Wednesday, November 11, 2015

In Remembrance of All Those Who Served

I realize I have posted this artwork in the past in commemoration of Veteran's Day. I've always found it very touching. It captures the emotional pain that every veteran who has lost friends in combat has suffered. 

This year, though, this painting has an even greater, personal significance. It was the favorite piece of art of my best friend of forty years, Curtis Brown, himself a proud veteran. He had a framed version of this painting mounted in his living room. Although he never experienced the anguish of losing any of his buddies in combat, it reminded him of the sacrifices that all servicemen and women are willing to make for their country, including Curtis himself. My friend had suffered a mishap while serving in the Army that left him paralyzed from the waist down. He was never bitter about his condition or regretted his decision to join the military. Being a soldier was one of the accomplishments in his life of which he was most proud.

Earlier this year, Curtis lost his thirty-year struggle with the pain and physical deterioration related to his condition. As I post this, I can't help but remember this painting hanging on the wall in his living room where me, Curtis, and so many others would sit around eating junk food, watching horror movies, and sharing that camaraderie that only life-long friends can share. For the first time, I can relate to the heartache the man in this painting feels.

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