The Story Behind Soldier Silhouettes
On Friday July 26, 2014 my friend, Don Bacso, and I were driving down from Chicago to Bloomington, Illinois to attend the Illinois Army National Guard 33rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion Military Ball. Don, a 9/11/2001 World Trade Center survivor, was scheduled to give a speech and I would be presenting my American Pride 9/11 tribute artwork to the Battalion at the Ball.
While enjoying dinner at the C.O's table, I met Lt. Col. Justin Osberg. Little did I know, at the time, that Lt. Col. Osberg would ask a simple question which would change the course of my artistic career. He asked if I had ever done any artwork related to the military. I replied "No, sir. Unfortunately, I have not". Our conversation then shifted to another subject as we continued to enjoy the evening. After the Ball, I was laying in my hotel room and I couldn't seem to get that question out of my mind. I began questioning myself why haven't I created any military themed artwork. I flew back home the following day with a purpose. I spent the next 11 months creating a collection of paintings to honor and pay tribute to American Military and their families. I created these paintings with passion which are all inclusive and relatable to all branches of the Armed Forces. It was thoughtfully created to recognize all soldiers both male and female, no matter what branch, job or era served. My dear father whom is a U.S. Army Korean War Veteran was my inspiration for many of the paintings in this collection titled Soldier Silhouettes.
I have used this series as a fundraising mechanism by donating prints to different military organizations across the country including The Gary Sinese Foundation, The Allen Lynch Foundation, Operation Support Our Troops of America, and BBQ for the Brave. I have had the pleasure to display this series at numerous places including The U.S.S. Midway Museum in San Diego as well as VFW's and American Legions throughout the U.S.. However, nothing gives me more joy than sharing this series with veterans across the country. I never realized that this series would have such an emotional impact on many of our veterans and to witness the emotion that is displayed at times is sacred to me. I have been blessed and I am extremely thankful to have had the opportunity to share these moments with our American Heroes.