Colorado State University
Artist: Laura Grossett
Veteran: Casey M.
There is no narrative for this print.
Artist: Alexis Anderson
Veteran: Joshua V.
Artist: Jennifer Ghormley
Veteran: Monica H., US Air Force
Participating in this project proved to be a valuable, eye-opening experience for me as an artist. My father was in the Air Force, stationed in Vietnam for a bit, so I grew up exposed to many stories and movies from the Vietnam war era. I am embarrassed to admit, but my initial, naïve impression of a ‘vet’ was someone old and weathered, with irreparable psychological and physical damage as a result of their service duties and self sacrifice for the good of the country. Upon meeting Monica, I quickly realized this was an archaic definition, and that many wars have passed since then, recruiting younger generations of soldiers along the way. Family history and a strong desire to travel and help people, Monica voluntarily enlisted in the Air Force when she was 19, and she hoped to make a difference in the lives of others. Her position was Security Forces, essentially the base law enforcement. I immediately thought “the peacekeeper”.
In listening to Monica’s story and learning about her experiences, one of the things that stuck with me was the physical impact one endures as a tool for waging war in order to establish peace. Monica mentioned that she has Tinnitus, or a constant ringing in the ears, as a result from being around loud noises, operating artillery, machine guns and grenade launchers, etc. So while she is no longer enlisted, and has a whole life of experiences ahead of her, this constant reminder will always be present. My piece is an interpretation of this event, as a grimacing textural face is recoiling from the exploding sounds of numerous M-16s emanating from the ear. While I am not necessarily pro-war, I do identify with a personal sacrifice one makes for the good of others. And a part of me is grateful in ways I simply cannot express.
Artist: Ian Rhodes
Veteran: Mitchell H., US ARMY
Mitchell told me a few stories from all of his military experience. I was particularly interested in his time as a dispatcher on a military facility. He described it as both exciting and nerve wracking, sometimes boring, sometimes intense. It was a job that could be very rewarding but also a job like any other with frustrations, stress, and anxiety. I hoped to capture some of the highs and lows of the situations that Mitchell dealt with as a dispatcher in my print.