Description This painting is of a photograph taken by Michael Yon. Our battalion commander was wounded by an insurgent during a foot chase down an alleyway. He held off the insurgent despite being wounded while Michael Yon created a distraction to get him pulled out of the way. Our battalion Command Sergeant Major then jumped on the armed insurgent and eventually drug him out. I painted this picture because I was inspired by the action of the three heroes that day. They are great men and lead from the front.
I have been absorbed with the subject of war since my deployment to Iraq in 2004. There, I patrolled the streets of Mosul as a medic in an infantry battalion. The tale of that year is one of tragedy and triumph - of sadness and joy, for which I have a lifetime to reflect on the things I witnessed. The images are still vivid. The ferocity of war imprinted upon my mind. I will never forget the twisted steel mixed with fleshy carnage. My heart sinks when I recall a decimated group of children while a mother looks on in horror. The memory bleeds straight through me. In my efforts to find a meaning, I use my art to honor the greatest triumph of the human spirit of these grave moments. This is my role as an artist. My art reveals the cast of characters caught in the drama of war. The tyrants, heroes, villains and the innocent are characters of a drama whose tragic moments ripple throughout my eternity. The motifs of my work share expressions of these experiences. Some are good and some are bad, some deserve honor and must be celebrated.