Farwell Veteran Paints for A Brighter Future for Other Veterans

“I got into painting just as therapy for me to kind of get my arm strength back and just a way to get some stuff out there that was in my head,” said Joe Pawlowski.

This Marine Corps veteran has a lot of inspiration to work with.

Joe Pawlowski paints with the same arm that was hit in an ambush during his time serving in Iraq.

“It was a pretty horrible day but a lot of the jobs I do, I just think about those guys,” he said.

Best friends turned brothers he now has to live without – like Peter.

Joe painted his casket.

“It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do,” he said. “Some of the real personal ones, I think about the person I am doing it for a lot, I’ll think about all the time we spent together.”

One of his more recent works was on a motorcycle for his friend Jeremy.

He was shot in the chest a day after Joe.

“It really means a lot to be able to do it, because I am here, I am alive, he’s alive,” he said.

“This is basically Joe’s heart and soul in every project he works on,” said Jeremy Kemp.

He recreated scenes that he shared with his fellow marine over days, and weeks and months.

“A lot of times we were just making sure we were already secure in areas we were already cleared out of,” he said. “So we had to sit on posts and stare at these streets, I wanted it to look like one of those scenes.”

“I have had a lot of different veterans come up and say ‘it was just like that’ and they tell their story and get it off their chest,” said Kemp.

“I put a purple heart on there because he’s a purple heart veteran as well,” said Pawlowski.

Within months, Joe will be able to move from his cramped studio garage to a brand new studio thanks to the help from a grant from Hope For The Warriors.

They’ve granted nearly 200 wishes similar to Joe’s.

“We just hope this makes a little ripple in the long term affect for him,” said program manager, Chrystal Keilers.

With their help for him, he hopes to paint a brighter future for other veterans who’ve dealt with the same hardships he has.

“They’re just trying to deal with it, they’re trying to do what they can to deal with every day, so I am trying to do my little part that I know helps me, so as a veteran, it’s got to help other guys as well,” he said.

For more information about Hope For The Warriors, click here.

For more of Joe Pawlowski’s art work, click here.

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