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Valcarcel paints mural at VFW Post 4353

Artwork represents all those who have served in the military

October 14, 2014
By ED FRANKS ( ) , Pine Island Eagle

There is a new mural at the Greater Pine Island VFW Post 4353. It represents all of the men and women who have served our country in the armed services.

The artist, Ila Valcarcel, has lived on Pine Island for 19 years.

"I wanted to do this as my appreciation for those that have served our country," Valcarcel said. "I added a few personal touches to represent the people here at the VFW.

Article Photos

Artist Ila Valcarcel and Commander Keith Keefer stand in front of the mural at the Greater Pine island VFW Post 4353.


"My mother taught us to paint," Valcarcel said. "I started it as a hobby when I was a child. We are kind of an artistic group in our family. As the years progressed I've done a couple personal things here and there. This is the first public piece I've ever done and the first mural."

The mural is 15 feet by 6 feet. At the center of the painting is an American flag furling in the wind. To the right of the flag is the American battleship, USS Bearss (DD-654), that VFW member James Carter served on during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

VFW member Vicky DuFlo was a mechanic that worked on airplanes.

"I added two airplanes Vicky worked on to the painting: the AC-130, called the Angel of Death, and an A-10 Thunderbolt (aka warthog) in Ms. DuFlo's honor.

A lot of the guys here that served in Vietnam were in the Huey's officially known as the Bell UH-1 so one of those was added.

"The soldiers depict the Army. Lester Malanowski was in the K-9 Unit with the U.S. Army in Vietnam and so at the bottom, walking with the soldiers, I added a dog," Valcarcel said. "I tried to put in all of the branches of our military: The Army, Air Force and the Navy.

"To me the furling of the flag represents the freedom's we all have," Valcarcel said. "This was my way to say thank you to all the military and the people here at the VFW."

Valcarcel is available for private work. Call 239-822-4614 for information.



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