The award-winning GI Film Festival, the nation’s only military film festival, is pleased to announce that actor Joe Mantegna will receive the festival’s GI Spirit Award during a congressional reception to be held on Tuesday evening, May 15th. The GI Spirit Award is presented to an entertainer who embodies the spirit of an American GI in their creative and philanthropic endeavors. Previous recipients include actors Gary Sinise, Jon Voight and Lou Diamond Phillips, among others.
Chicago native Joe Mantegna has spent decades performing in both the theater and on film. He has been a part of some of the most memorable films and television shows ever produced. From films like The Godfather III, Searching for Bobby Fischer or Close and Personal to being a regular on The Simpsons and starring in Criminal Minds as David Rossi, Joe creates memorable characters that will be remembered for generations.
For almost a decade, Mr. Mantegna has participated in the National Memorial Day Concert in Washington DC. In 2005 he was appointed the Honorary Chairman for The Salute to Hospitalized Veterans and Joe can often be found lending a hand to charities that benefit our military, their families and the USO.
“I am so honored to be recognized by the GI Film Festival,” said Joe Mantegna. “We all have the same goal in the end – to support our troops in any way we can and celebrate the tremendous sacrifices our military men and women make in and out of the arena of war.”
“We cannot think of a more deserving recipient for the 2012 GI Spirit Award. Joe has helped raise millions of dollars for charities all over the world, including Operation Iraqi Children and spent countless hours with wounded service men and women,” explained Brandon Millett, President of the GI Film Festival. “It would be impossible to list all of the wonderful things Joe has done, but it’s safe to say that he has impacted the lives of thousands of people through his philanthropic endeavors. We are excited to have the opportunity to honor him at the festival.”
The GI Film Festival will present the GI Spirit Award to Joe Mantegna during the festival’s Congressional Reception, an event that will pay special tribute to veterans of the Vietnam War in 2012. The Congressional Reception, which is open to GI Film Festival VIP pass-holders, is co-chaired by Reps. Geoff Davis (R-KY) and Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), who will both be present to honor Vietnam Veterans for their service to our country.