Born Waynesboro, Georgia, 1931; Died Greensboro, North Carolina, 1992; Served in Vietnam, Air Force, 37th Suppy Squadron, Phu Cat Air Base, Binh Dinh Province, Central Highlands, NCO in charge of inventory section, 1968-69.
We Regret To Inform You, 1979
oil on canvas
35.5 x 26.5 in.
I was in the U.S. Air Force for twenty years. I served in Vietnam in 1968-1969. A very close friend of mine was killed the day before he was to leave Vietnam. He was assigned to a rescue squad and volunteered for a rescue mission. It is painful to live with death constantly surrounding you, knowing that it could grab you just as easily as the other guy. I thank God every day for allowing me to return alive and as a whole person, but the memories are difficult to extinguish.
I started painting in 1978, after a heart attack. At that time I was advised by a doctor to get involved with something that required patience.
This work was not done by the congressman riding to work in his chauffeur-driven limousine, reading the Washington Post, nor was it done by the anchorman on the six o'clock news, but by the man who pulled the trigger on the M-16, dropped the bombs, and threw the hand grenades. This is the war by those who fought it.