National Salute to Veteran Patients Week is a long-standing VA tradition in which members of the community and VA employees come together to show gratitude to Veteran patients.

While events of the past two years have not allowed leaders and staff at Central Virginia VA to show their full appreciation, in 2022 the facility is excited to unveil a large mural dedicated to Veterans.

The mural, titled “The Journey of a Veteran,” is the work of two Richmond artists: Ed Trask and Jason Ford. It highlights five Veterans from the local community.

“I wanted to bring a mural that would bring a sense of optimism,” Trask said. “I wasn’t sure at first. I was kind of scared about not representing Veterans well.”

Any fears the artists may have had dissolved quickly after sitting down and having a conversation with the Veterans, learning about their experience and history, while soaking in their personality and mannerisms.

Jason Ford (left) and Ed Trask pause from working on the mural, “The Journey of a Veteran.”

“Amazing to hear their resolve”

“Once you pull back the layers and see who they were and how they are doing today, it was amazing to hear about their resolve,” Ford said.

The mural features each Veteran twice: a current depiction and an image of them from their service. Ford said he hopes their work brings some additional life to the space.

“My father was in the Navy,” Ford explained. “After the opportunity to speak with the Veterans, I went back to my father to ask him some questions about his service.”

Trask said he hopes the mural honors the people, shows their stories and acts as a symbol of Veteran lifestyle.

Trask, originally from Loudon County, Virginia, studied painting and printmaking at Virginia Commonwealth University. In 1995, he moved back to Richmond after a few years on tour with a punk rock band. It was then he began painting murals around the city.

Intriguing to see Veterans’ selfless approach

“I wanted to make a difference with murals,” Trask said. “Murals can give a sense of identity to a neighborhood.”

Ford, born and raised in Richmond, has painted for the past 20 years and worked on large murals for the last eight years.

“Veterans have such a selfless approach,” Ford said. “That was intriguing to see. Sometimes, the greatest treasures come from what I learn from the subjects.”

Thanks to Community Foundation for a Greater Richmond, along with a corporate partner, for working with the hospital’s Center for Development and Civic Engagement department to make this mural possible.

By David Hodge is a public affairs officer for the Central Virginia VA. Photos by Jason Miller, visual information specialist.

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Published on Feb. 16, 2022

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3 Comments

  1. Anthony March 11, 2022 at 12:18 am

    When I file a claim, every time I get a denied over and over.why is it so hard to get what you deserved.va examiner always opinion not likely cause from military sevice.i was 35l avionics 12 years on flight line with fixed wing and rotary wing.thats why I cant hear.they give me hearing aids and a 0 % rating for bilateral hearing lost.va told me over the fone to put in for increase..denied again.this time it said not properly tested.can someone explain that to me? Continue 0 %.presumptive disability for truama to both lungs flying around in iraq for 11 months exposed to burn pits exposed to Patriots intercepting scuds at saharan
    Denied once again.currently at 60%. .how come the va should look in your records and give you a rating according to what your mission was in iraq.they tell what you did and were you were in iraq101st was first in last out awarded bronze star for liberation of kuwait and bronze star for desert storm. Were is the fairness and love that we deserve. I lost my nephew because he had ptsd and was waiting on medical records from fort hood.long story short committed sucide….if cross my mind more then once but I would be selfish to my family and my 14 grandkids if I went that route.it really sucks now because I have to pay a lawyer to get pos results you r paying for there specifically language of the va cfr38 . Sgt anthony j.lieb 101st airborne airaasualt ft campbell ky 90-92

  2. Joe Reid February 23, 2022 at 9:28 pm

    How can I see the entire mural?

  3. Guillermo Juare February 17, 2022 at 4:54 pm

    A great contribution to us veterans, thank you for your appreciation and honoring

Comments are closed.

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