In their letters to Edmonds artist Michael G. Reagan, grieving families share their sorrow over losing loved ones in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“The loss of my brother has left me with so many questions, wondering if his sacrifice was really going to make the difference he hoped for and worth the incredible grief felt by all my family, but most especially his child’s loss of a father now and in the coming years,” wrote one woman.
While each letter is unique, they all have one thing in common: overwhelming thanks to Reagan for capturing the spirit of their fallen soldiers in his hand-drawn portraits.
Reagan is well known for his Fallen Heroes Project, in which he creates, for free, portraits of those killed in the war on terror and sends them to the grieving families.
Now, the foundation that supports his work is getting a financial boost from the Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation.
On Feb. 8, VFW Department of Washington Commander Krist Huseby will present the Michael G. Reagan Portrait Foundation with a $25,000 grant at the Edmonds Senior Center.
Reagan has created more than 3,100 hand-drawn portraits and invested more than 3,500 hours annually in the project, all without pay.
“Our organization is incredibly proud to assist such a patriotic and selfless individual like Mr. Reagan,” said Allen F. Kent, VFW Adjutant General and VFW Foundation Board president, in a statement announcing the award. “Through his art he has helped improve the spirits of military families who find solace in the beauty of his work and in the dignified compassion he shows in remembrance of their loved ones.”
Reagan is a Vietnam veteran and member of VFW Post 8870 in Edmonds. He received the VFW’s Commander-in-Chief Gold Medal of Merit Award in 2009.
The Feb. 8 check presentation ceremony is at 12:30 p.m. and is open to the public.