George W. Bush Honors Soldiers on Veterans Day By Painting Their Portraits

Former President George W. Bush is honoring soldiers on Veterans Day in his own special way — by painting their portraits.

The 70-year-old took to Instagram on Friday to share a shot of himself at work on a portrait of a wounded soldier.

“Over the past several months, I’ve painted the portraits of 98 wounded warriors I’ve gotten to know — remarkable men and women who were injured carrying out my orders,” he writes. I think about them on #VeteransDay and every day.”

Bush writes that the paintings and stories of the soldiers will be featured in “Portraits of Courage,” a book and special exhibit, next spring.

He also writes that he is donating all the proceeds to The Bush Center and their Military Service Initiatives.

The former president has formed something of an art career since leaving the White House in 2009. Former First Lady Laura Bush told PEOPLE in May that her husband had made just one “attempt” at painting a portrait of her.

“I didn’t think it was that good,” she said with a laugh.

The couple’s daughter, Jenna Bush Hager, offered a nicer critique.

“She didn’t think it was good but I thought it was really beautiful,” Bush Hager said, adding that her father thought it was “hard to paint your wife.”

“It is hard,” she continued. “Because she thought, ‘Does my hair really look like that? Are my cheekbones really like that?’ instead of judging the art as art.”


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