Welcome to the third guest article by Paintru for SOFREP’s Art of War series. Paintru is a 100 percent veteran-owned small business that tells stories through artwork. We take your favorite photos and memories, and have them hand-painted by a professional artist – and one of our highest honors is telling military veterans’ stories. We are thrilled to be able to do so via SOFREP’s Art of War series.
As a veteran-owned small business, our military customers come to us because they trust us with their most prized memories and images. We frequently paint for farewell gifts, retirement portraits, and fond deployment memories. We’re also frequently commissioned to paint a tribute to fallen servicemembers, and we’re honored to share with you an initiative that is near to our hearts in this week’s article.
Our founders, myself included, are all graduates of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and we all went on to serve in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. In the Navy and Marine Corps, sea stories are currency — we tell stories of our experiences and fallen comrades to keep their memories alive. A few weeks ago, a veteran non-profit called Steel Hearts approached us about a partnership to honor the legacy of our brothers and sisters from the last two decades of war. Over the coming year, we will start with the families we are most familiar with, the families of fallen service academy graduates and fallen servicemembers from recent military events. We will then gift the paintings free of charge to their families and museums around the United States.
Our true goal is to paint every fallen servicemember, but that’s a lofty ambition for a small company.
We’re doing what we do best as a small business — we’re starting small. We’re raising money to fund this initiative via our GoFundMe and in addition to that, also contributing 10 percent of profits to Gold Star Families from any painting ordered on our site using code: HEROES15 (which also nets you 15 percent off).
Project Spotlight: In Memory of Daniel Hyde
1LT Daniel Hyde was killed in action in Operation Iraqi Freedom on March 7, 2009, in Samarra, Iraq.
Daniel exemplified leadership, commitment, and service to all who knew him. Born in California, Daniel graduated from Downey High School in 2003. He was a leader at every phase of his life, lettering in three varsity sports in high school and holding the position of Student Body President for two terms.
Daniel’s accomplishments earned him acceptance by all three federal military academies. He graduated from Army West Point 23rd out of 968 cadets before getting his Ranger tab and airborne qualifications.
1LT Hyde was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. He is survived by his parents and a sister, who are residents of Modesto California. Daniel is remembered for advice he once offered other students, which perfectly summarizes his attitude of excellence in everything: “Do not accept mediocrity in any aspect of your life.”
Project Spotlight: In Memory of Taylor Hoover
SSgt Taylor Hoover was killed in action on 26 Aug 2021 while protecting fellow Marines and caring for civilians at the Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul Afghanistan.
SSgt Taylor Hoover was a “Marines’ Marine” a motto that underscored his dedication to mission, and commitment to fellow servicemembers. Prior to joining the Marines, Taylor was a standout athlete at his hometown school Hillcrest High, revered by coaches and teachers alike. Taylor joined the Marines at the young age of 20, before serving three tours of duty over his 11 years of selfless service.
One of the many standout characteristics that fellow Marines remember fondly of Taylor was his tireless support of his fellow Marines. While deployed with a Marine Corps Special Crisis Task Force, Taylor was part of a Marine Corps unit that single-handedly ushered thousands of Afghan nationals and Americans to safety. This was a fitting role for Taylor, who was described as having a warrior spirit since birth and always caring for others before himself. For the Marine veterans on the Paintru team, it was a distinct honor to hand paint this beautiful portrait of SSgt Taylor Hoover for his surviving fiancée and family.
“Taylor cared for others first, that was how he lived.”