Google is honoring Veterans Day with a Doodle painted by a U.S. veteran who lost parts of both arms while serving in Iraq.
Middleboro, Mass.-based artist Pete Damon was serving as a helicopter mechanic in 2003 when he was severely injured. “I would not be alive today were it not for my fellow service members who sprang into action to save my life,” he wrote, in a blog post.
The “Paying Tribute” Doodle shows two children, one wearing camouflage and the other with a sailor’s cap, setting up a flag display for Veterans Day. “It is meant to honor all of those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces,” Damon said, in the blog post. “With this piece, I hope people will realize and appreciate the personal sacrifice that all who serve in the military endure securing the liberty of all Americans. I particularly hope that people will recognize the importance of teaching children to honor their service.”
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Artist and Iraq War veteran Pete Damon with his Google Doodle painting. (Pete Damon)
Damon explained that he started painting as a form of therapy, which led to a career in art. “I’ve been painting scenes of children planting flags for some time now. As a young Cub Scout, my son’s troop would often be recruited to plant flags to honor veterans. My wife and I would often tag along. I found the scene of those children honoring veterans to be very moving and profound.”
The veteran’s artistic influences include Robert Henri, Edward Hopper, John Sloan, George Luks and George Bellows, according to his website.
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The Google Doodle painted by Pete Damon.
Last year, Google featured a special animated Doodle to commemorate Veterans Day.
Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers