Brian had a makeshift metal shop in Iraq and always had other soldiers, and Marines asking to make things. He would gladly open the shop after or before his 12 hour days and work with these women and men. After a while he noticed that the mood of these individuals improved when making things. The mission seemed to take a back seat if just for a short time.
Brian and Don his partner in crime vowed to open a shop when they returned home for veterans to learn to weld and make whatever.
Brian returned home with injuries incurred overseas first and Don followed a few months later. While recuperating from his injuries he fell into a dark place. The pain, medication and just plain sitting at home without his military brothers and sisters took a toll. After months of denial that PTSD had affected him, he finally sought help. He also remembered the vow that he and Don made a few years before and started working to make it a reality. He fought through the red tape associated with starting a non profit, After receiving the 501c3 status He started small in a corner of his garage and grew from there. Finally realizing that the Art of War needed more space he set out looking for some. The harsh reality set in as to make this move the need was great for funding. With the mindset 'there is no can't' and the Moto "can do" he heard so many times while in the Navy SeaBees. He started working the problem. Being that he was a metal fabrication guy he started Imagination Fabrication. He used this company to act as an income steam for the non profit. It was a marriage of two different passions. The metal fab company paid for the space, internet, material and tools that the non profit can use. Now we have a 2000sqft shop with tools and equipment to make just about anything.
As an over view of what we offer veterans. We offer fellowship, comradery and the outlet for veterans to turn their feelings and experiences into art. We also use art as a very loose term because art means so many different things to so many people. Art could be a painting or a picture.
It could also be a brass sculpture, or an old car restored to its original beauty.
We are here to facilitate this as much as possible by providing the tools, supplies, expertise, and a place to make the art of their choosing. It is our dream to have several sites that offer a wide variety of learning opportunities and the ability to have our veterans
make whatever their hearts desire with the goal of making their lives more fulfilling and giving them tools to relieve stress.
It is my vision that this includes but is not limited to trips to gain inspiration. This could be as simple as taking a trip to the San Juan islands to go whale watching before the veteran sculpts an Orca out of bronze, clay or copper. It could be as big as a trip to SEMA to promote The Art of War and to show off a custom made hot rod or truck we made in the shop.
This is not just about putting something they make on the coffee table. It’s about the healing process that goes long with making something with your hands and feeling the next step. Maybe it’s a service member that has an idea for a new kind of crazy wheel chair or prostatic. The Art of War is here to make possible whatever we can for our service members past and present that have seen war.
We can not get rid of the demons but to instead give our war fighters tools to be able to fly above them. None of us can just forget about the things we've seen or done, but we can learn to live with them. We don't pretend to have a cure. We don't have a magic pill. We have our own struggles and demons. We just get it. We don't pretend to be therapist, doctors or mental health professionals. We are just other people willing to help where we can. We have been there.
We work in several different kinds of media.
or a combination of all
We also do vehicle builds like trucks and jeeps
Basically we let our veterans decide what they want to do and facilitate that the best we can.