Army veteran Robert Johnsey of Northford, CT, created "Back to the World." He entered it into the Vietnam Experience category in the 2000 National Veterans Creative Arts Competition and in the "Healing Art" exhibit at the National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum in Chicago, IL, in August 2001. The National Veterans Creative Arts Competition and Festival is a program presented by the Department of Veterans Affairs and is offered to veterans treated in VA medical facilities throughout the country. The program focuses on the progress and recovery made through creative arts therapies and recognizes the creative accomplishments of America's veterans.
Mr. Johnsey served in the First Infantry Division in Vietnam from 1966-1967. He states, "This oil pastel was inspired by my first ambush patrol near Bear Cat Vietnam in 1966. Soldiers in Vietnam referred to home as 'the world.' The lone soldier is symbolic of our arriving and departing Vietnam alone. Camaraderie was the glue of survival and is represented by the carrying of an ammo belt for other squad members. As citizen soldiers, we were honor bound to fight for our country. Ironically, the world we dreamed of and fought for would take 20 years to welcome us home."