“For Those Who Keep ‘em Flying”
Acrylic on canvas, 22 x 28
2012 US Navy Award of Merit
has been acquired by the National Museum of Naval Aviation,
Pensacola, FL. for their permanent collection.
Operation Unified Response
The Haiti earthquake gave the American base at Guantanamo Bay a new mission: supplying aid to the devastated island nation. Less than 200 miles from Haiti, Gtmo was designated as the hub of the aid operation. Dozens of helicopters and planes took off daily to ferry supplies and personnel to the stricken country or to American ships off the coast.
This painting is a tribute to the behind-the-scenes efforts that the success of a mission–and so many lives–depends on. En route to Haiti following the earthquake to document Operation Unified Response, we had a stop over in Guantanamo. While I was there, I had the opportunity to sketch the maintenance work being performed on the helicopters used in the operation. The crews were very friendly, as if it was the most normal thing in the world to have someone sitting there with a sketchbook while they worked at, as one mechanic told me, “Doing whatever we can to keep ‘em in the air.”