26” x 20” • Mixed Media on Canvas
I believe I was born three weeks later than my mother’s due date because I am the consummate Aquarian. The third of three siblings, I was the creative in the mix. Art was and still is my constant companion. A product of the Baby Boomer generation, I lived through the Viet Nam era and watched that conflict splash across the TV screen nearly every night back when the journalists were on the ground filming alongside the troops. It was a time of protests, hippies and amazing music. At Ohio University I met several veterans returning from Nam and it was clear that the transition to college life was a huge challenge. One of these is a very dear friend to this day.
I graduated with a degree in Studio Arts, married a very creative man, bore and raised two girls, worked in various creative positions, went back to school, became an Art teacher and then began my mural and trompe l’oiel painting career. My art defies categories. Through painting my clients dreams and visions, I discovered inherent capabilities beyond what I thought possible.
“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” ~ Edward Degas
My life has been one of many blessings and constant evolution as regards my art as well as my spiritual beliefs. Synchronicity is everywhere. This leads me to this project. It is very unlike my usual style and came out of nowhere. Then I was approached to contribute to Bullets and Bandaids. No brainer.
My heart goes out to all who have suffered, endured, sacrificed, and lost. We are all human no matter our experience in this life. We are all one.
Inspired by the experiences of Glenn Proctor
Running Towards Chaos
by Ron Osso
Running towards chaos, putting things in order and helping people in need is what he does.
Glenn Proctor served two tours, a total of thirteen years in the Marine Corps, six years on active duty, seven as a reservist. He’s also a decorated Vietnam veteran… but he won’t talk about the war. When asked if he speaks to anyone about his time in Vietnam he simply says,
“No, my kids know nothing, my wife knows nothing.”
What he likes to talk about these days is working with other veterans and civilians who struggle with mental health issues. Proctor provides grief counseling and suicide prevention through Mental Health of America in the Carolina’s, but he and his crew as he likes to call them, work with people in need all over the United States. He’s also a support specialist helping those who struggle with domestic violence, alcohol and substance abuse. Recently he began working with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department de-escalating dangerous situations.
He works with the CMPD crisis intervention team, going out with them when a veteran is in distress. He talks to them and tries to de-escalate the situation.
Life has never been routine for Proctor. As a young child he lived in foster care until he was eight years old. That’s when he began writing. He says he didn’t really understand why he did, not until later. What he does know is it helped him get through some difficult times. It wasn’t until he approached his teens that he began to realize he was writing in hopes of trying to understand the whole foster care experience.
When growing up, he had dreams of being an F.B.I. agent but when that didn’t happen, he joined the Marine Corps. In 1965 and 1966, the early stages of U.S. involvement, he was stationed in Vietnam where he was a nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare specialist. When he got back to the states in ‘66 he left the corps because in his words, “I just didn’t want to go back to ‘Nam”.
When he first left active duty, he became a journalist. His first few jobs were covering police in Philadelphia where at the time there were three or four homicides a day. He’d just run from one murder to the next.
“I mean I went from Vietnam to covering cops on the street. So that whole thing has always been with me.”
Proctor is silent for a few seconds.
“Ya know, I was in the next room when my grandfather took his own life. It’s one of the reasons I’m so deep into the suicide thing. It’s a part of me. I guess the good brother upstairs just destined me to do this work.”
But Glenn Proctor could never quite shake the Marine Corps. Even though he returned to civilian life, he remained in the reserves for six years. As a civilian reservist, he enrolled in the Defense Information training program at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indiana, the military’s journalism school. After completing the program, he became the editor of the base newspaper at Camp LeJeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Then in 1974 he re-enlisted.
After his second active-duty tour, Proctor became the top editor of a publication based in Richmond Virginia. He was also a professor at Northwestern and Kent State Universities as well as a lecturer at several other schools.
He also runs a six-month creative writing workshop, Writing as Healing. The course attracts veterans and civilians, men and women, encouraging people to write about topics ranging from domestic abuse and rape to alcohol and drug abuse.
Although he is a bit hesitant to mention it, Proctor is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and five-time Pulitzer Prize judge at Columbia University. He deals with people who are simply trying to get through one day at a time. He finds the work rewarding and important, yet sometimes it takes a toll on him. But he has a way of dealing with the stress, and he knows how to take care of himself so he can continue doing his work. When he feels like it’s getting to be too much, he takes some time off. Maybe just a few days, sometimes a week. He ups his exercise routine, gets deep into his music and it calms him. And there’s maybe his favorite form of relaxation… he plays with his dog. Proctor also has a few people he counts on, people that can get him back from the edge if he gets too close.
When asked what he considered to be his greatest success he pauses for a moment and replies,
“Could be that it hasn’t come yet.”
He’s the father to four children, grandfather to seven, and the patriarch to his nieces since his sister passed away a number of years ago. He says his immediate family is more important than any of his professional successes. One of his buddies once told him,
“Do you know how many people you touch? You’ve touched thousands of journalists and professionals over the years.”
Proctor modestly and simply replies,
“Yeah, okay cool, but I’m just still on that journey of helping, helping folks.”
Glenn Proctor… a modest man. Coach, trainer, guide, father, grandfather, and all-around awesome human being.