Warrior to warrior: Artists offer classes

Article courtesy of The Globe, staff writer Sgt. Cameron Payne.  Originally posted: HERE (Thursday, April 23, 2015)

MCB Camp Lejeune and MCAS New River


Thrown through the air, landing on his back, Craig Bone stared up at the sky clouded with dirt and debris. He was hit.

A Marine paints a mural at Camp Lejeune

U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. David Divas, a Marine in care at Wounded Warrior Battalion-East (WWBn-E) paints at the WWBn-E headquarters on Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 27, 2015. The Service members worked on a painting that will be given to the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC) at Camp Lejeune in honor of fallen MARSOC Marines. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Carolyn P. Pichardo, MCI-East Combat Camera/Released)

It was then, in a moment as quick as the flash from a mortar tube, that his life would forever be changed.

Bone, now a world-renowned wildlife artist, served in the Rhodesian Army and vowed the day he was injured, if he survived the experience, he would devote himself to God and a higher purpose.

Bone, in partnership with the American Red Cross, unveiled a plan to work with the Marines of Wounded Warrior Battalion-East to create a mural and offer painting technique classes April 16.

“It goes way back to the war where some American soldiers came over from Vietnam and joined us during the Rhodesian Civil War,” said Bone. “I remember one Marine. We became brothers during that time. He died in Rhodesia, and I always said if I can pay back in some way, I will. And I believe this is a way to do that.”

The concept of the instructional painting classes is to provide an outlet through which Marines can not only learn a new skill, but also about Bone’s own unique path to healing.

“One of the alternate therapies available that Marines may find beneficial is art therapy,” said Lt. Col Leland Suttee, WWBN-East commanding officer. “An interesting aspect of it is Craig is no therapist, and he doesn’t really ascribe to that. What he is doing is leading by example. He’s teaching the art techniques and allowing the Marines to hear his story, as a wounded warrior, brother to brother.”

Bone also revealed a new work of art depicting a battle in Fallujah, Iraq. To get a better understanding of the scene, Bone worked with retired Staff Sgt. Adel Abudayeh whose first-hand knowledge helped ‘paint the scene’.

The mural the wounded warriors and Bone are to work on will contain great sentimental value for all who share on its creation, each individual offering a piece of their own to the work of art.

When asked why he chose to work with the wounded warriors. Bone had a simple answer.

“We must never forget.”