COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — An artist and U.S. Navy chief is teaming up with an Ohio organization to reduce the suicide rate among veterans and service members.
At first glance, what’s called the “The Stand Together Flag” looks like a typical American flag. When one takes a closer look, it’s easier to see it’s made up of drywall screws.
“You install the screws and manipulate it and paint it and you do that process several times until you get your desired effect,” said Joe Pisano, U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer and the artist who created the piece.
The piece includes 6,000 drywall screws.
“You could literally look at these screws and say each one is lined up specifically, each one has different heights but we’re all different, and yet, in uniform, we’re together,” Pisano said.
The 3-D art piece resembles a flag waving in the wind. It’s the second Pisano has made. The first is in his studio in San Diego and has signatures of 800 veterans.
The flags have an important mission.
“It’s literally to reduce the suicide rate of our servicemembers and veterans first and foremost,” Pisano said.
The Resurrecting Lives Foundation (RLF) and The Stand Together Flag Project started the Veterans Standing Together Across America Project. It was launched Wednesday evening at the National Veterans Memorial and Museum. The goals are to help veterans and raise awareness about brain health issues they deal with.
“How do we get our veterans to become more a part of the community, have the community become more a part of the veterans? That’s what this program is designed to do,” said Skylar Burgess, a retired Air Force Colonel and Board Member of RLF.
One hundred veterans signed the frame of “The Standing Together Flag” Wednesday. The plan is for it to be taken across the state next year so more can do the same.
“What we’re trying to do not only bring suicide prevention and awareness to the forefront, we want to get those resources, the services, whatever it takes on a tangible level to get our veterans from struggling to seeing the light,” Pisano said.