Utah artist Kaziah Hancock is so touched by the sacrifices of American soldiers in Iraq that she is determined to pay tribute to each one of those who lost their lives, and to offer a kind of eternal comfort to their grieving families in the process.
Kaziah Hancock lives alone (if you don’t count her hundred goats and handful of chickens) on a ranch at the base of a mountain in Utah.
To understand this independent, middle-aged woman who is devoting her extraordinary gifts to repay our fallen heroes, and to witness the indescribable effect that her love and patriotism have on the families that our heroes leave behind, have a look at this five and a half minutes that you won’t soon forget.
Four years ago, at the request of his family, a tearful Kaziah painted a portrait of Utah’s first fallen soldier in the war in Iraq. Since then, the requests have been pouring in, which has caused Kaziah to create ‘Project Compassion’ – a non-profit artistic organization which provides gallery-quality oil portraits of fallen Americans in uniform to their next of kin at no cost. Because of the overwhelming demand for her portraits, Kaziah has recruited five other renowned professional portraitists to help her keep up with the requests.
Project Compassion provides one gallery-quality, 18”x 24” original oil portrait of every American in uniform who has passed away on active duty since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, to their families. Kaziah’s organization is now endorsed and in partnership with the Department of Defense and all branches of the armed services.
When each painting is finished, Kaziah Hancock sends them home – beautifully framed, packed and shipped, with a handwritten note in each one, expressing her feelings about the subject she has immortalized on canvas and her undying appreciation for his selfless sacrifice. Her portrait mailings currently number in the hundreds, with no end in sight.
Kaziah and her organization will accept not one cent from a soldier’s family. And, even when asked, she refuses to discuss the income she has forfeited by painting America’s sons and daughters instead of the landscapes that she normally sells for thousands of dollars. The painting of those landscapes has been put on indefinite hold.
After stepping back and looking at one of her most recently completed portraits, Kaziah quietly and tearfully reflected, ‘He should have been a daddy. He should have been a husband ‘til he was eighty years old …that would have been good … I would have so loved not to have painted him (as her voice breaks and tears begin to flow).’
Kindness is a virtue. And Kaziah Hancock is combining that virtue with a God-given gift in order to eternally memorialize our modern American heroes, and to comfort the loved ones they have left behind.
If you would like to contribute to Projection Compassion in order to offset the cost of materials and shipping, please click here.