INDEPENDENCE, MO (KCTV) — As the last American soldier left Afghanistan, a local artist was busy working on a tribute to those who didn’t make it home alive.
Last week, terrorists bombed areas outside Kabul Airport where evacuations were taking place. Some American service members ranging from 20 to 31 years old flew home in caskets.
Evelyn Neal, 21, sat down with 13 sheets of paper and a handful of pens, hoping to make sense of the news. She said art is a way for her to express her emotions and provide joy for families of the fallen.
“Do you remember them? Do you continue to speak about their name, talk about their legacy?” Evelyn Neal asked, questioning the best way to remember those who died.
For her, it’s through art.
“It’s hard to lose someone that you love, very close, and it can take a toll on you,” Neal said. “Just knowing that other people out there have been through the same thing or understand what you’re going through, it means a lot and brings a little bit of comfort.”
Neal stayed up for 24 hours drawing every detail. From wrinkles around the eyes of smiling faces, to the medals on the chest of some servicemen. Neal didn’t miss a thing.
“I hope it brings a smile and an ease to know that somebody else out there took the time out of their day to think of you and their family,” Neal said.
Neal used social media to learn more about the service members as she drew them.
She’s hoping social media can lead her to their families. She wants to give them each a portrait so they can keep their memory alive.