Archive for the ‘military’ Category

D-Day and the first wave of American soldiers to land in Normandy France on June 6, 1944.

I share this photograph from photographer, Robert F. Sargent onto my Facebook page every Memorial Day, but it is such a powerful image and it pretty much says it all. Imagine being an 18-20 yr.-old kid with your whole life ahead of you and heading into what must have seemed like hell on Earth. We have all seen “Saving Private Ryan” and these were the first soldiers to land on Omaha Beach in Normandy during WWII. They had to run across a beach the length of three football fields with thickets of barbed wire, 5,000 defensive obstacles and 20,000 land mines while dodging well fortified German positions. The Germans had five MG-42 gun turrets on Omaha Beach which fired 25 bullets a second, that is 125 bullets every second zig-zagging down on the beach, let alone all of the other artillery, grenades and gunfire. I don’t know how they did it, but they did and their courageous heroism changed the world as we know it. So much respect for these young men and what they had to endure. May they all rest in peace and know they will never be forgotten.

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This illustration I created is titled “Scout’s Honor” and recognizes the millions of Boy Scouts who each year place American flags on the graves of American soldiers nationwide each Memorial Day.

The Boy Scouts of America is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, with over 4.5 million members. Since its founding in 1910 as part of the international Scout Movement, more than 110 million Americans have been members of the BSA.

The BSA goal is to train youth in responsible citizenship, character development, and self-reliance through participation in a wide range of outdoor activities, educational programs, and, at older age levels, career-oriented programs in partnership with community organizations. For younger members, the Scout method is part of the program to inculcate typical Scouting values such as trustworthiness, good citizenship and outdoors skills through a variety of activities such as camping, aquatics, and hiking.

Click the link below to the Military Art section of my fine art website to purchase this print honoring our nation’s boy scouts and military veterans.

God bless America!

Steel City Artist Illustrations – Military Art

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Here is a new painting I created for a fan of my artwork for her husband’s birthday later this month. Sgt. Fred Fattore was a soldier with the Black Scarves battalion of the famous “Big Red One” during the Vietnam War. I was told that he and his brothers-in-arms will be getting together for their battalion’s reunion, so it will give his comrades the opportunity to view the painting as well. On 30 April 1966 in a sweep through the village of Lo Go, the 1st Battalion was engaged in heavy fighting and it was during this time that a large quantity of black cloth was captured. This cloth was used by the Viet Cong to make their “Black Pajama” uniforms. At the direction of battalion commander, LTC Richard Prillaman, this cloth was made into scarves to be worn by the battalion’s soldiers. LTC Prillaman wanted to be able to distinguish his battalion from other division soldiers and to provide the soldiers with something more appropriate than the towels the men were wearing around their necks. It is from this that the battalion has as its nickname “Black Scarves”. The printing on the scarves was a different color for each company: HHC, yellow, Company A, red, Company B, white, Company C, blue and Company D, green.

Click the link below to the Personalized Art section of my fine art website to view the collection of commissioned illustrations and paintings I have created.

Steel City Artist Illustrations – Personalized Art

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Over the past couple of months I have been creating new digital graphics and paintings. As a result, many people who have come across my work since that time have been requesting personalized digital paintings for their home. I could not have timed it any better as it merged right in with the Christmas holiday shopping season. Personally, I felt like there was a decline of interest in the pen & ink illustrations and I needed something to reinvigorate me both from an artistic and a financial standpoint. Everything has its time and place and I feel blessed to have stumbled upon this art form. The digital art makes the art come alive with the vivid arrangement of colors and there is that personal connection that makes each piece unique in and of itself.

Featured here is my latest digital painting for the family of a Vietnam veteran who passed away two weeks ago from a lifelong battle from the effects of Agent Orange. The veteran’s name was Jim and he was a devoted father, husband and die-hard Steelers fan, especially the football players of the 70’s & the famed Steel Curtain defense. Jim was an elite veteran of the 101st Airborne Screaming Eagles and served in Vietnam from 1969-71. His family wanted me to create this digital painting to pass onto their children for them to cherish the memory of their father. Using my talents, I was able to incorporate the things which they were interested in adding to the piece. I was able to filter in an American flag into the wall itself while keeping the names of the veterans intact. The Screaming Eagles is emblazoned into the wall along with a portrait of Jim as the centerpiece and focal point. To the right are the members of the Steelers ‘Steel Curtain’ defense. The underlying symbolism is that they are both veterans of the battlefield and the gridiron. Usually when people visit the Vietnam Wall they leave mementos behind of a loved one, whether it is a flower or personal artifact and each are collected at the end of the day and stored in a military warehouse. I felt that the rifle lodged into the military boots was a befitting symbol and signifies the end of this soldier’s tour of duty as he joins his brothers in arms.

