A former Marine who survived a sniper shot to the head in Iraq has been featured in a new book by former President George W. Bush.
The former Marine, Justin Constantine, who received a Purple Heart in Iraq, is just one featured in the 66 portraits of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines painted by the former president.
Bush’s third post-presidential book, “Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors,” consists of 192 pages of oil paintings he created of service members wounded during the wars launched since 9/11. The former president, who says he paints nearly every day, also wrote the accompanying stories.
“It is an honor to be included in such a special tribute to injured veterans,” Constantine said in a news release. “The work that went into each painting shows the depth of the president’s commitment to our veterans. I hope that this book can help raise awareness of the sacrifices that our entire military community has made.”
Constantine volunteered for a deployment to Iraq in 2006, working attached to an infantry battalion as a Civil Affairs Team Leader. The officer was shot while on a routine patrol. According his website, the “original prognosis was that he had been killed in action.” But he survived, and to this day still shares his story publicly.
He retired as a lieutenant colonel, and is now an inspirational speaker and leadership consultant. Constantine is also an entrepreneur, and has written his own book on military leadership lessons.
Former President Bush told Time in an interview: “I hope civilians realize there’s not an ounce of self-pity in these veterans, and I hope that inspires our citizens to overcome their own struggles, whatever they may be. I hope veterans realize that it’s courageous to talk about their injuries, including invisible wounds of war like post-traumatic stress.”
Andrea Scott is managing editor of Marine Corps Times. On Twitter: @_andreascott.