Portraits bring families of fallen heroes closer to their loved ones

Michael Reagan artist behind fallen heroes project

By Tiffany Huertas - Video Journalist

SAN ANTONIO - An artist from Washington state who is a combat veteran of the Vietnam War has been creating portraits for thousands of families of fallen heroes, including some from San Antonio. 

Sabine Ward recently received an envelope in the mail with a portrait of her husband, Sgt. 1st Class Clay Ward.

“He served 20 years. Best thing he ever done. That’s what he said,” Ward said. 

She said when her husband returned home after his second tour to Iraq, he wasn’t the same. 

“He couldn’t find any peace. I don’t know what happened,” Ward said. 

On May 16, 2013, their family’s lives changed forever. 

“He committed suicide. Couldn’t take it anymore,” Ward said. “He always felt, like, ‘I have been doing so much. I don’t feel like I’m appreciated. I don’t feel like there is anything out there for me after the military.’”

Ward said she felt alone until the day she received the portrait. 

“I can see those blue eyes, even though it’s a black and white drawing. It comes out. And his personality, every time I see him, he looks at me,” Ward said. 

Michael Reagan is the artist who sketched the portraits for his fallen heroes project. 

“(What) I’m trying to do is give these families something they can look at it and talk to and feel,” Reagan said. 

Reagan creates the portraits free of charge and has already done more than 4,000. 

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