sponsored by Gary Sinise Foundation’s official airline partner, American Airlines; the Robert Irvine Foundation; USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore; Rental Solutions; and Fort Belvoir MWR, Shortencarrier added. 

The festival is free and includes the concert, food, a moon bounce, face painting and balloon artists. 

More than 75 USO volunteers will be on-hand at the festival, serving and making sure the activities are all staffed. 

“This event would not be possible without the tremendous support and dedication of USO volunteers,” Shortencarrier said. “So, bring your blankets and low-to-the-ground chairs, and prepare yourself for an unforgettable night.” 

For more, call 571-267-2080 or visit categories/recreation.