Boyd McCanna Harris
West Point, 1966
Be Thou At Peace
Posted by Gary Sinise on October 27, 2013:
On October 13, 1983, my brother in law, West Point graduate, Boyd McCanna Harris passed away of cancer at age 39. A two tour Vietnam Veteran, first as a Lieutenant and again as a Captain, he was an inspiration to me at a young age and helped to open my eyes to what the Vietnam experience and military leadership was all about. A great leader, I have met Generals over the years who knew him, were taught by him, and had the utmost respect for him. The military and Vietnam part of my portrayal of LT Dan in Forrest Gump was in many ways based on, and a tribute to him. After Vietnam, he went on to teach at West point as a Major and then, as a LT Colonel at FT Leavenworth, during his final mission to re write the leadership manual for the United States Army, he was diagnosed with cancer and passed away a few months later. He was a wonderful man who loved to ride horses and fox hunt and after his passing, leadership at FT Leavenworth dedicated the kennel on base where the hunting dogs are kept in his honor. And each year, at West Point, the Boyd M. Harris Memorial Award for Excellence in Leadership is given to the outstanding cadet leader. Also in his honor, my wife and I named our son after him. Everyone called him Mac, short for McCanna. Our son is McCanna Anthony Sinise. My character on CSI NY was named for both my son and Mac.
I only knew him for seven years, but he had a profound impact on my life and I thank him so much for that.
As Vietnam veteran, he never got the welcome home he deserved.
Welcome Home Mac.
God bless you always.
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