FROM A GRATEFUL NATION is deeply rooted in an extremely emotional past experience and sight that impacted me greatly during my tour of duty as a Marine Corps Combat Artist serving in Vietnam some forty years past.
As a combat artist, the mission was to document my individual experiences for historical purposes and preservation.
During my frequent movements and attachment to combat units in country, I would often travel past the fence line of an enclosed supply depot located in the area of my Da Nang City Studio. This depot’s chain link fence was topped with and surrounded by rows of razor wire, located in a separate area along the fence and inside the wire was a run seemingly one hundred yards long, where metal transfer cases were staged, stacked as high as the fence was tall and four to five rows deep.
The vision of these cases stacked like so many building blocks laying silently in wait for the remains of our young fallen warriors touched me deeply.
This sight of these cases etched a most indelible impression on my soul, an impression that vividly exists within me, and I carry in my heart and mind to this day. I have searched inwardly over the years for the artistic insight and internal guidance to produce a fitting artistic statement for our nation’s human sacrifice of war.
My experiences in Vietnam and this war in which our nation is engaged today, have served to move me to a full vision on my creative quest as a former war artist to create FROM A GRATEFUL NATION. FROM A GRATEFUL NATION is envisioned to be a work that will offer a sensitive statement of art, unique in its creation. The work will be in recognition and dignity of our nation’s fallen of all wars and operations not exclusive to Vietnam. A special focus will be given the sacrifices suffered and experienced by young men, women and families touched by today’s combat operations in Afghanistan and wars of the future.