As you may know, part of Purpleheart Art, Vermont’s mission is to support local and national charities, including Operation Homefront.
My father is the son of a WWII Veteran, who by the age of 25 had retired from active duty to marry my grandmother and start a family. By then he had been awarded two Purple Hearts as well as other numerous medals of honor.
He passed away when my father was 14, and I have always wished I could have known him. Here’s a photo of him and my Dad, at Christmas when my Dad was just a baby:
The hobby horse was a Christmas present to my Dad that year. According to my father, the horse remained a favorite toy until he was too big to ride the horse. He was heartbroken until he learned he was now big enough to ride a real horse instead!
My grandfather had developed a love of horses as a very young man and following his marriage to my grandmother, they bought a farm and began raising horses. So my father literally grew up raising them and developed a love for all animals at a very young age, which he passed on to me.
I have always been thankful for being introduced to horses — and many other animals — from as early as I can remember. There’s something about being brought up with animals that naturally fosters within you an empathy for others. For me, it was growing up on the farm, which really was my second home, and assisting in the care of the animals. You try to do what’s best for them and make them as comfortable as possible by responding to body language and mannerisms, rather than depending upon verbal communication. You work to anticipate the needs of the animals before they occur, and by doing so, gain their respect and love. This love for animals is the reason why Purpleheart Art, Vermont gives a portion of all proceeds to my local Rutland County Humane Society. But my grandfather is the reason why we also donate regularly to Operation Homefront. And of course, he is also the inspiration for our company name.
This weekend, Purpleheart Art, Vermont gives a heartfelt THANK YOU to my grandfather as well as all Service Men and Women past and present.
And as for the horse in the photo above? Oh, he’s still around. Take a look:
I also rode him and had hours of fun when I was little, and though he’s retired, he still has a place of honor in my home and serves to remind me every day of my grandfather and all the men and women who died while defending our country.
God Bless You All.