My painting of Emmett Kelly won First Place at the Spokane VA Creative Arts Festival this year! I just found out yesterday that it won third place at the National Competition!
Thank you to all those who have served this great nation of ours!
Those of you who have followed my work may already know that I have an ongoing tribute to veterans. I’ve painted portraits of several of our local veterans from the Korean War, Vietnam War and World War II (See portraits below). I planned on doing some more this year, to continue the series, but, the pandemic slowed things down in that regard. Nevertheless, I’d like to thank these veterans and all of the veterans of our military branches for their service and would like to say that I am personally grateful for the liberty their efforts have afforded us all as a people.
The portraits below were commissioned for a poster by the local VA equal opportunity department. The poster was to include veterans of Pacific Islander heritage. The veterans were all stationed at Fairchild AFB, WA
Today, June 6th, 2020 is the 76th anniversary of D-Day. I painted this portrait last year of a WWII veteran that lives in Spokane. His name is Bill Butler. I spoke with his son today and he said his dad is doing well in spite of the pandemic.
Thank you, Bill and all those veterans that served with you. We owe you all a great debt. May the freedom you afforded us endure!
Paul William (Bill) Butler
Service: Army Air Corps/USAF
Rank: 1st Lt.
Dates Served: 1942 – 1965 (Retired)
Highest Medal: Air Medal
Specialty: Bombardier, Garrison Commandant, General’s Aide
Stations: Geiger AFB, Hamilton AB, Anchorage AK, Bitburg AB GE, Ploesti, Yugoslavia, Campagnella, IT. Retired at Mcchord AFB in 1965
War: WWII, Korea
Aircraft: “Katie Did”, “Dutchess”, “Bucket of Bolts”
First Lieutenant Butler served in the Army Air Corps as a B-24 bombardier during World War II. He flew 53 bombing missions in the European theater and was shot down on seven separate occasions. On one of those occasions, he was captured by enemy forces and imprisoned in a POW camp from which he escaped.
Lt. Butler was wounded in combat but refused his Purple heart because he felt some of his comrades in arms were more deserving than he. He also served as (5-star) General of the Air Force Hap Arnold’s aide.
As part of my continuing tribute to Spokane area Veterans, This portrait is to honor my fellow veteran, close personal friend and brother in Christ, Bennett Traylor (Tray).
I met Tray twenty years ago at the Base Chapel at Fairchild Air Force Base after I returned from a deployment.
I’ve continually been impressed with Tray’s willingness to help others, his outgoing personality and cheerful disposition even in adverse situations. I admire him not only for his service to our country, but his ongoing service to our veterans in the community through the VA and also to me personally. This portrait is a small token of my appreciation for all he does! God bless you brother, Tray!
(Presentation Photos: https://romeroartwork.com/2019/12/06/trays-portrait-presentation/)
Name: Bennett Traylor
Dates Served: December 1971 – January 1992
MOS/AFSC: Civil Engineering
Medal: Achievement Medal
Sheppard AFB TX; Dyess AFB, TX; Guam; Thailand; Vietnam (Linebacker II – ‘72-‘73); Little Rock AFB, AR; Korea; Travis AFB, CA; Bergstrom AFB, TX; Yokota AB, Japan;
Retired from active duty at Fairchild AFB, WA.
Best part of serving: All the friends made – Enrichment of life.
Worst: Dealing with racist individuals.
If you had to do over again what would you do differently?
I would have volunteered for more overseas assignments and Texas.
What would you say to a young person considering the military?
It’s the best place to grow up to learn about discipline and responsibility.
Tray continues to serve the community and fellow veterans – He currently works at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Facility.
I submitted this portrait of Korean War era veteran, Jerry Hood, which won Best of Show at the local level and placed third at the national level.
My wife and I went to the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center today to honor a fellow Veteran, Madison Palmer Jr. and present him with a portrait I made as a small token of appreciation for his service to our country.
This project was commissioned for the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage event hosted at Fairchild Air Force Base.
Went to the Spokane VA Medical Center to honor a fellow vet (Jerry Hood) by presenting him with a portrait I made of him and ended up being honored by winning the VA art contest at the same time (Best of Show)! Wow!
Thank you, Spokane VA! #HonoringVets #SpokaneVA
Portraits of PFC Mann and SFC Grandstaff have been installed at the Spokane VA Medical Center and are on display now.