Vietnam veteran Michael Reagan has been immortalizing his fallen fellow soldiers through his art. This talented artist began his journey with the purpose of drawing for the families of the deceased as a way to honor their memory. He has made more than 5.000 portraits for the Fallen Heroes Project, which besides giving comfort and peace to the army families, also receives donations for the cause.
Michael Reagan, the artist, is a very special man. He doesn't consider himself overly religious as he says in his website, but he has the belief that when he starts drawing, the soul of the victim he is immortalizing stands by his side, guiding him through the process.
The veteran always starts his portraits by drawing the eyes, he says "When I get the hero's eyes done, the picture becomes alive to me."
Where does this come from?
In 1968, Reagan lived a profound experience, when he saw the death of a close friend, Vinnie Santaniello. He remembers how the marine, who had been severely injured during a rocket attack, looked at him in the eye and said "I just want to go home". From that moment, Reagan knew that he had to make his survival count, and he decided to honor the lives of those who had not been as lucky as he was.
Prior to starting the Fallen Heroes Project, he spent years making portraits of celebrities that he auctioned, with the intention of raising money for charities.
It wasn't until 2003 that he decided to give a new direction to his art and started to create the portrait of the fallen heroes and giving them to their families. His motivation comes deep from his heart! The veteran says "If I can spend a few hours here in my drawing table and bring back a smile from a widow, how can I do anything else?"
On average, Reagan spends a total amount of 5 hours on each portrait, and he usually makes two a day. In his own words, he breaks a piece of his own heart with each drawing, but at the same time, his heart heals.
Up to the day, Reagan takes a daily walk of about five miles, from his home to the Veteran's Memorial Plaza, where he goes to honor the life of his lost friend Vincent, whose memory is a fuel for Reagan to keep on with his self-imposed and beautiful duty.Posted in Viral and filed under veterans, inspirational.
Source: today, youtube, fallenheroesproject