War Graffiti Coming Home

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Painting over war's legacy in Iraq / Army photo by Andrew Slovensky

Combat is often seconds of terror surrounded by months of boredom. So troops play video games, visit the gym – and paint graffiti. OK. So it’s not what we think of when we think of graffiti. It’s more informational graphics, depicting unit insignias and other stuff that helps weld units together. The U.S. military is currently eradicating such art from the bases it is now turning over to the Iraqis. But the Graffiti of War project has collected images of more than 400 such artworks done by troops there, as well as in Afghanistan and Kuwait.

“The project came to life as an idea within my platoon,” Jaeson Parsons, an Army combat medic and now director of operations for Graffiti of War, told Army public affairs. “Many of these murals are historical markers, a sort of ‘who’s who’ of units and divisions that were deployed in this war.” The traveling exhibit kicks off on Friday, Veterans Day, in Pottsville, Penn. Check out some amazing art here.