PICTURE: John Falkenberry stands in front of a painting of him done by George W. Bush.
A very special exhibition, called 'Portraits of Courage, A Commander in Chief's Tribute to America's Warriors,' a series of portraits painted by former President George W. Bush, opens tomorrow at the Witte Museum, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
The Witte is just one of four venues nationwide to host the exhibition, which is on loan from the Bush Cewnter in Dallas.
"As Military City USA, San Antonio is the perfect place to display these portraits of patriotic American heroes," Mayor Nirenberg said. "This exhibition will be an important addition to our Tricentennial celebration, and it will highlight on a national stage the amazing improvements at the Witte Museum."
The unique exhibition is sponsored by San Antonio based Zachry Group.
Sergeant John Falkenberry of Fair Oaks Ranch is one of the veterans whose painting is part of the exhibition.
He says he was wounded in Iraq in 2007, underwent rehabilitation at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, where he first met President Bush, and says his portrait stems from an invitation he received to one of Mr. Bush's golf outings for veterans.
"Every one of these paintings here, these soldiers have been able to develop a relationship with the President," Falkenberry said. "We have touched each other's lives at some point."
Falkenberry says he is honored to have been painted by his former Commander in Chief, and he praised Mr. Bush for his continuing support for U.S. veterans.
"It was pretty exciting, to be honest," he said. "We're both from Midland, and we both have made some life decisions that were very similar, obviously at different levels."
President Bush, in a statement provided by the Witte, says he painted the veterans 'as a way to honor their service to the country and to show my respect for their sacrifice and courage.'
"I will never stop working to help our military, their families, and our veterans, and I'm grateful to Zachry Group for supporting that mission."
The exhibition, which runs through September at the Witte, is also sponsored by USAA>