Death of a Soldier
Death of a Soldier
30" x 40"
Oil on Canvas

Vietnam – Central Highlands near Cambodia – 1967

 In all wars there are some who die.  DEATH OF A SOLDIER is in memory of all those
who lost their lives in Vietnam in their country's service.
 The scene took place in a field hospital, a canvas and sheet metal structure partly below
and partly above ground, heavily sand bagged, but still vulnerable to direct hits
by almost daily mortar fire.
Casualties of the war in Vietnam receive hospital treatment often with within minutes
of being wounded because of the speed and efficiency of helicopter evacuation.
Field hospitals and medical and ministerial personnel are a short distance from any battlefield.

The heroism of medical personnel and chaplains who serve the casualties is a quiet, unending,
unquestioning reality that disregards mortar fire, time of day or night, weather, shortages,
or personnel concerns. The return of wounded soldiers to productive lives is greater
than in any other war, and yet there are those who must die because their wounds are
so extensive that they are beyond the help of man.
The surgeon portrayed is Captain Richard C. Schmidt, of Biloxi, Mississippi,
representative of the medical corps who, often in the most difficult circumstances,
render help to every type of casualty.
The Chaplain, Monsignor Howard T. Lee, is the only Chinese American Catholic priest
ever to have served in the U.S. Army. He served as an army infantry officer in
the  China-Burma-India theatre in World War II, became a Roman Catholic priest after that war,
rose to high office in the Church, then returned to the army for service in Vietnam.
When the artist visited him in the remote Central Highlands, he was sharing
the unspeakable living conditions that prevailed there and traveling to the most
remote outposts manned by Americans to bring spiritual sustenance to all who sought it.

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