WOW! My head is still in the clouds! I was one of two artists invited to take a Utah National Guard Blackhawk helicopter tour. With us were company executives and the Mayor of Castle Dale, Utah.
The Guard served us breakfast, showed us different helicopters, then we boarded the Blackhawk and flew down to Southern Utah over the beautiful Bryce Canyon and Zion landscapes. Daren Wilding
, the other artist, and I had a blast taking reference photos. It is always fun to be with another artist who loves taking a lot of reference! At the St. George Base, they served us lunch where we learned about the incredible part our Southern Utah Units played in the Korean War. Some of the relatives of those soldiers currently serve protecting us today over in the Middle East. What a tremendous history. We discussed how important it is for citizens, neighbors, employers and communities to understand soldiers' varied schedules of deployment, tell them we appreciate their service and do all we can to assist in helping their families at home. It was a marvelous and humbling experience.
After lunch we saw various ground equipment. We then boarded for the return flight. Too cool!
I'm looking forward to painting the experience and donating it to the Guard for auction. It's an honor and privilege to help support our troops and their families.
My special thanks to Russ, Lynn, Colonel Olson, the pilots and crew at the Utah National Guard. Thank you to all the men and women in uniform, our fantastic United States Military. My family and I are grateful to you for protecting our country, families and liberties.