My friend Elizabeth Rose gave me a picture knowing that I’d enjoy the subject matter and the knowledge of who created the piece of work. The ink and water-color limited-edition is simply titled: “Iwo Jima.”
The artist is retired Lance Corporal of the Marine Corps Erich Pichler. He lives in Reno and most everything I know about him, I found online.
Pichler was stationed at Camp Pendleton for boot camp. After earning his Eagle, Globe and Anchor pin, he was stationed at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, for 7251 School.
Later his permanent change of station was Marine Corps Air Station Yuma in Arizona. There, Pichler worked as an air traffic controller.
On October 6, 1996, Pichler was the passenger in an accident where the vehicle rolled at least three times. He suffered a traumatic brain injury and was in a four-and-a-half month-long coma.
The injury affected his entire body, especially his eyesight, hearing, speech and balance. When his condition stabilized, he was transferred to the Kentfield Rehabilitation and Specialty Hospital in Kentfield, California, where he had to re-learn all the basics such as walking, talking, and even swallowing.
He was released from KRSH in July 1997.
According to his online bio, “Erich has had a love of art since he was first able to hold a crayon. He won numerous awards in junior high and high school. It has taken five years for him to be able to start painting again.”
It adds a new dimension to the old Marine Corps saw: “Adapt and overcome.”