While former president Bill Clinton and current commander-in-chief Barack Obama spent the past few months fervently trying to get Hillary Clinton elected, another former president was engaged in a starkly different effort.
President George W. Bush recently revealed on his Instagram account that he’s been working on painting portraits of countless wounded warriors he has come to know and respect — men and women who bravely answered the call of duty.
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“Over the past several months, I’ve painted the portraits of 98 wounded warriors I’ve gotten to know — remarkable men and women who were injured carrying out my orders,” Bush wrote on his Instagram page. “I think about them on #VeteransDay and every day.”
Bush said the paintings will be part of a new book as well as a special exhibit coming next spring titled, “Portraits of Courage.” It’s a project for which he plans to donate all proceeds to the George W. Bush Presidential Center’s Military Service Initiative, a project that aims to “maximize the health and well-being of post-9/11 veterans and military families.”
Over the past several months, I've painted the portraits of 98 wounded warriors I've gotten to know – remarkable men and women who were injured carrying out my orders. I think about them on #VeteransDay and every day. Their paintings and stories will be featured in PORTRAITS OF COURAGE – a book and special exhibit – next spring, and I am donating all my proceeds to @thebushcenter and our Military Service Initiative's work to honor and support them. Click link in bio for more info.
According to KXAS-TV, the book’s full title is, “Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors.” Due out on Feb. 28, 2017, the text will include 66 of Bush’s oil paintings along with a four-panel mural. Bush will provide an introduction, with forewards from First Lady Laura Bush and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Peter Pace.
The book will also include inspirational and harrowing stories written by Bush about each of the men and women depicted in the paintings. The goal, according to the description, is to show Americans “the burden of their sacrifice,” while helping citizens better understand soldiers’ bravery and the situations they face when they come home.
“Our men and women in uniform have faced down enemies, liberated millions, and in doing so showed the true compassion of our nation,” reads a description of the book. “Often, they return home with injuries — both visible and invisible — that intensify the challenges of transitioning into civilian life.”
Bush will praise veterans for being “tremendous national assets in the Armed Forces” in the introduction to the book, explaining how these heroes have been “vital to the future success of our country.”
“The greatest honor of the presidency was looking them in the eye and saluting them as their Commander in Chief,” he writes in the intro. “And I intend to support and salute them for the rest of my life.”
The paintings will also be on display at the Bush Center in Dallas, Texas, next year from March through October.
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