MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - You'll be able to see paintings of veterans done by former President George W. Bush on Saturday, Jan. 20.
The Portraits of Courage is an exhibit of 66 original portraits, four-panel murals of 98 veterans. It started out as a hobby after Bush's presidency but then it would not only become a gallery later, but give back to those who served.
On one of those paintings, is Sgt. First Class John Faulkenberry, a former Midlander and one of the many veterans on display at the exhibit. He will be speaking at the cocktail reception on Friday and will be present at the ribbon cutting on Saturday.
"I think the Bush's have so many ties here," said Interim Executive Director of the Museum of the Southwest Karmen Bryant. "They have friends, family, so to be able to pay tribute to him paying tribute to the vets is very important. After George Bush read Winston Churchill's 'Painting as a Pastime,' it interested him in becoming a painter and learning how to do that."
As you tour through the exhibit, you can hear a story behind each painting. All you have to do is download the Portraits of Courage app so you can browse through each painting and hear a story from George W Bush himself. You should bring earphones in order to use the app during the exhibit because you're not allowed to play audio out loud. The museum will be selling earphones if you don't have any.
But these paintings are actually doing something more. All proceeds from the exhibit is going to help post 9/11 veterans make a successful transition back to civilian life. It's all part of the George W Bush Presidential Center, the non-profit targets the health issues like PTSD or brain injury.
"This is wonderful that he's done this but he's continuing to give back more," said Bryant.
Bush joined the Texas Air National Guard in 1968. He was honorably discharged and transferred into the Airforce reserves in 1973. Now the former Commander in Chief and former Midlander is giving back to the heroes who serve us.
On Satuday, Jan. 20, the ribbon cutting ceremony starts at 10 a.m. It's free for members, vets and active duty personnel. General admission is $5 and $3 for children.
For details, click here.