Inspirational Veterans Day Google Doodle Painted by Injured Iraq War Vet

Veteran Pete Damon drew inspiration from his son's Cub Scout flag planting in honor of war veterans.
Fabienne Lang

Monday 11 November marks Veterans Day, a day when the U.S. honors and pays respect to its war veterans. This year, like many other years, Google joins in the tributes to its American veterans by creating a Google Doodle.

The renowned company asked Pete Damon to paint this year's Doodle. An Iraq War veteran who lost parts of both of his arms while on duty in 2003, Pete worked as a U.S. Army helicopter mechanic.


Painting as a therapy

Having undergone the tragic loss of his two hands, and most of his two arms during the war, Damon turned to art as a form of therapy. Like many other veterans suffering from physical and emotional injuries, therapy is crucial to their well-being once back on American soil. 

Damon found such pleasure and solace in painting that he turned it into his new career. 

Inspirational Veterans Day Google Doodle Painted by Injured Iraq War Vet
Veteran and painter, Pete Damon, in front of his canvas. Source: Google

The painting used as this year's Veterans Days Google Doodle is a beautiful oil canvas painting of two young boys planting American flags in honor of their veterans. One of the children is wearing a camouflage outfit, while the other dons a sailor's cap. 

Damon drew his inspiration from his son's Cub Scout days. On Veterans Day, the scouts plant flags in honor of veterans, an action that moved Damon immensely. 

Speaking about the subject, Damon mentioned: "I've witnessed children taking part in similar displays of patriotism on Veterans Day when large fields, usually in public spaces, are filled with a sea of little flags. I thought it would make for the perfect painting subject." 

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Inspirational Veterans Day Google Doodle Painted by Injured Iraq War Vet
Pete Damon painting "Paying Tribute." Source: Google

Naming his piece "Paying Tribute," Damons hopes that "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."

It's a moving piece in which Damon, an inspiration himself, perfectly captures the essence of the day. 

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