Click the link below to the Personalized Art section of my fine art website to view the collection of commissioned illustrations and paintings I have created.

Steel City Artist Illustrations – Personalized Art

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“Heroes Field” by Andrew Vernon

“Successful people are just ordinary people doing an extraordinary job. What fuels your vision is your attitude. Be the best that you can be.”

~ Rocky Bleier ~

Rocky Bleier

The story of Rocky Bleier is one of the most inspiring in the history of sports and it holds a special place in the hearts of Pittsburgh Steelers fans. It is the story of how one man defied all odds with the weight of the world on his shoulders to become an inspiration to many. Rocky Bleier was a leader and an American hero on the battlefield in the rice paddies of Vietnam. Despite wounds in both of his legs, he overcame unparalleled odds in leading the Pittsburgh Steelers to four Superbowl championships. Now, a new mission is at hand with a committed following from Steelers Nation to get Rocky Bleier into the NFL Hall of Fame where he righteously belongs with his brothers in arms.

Rocky Bleier was born March 5, 1946 in Appleton, Wisconsin. He was a former NFL halfback with the Pittsburgh Steelers having been selected in the 16th round of the 1968 draft. Bleier graduated from Xavier High School in 1964 where he starred in football and basketball. He was a three time all-state running back for his high school. Rocky went on to play football at the University of Notre Dame where he graduated from in 1968 with a degree in business management. He was a member of the 1966 national team and served as captain of the ’67 squad.

Rocky Bleier, University of Notre Dame

Play Like A Champion Today

Rocky Bleier:Football Star & Vietnam Veteran

Rocky Bleier was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 16th round of the ’68 draft. As fate would have it, he was then drafted by the United States Army that year. Rocky volunteered for duty during the Vietnam War and was shipped in May, 1969 with the 196th Light Infantry Brigade. On August 20th while on patrol in Heip Duc he was wounded in the left thigh from a rifle bullet when his unit was ambushed in a rice paddy. While hunkered down from enemy fire, a grenade landed nearby sending shrapnel into his lower right leg. Rocky was awarded both the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star for his sacrifice and courage in battle.  While recovering in a Tokyo hospital doctors were convinced that he would never play football again but nothing would not stop him. Then one day, he received a postcard from ‘The Chief’ Art Rooney and in it the postcard read, “Rock-the team’s not doing well. We need you”. – Art Rooney. One year upon being wounded, Bleier reported to Steelers training camp and spent the next two years trying to gain an active spot on the roster, even though he was waived twice, he never gave up.

“Reflections” by Lee Teter

Rocky Bleier, Pittsburgh Steelers

Rocky continued to work in the off-season with intense training regimens to get the strength back into his legs and was brought to the starting lineup in 1974.  For the next six seasons he would hold that position and in that time, the Pittsburgh Steelers amassed four Super  Bowl victories. Bleier who originally wore #26 upon being drafted switched to #20 as that jersey number was already taken. He was the second of the Pittsburgh Steelers rushing weapons behind Franco Harris and was considered a great lead blocker. Both he and Franco Harris accumulated 1,000 yard rushing seasons in the ’76 season and became only the second NFL team to accomplish that feat. Bleier played in all four Steelers Super Bowl victories.  He retired in 1980 with 3,865 rushing yards, 136 receptions and 25 TD’s. Here is a video of Rocky in Super Bowl XIII against the Dallas Cowboys.

Pittsburgh Steelers – Super Bowl XIII – Rocky Bleier Touchdown

“For Old Times Sake”…Franco Harris, Terry Bradshaw & Rocky Bleier

The Rocky Bleier Foundation

The Rocky Bleier Foundation

Since his retirement in 1980, Rocky has written a book titled “Fighting Back: The Rocky Bleier Story” which was made into a television movie starring Robert Urich, Richard Herd and Art Carney. Rocky also tours the nation as a motivational speaker inspiring those across the country to “be the best that you can be” and to “never give up”. Bleier resides in a suburb of Pittsburgh with his family. In 2007, Xavier High School retired his #23 football jersey and renamed their football field in his honor.

Rocky Bleier Field, Xavier High School

Now there is a new mission at hand being led by a group of Facebook followers and fans of Steeler Nation. They are leading a campaign to get Rocky Bleier into the NFL Football Hall of Fame where he has earned that distinct honor. In life, we need heroes to look up to who lead by example and contribute to society to make each of us shine in our own individual talents.

NFL Hall of Fame

Story by – Charles R. Ott, Jr.

Click the link below to the Steelers Art section of my fine art website to purchase this limited edition print of NFL legend and Vietnam veteran, Rocky Bleier.

Steel City Artist Illustrations

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