(Editor’s Note: SOFREP is partnering with Paintru to bring you the art of veterans weekly. Paintru’s founders, JD Kameen, Eric Kettani, and Brendan Aronson are all Annapolis grads and Marine officers. If Eric’s name sounds familiar, it is because he played football for Navy and had a five-year career with the NFL)


As Paintru’s co-founder and CEO, JD Kameen, I would like to share a bit more about Paintru and our shared vision with SOFREP for this column. 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 – they’re the perfect gift for any occasion or a beautiful way to decorate your home or office. 

Over the coming months, via The Art of War column, we’ll tell the stories of our fellow servicemembers and the story of war through art.

Whether we’re featuring a customer’s cherished commission, highlighting a veteran artist,  paying homage to fallen veterans, or shedding light on incredible projects led by and impacting the active duty and veteran communities, we’ll strive to make this weekly article a deep dive into the emotions behind the artwork. 

My co-founders, Eric Kettani (Left) and Brendan Aronson (Right) painted in an oil medium.


About Paintru

Our company was founded to tell stories, aligned with the great tradition of telling sea stories in the Naval service. Sea stories are tales of our comrades’ exploits, their courage under fire, or they recount funny anecdotes that only fellow servicemembers would laugh at. 

We have thousands of photos on our phones, and we were looking for a way to bring those memories into our lives in really high quality and in a deeply personal way. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, we believe that art tells the full story – Paintru was born to tell our stories and the stories of our fellow veterans. 

Heywood Hall, USMC Base Quantico
Heywood Hall, USMC Base Quantico


MV-22 Osprey
An MV-22 Osprey bustering along in the clouds.

Our artists paint every subject matter imaginable – pet portraits, landscapes of places that are special to us, ships and aircraft with special meaning, memorial portraits of those we’ve lost, wedding portraits to celebrate new beginnings, and beautiful travel photos to commemorate a wonderful trip. Each of these photos has significant meaning to those who captured that moment in time, and by elevating that photo through art, we’re able to experience the emotions of the moment alongside our customers. Simply put, we love this business and helping our customers tell their stories.

Custom Paintru commission honoring fallen USMC Pilot Capt Travis Brannon (oil on canvas).

Our founding team consists of myself, JD Kameen, Eric Kettani, Brendan Aronson, and Aidan Casey. JD and Brendan graduated from the Naval Academy in the class of 2015 and 2012 respectively and went on to serve in the Marine Corps. Eric graduated from the Naval Academy in the class of 2009 and played professional football while serving as a Naval Officer. He’s also a professional artist and our artist-in-chief. Aidan is a military spouse whose fiancé is a Marine pilot. Though we skew nautical, we’ll be sure to tell a diverse array of stories through this weekly post from across the services and ranks. 

We would love to keep the community as involved as possible. If you have an idea for a painting, an article, or know a great veteran artist, we’d love to hear from you via email at [email protected].