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Worth Fighting Paperback – August 3, 2011
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"From paintbrush to pen, Steve Alpert's art and life compels us all to
reflect on how we can connect our own passions to helping those who have given so much. A deeply moving story about a man transformed 180 degrees by his art, you will enjoy this emotional roller coaster ride of a story filled passion and adventure." - Lee Woodruff
"It's an extremely powerful story of a journey by both a man and an artist." - John D. Williams. President, National Scrabble Association
"Fisher House Foundation is greatly appreciative of the support of Steve Alpert, his artwork is moving and compelling, reminding us all of the sacrifice of our military men and women." - Cindy Campbell, Fisher House Foundation
From the Author
The young soldier had sustained severe head injuries and more. He was all of twenty-four, if that. Fresh red lacerations snaked around his head like laces on a baseball. The staples had recently been removed. His left arm was in a cast from shoulder to wrist, as was his left leg, from hip to ankle. He told us that he had half a dozen broken ribs, severed tendons, ruptured this, broken that and God-knows-what-else all from an IED while on patrol in a Humvee in Iraq. His eyes were definitely not in sync although both eyes seemed to be functioning. He seemed to have difficulty looking directly at us. Dad sat at the foot of the bed quietly. Time moved slowly for him, as he'd been there for weeks. The young man told us the story of the explosion that will live with him for the rest of his life. And mine, too, although I don't remember the intricate details now. What I do remember is the severity of his injuries and how they would impact the rest of his life. This is but one obscenity of war. This is the price paid by a young man in the prime of his life in the service of his country. This is what will test and define his strength of character for the decades to come. What occurred in an instant changed everything for him. To this day I think about him and wonder where he is, what he is doing, how he has managed to cope over the years since we met so briefly that afternoon in June, 2007. We thanked him for his service and offered our trinkets. We shook his hand. He thanked us for coming. We shook hands again with his Dad. I looked into his eyes as our hands clasped. I can only imagine how that father must have felt - actually, I am not sure I can! I don't remember what I said; I think I said, "God Bless," but more than that, I wanted to express how moved I was and how much I felt for him. There was no way to verbalize that in the moment. I was not able to conjure it up. What I wanted to say was, "My God, I am so proud of your son. He has a strong heart and I pray that he will have a good life, a rich life, and that you will too." That was my hope. It was in my eyes if not on my lips as we shook hands. In his eyes were sadness, hurt and resolve. He was hanging there with his boy night and day. What else was there to do but be present for his son, to offer the strength to cope with all that would come next on the long journey to recovery?
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"Worth Fighting For - The Path of a Patriot" is the memoir of an artist who paints military art; the emotional journey that led to this work; and the side trips on the way that inspired "this or that" painting. The author clearly feels this is his most important work, and his life's calling. He has here produced an extraordinary, impossible-to-categorise book.
Parts of it are hard to read...a little too real, perhaps? Some of his military paintings can be seen in the book, although not all paintings discussed there are included. I found more on Google images. Both the book and the paintings are powerful, haunting work.