PASADENA, Calif. — Gary Sinise has been named grand marshal of the 2018 Rose Parade, which will feature the theme “Making a Difference.”

Tournament of Roses President Lance Tibbet announced the selection Monday. He cited Sinise’s many contributions to veterans’ causes.

Sinise will ride through Pasadena, California, on New Year’s Day and participate in the preceding celebration at the 104th Rose Bowl game.

Among signature roles, Sinise played the double-amputee Vietnam veteran Lt. Dan Taylor in the 1994 film “Forrest Gump.”

In thanking parade organizers, he recalled the movie’s famous line, saying, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.”

Sinise’s support of veterans pre-dated “Forrest Gump,” but he embraced the character he portrayed by forming the Lt. Dan Band, which performs at benefits and USO shows.

In 2011, he established the Gary Sinise Foundation to provide a wide range of services to veterans, service members and first responders.