Custom Portraits of Fallen Soldiers Drawn Free of Charge
Premier Northwest Artist Generous Offer to Draw Soldier Portraits
What if all you had left of a loved one was photos and memories? For those that have a family member killed as a soldier in the War Against Terrorism, that is all they have left of them.
Using the family’s favorite photo, professional custom hand-drawn portraits are available free of charge to the families of all servicemen and women who have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan in America’s War Against Terrorism from portrait artist Michael Reagan.
Michael Reagan is an internationally-recognized portrait artist who has assisted charities such as the Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center raise over $10 million through his drawn and donated autographed celebrity portraits. As a portrait artist for more than 30 years, Reagan has drawn approximately 10,000 portraits including over 1500 portraits of celebrities, professional athletes, U.S. presidents and other heads of state.
As a Vietnam War combat veteran, Reagan understands and empathizes with the extreme challenges faced by servicemen and women, as well as the ultimate sacrifice their families make. It is his passion to share his portrait-drawing talents with the families of killed servicemen and women as a lasting memory of the soldier’s contribution, as a comfort to the family in their grief and as a service to the United States.
The first request for a soldier’s portrait commission came from the wife of a serviceman Michael Johnson who was killed in Iraq, Cherice Johnson. Cherice contacted Reagan after seeing a story about his work on Seattle’s Evening Magazine show. As a war veteran Reagan’s heart went out to Cherice and her deceased husband - he would not accept payment for the commission. “Being a combat veteran that was fortunate enough to make it home has me thanking God every day,” he explained. “Because I truly consider all of us that have fought or are fighting for this country brothers there just isn't any way I could charge you for your picture.
Healing was found in capturing the essence of the fallen soldier in a portrait. “I am forever grateful you have opened your heart and are willing to share your great talent with others,” describes Cherice in thanking Reagan. “It is people like yourself, along with my family and friends, that make this grieving process even slightly bearable.” This rich experience with Cherice inspired Reagan to offer the opportunity to any family with a fallen soldier in the War Against Terrorism.
Reagan views his art as much more than work, he feels called to share his talent for larger purposes. While he is sought out to draw many commissioned portraits, even some as high profile as President and Mrs. Bush, he feels called to bring healing to difficult situations through his art. “After reading in the paper about a terrible car accident involving a drunk driver that had killed two daughters, I felt compelled to provide a memory of the girls through a portrait for the parents,” he describes. “When I met the family to present the portrait, the grandfather told me I had brought life back into the family. I can’t eliminate anyone’s grief, but I can provide some comfort and healing.” This is just one of many such examples of Reagan sharing his gift to bring healing to a family after loss.
Reagan discovered his talent for portrait drawing when as a youth he was looking for distraction while recovering from a football injury. While he enjoyed the praise his work received what he found important was the healing power of drawing. As a Marine in Vietnam, Reagan often drew portraits of the other Marines. “I drew portraits of a lot of Marines whose pictures came home but they didn’t,” said Reagan. “I was on the front lines in Vietnam during most of tour, it is only through the grace of God that I have come back alive. Given a second chance on life, I am making the most of it – including sharing my talent to help others.”
Portraits are drawn from a photo of the soldier. All requests for drawings of soldiers killed in the War Against Terrorism will be honored. Portraits will be completed on a first come, first serve basis. Requests can only be made by a spouse, parent or other immediate family member and are to be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Portraits From The Heart - July 16, 2004
'When You Look At That Picture, There Is Joy' - November 11, 2004