A Missouri Army veteran recently received a gift that keeps on giving thanks to the organizations “Welcome Home” and “Cars4Heroes.” Robert Scott Gardner, a veteran who has been trying to earn a living selling his art, was the chosen recipient.
“My job right now and what I’ve decided to do with my life is to create art,” he explained. “I had a small, compact vehicle and I paint often large. So, when I would be asked to bring paintings to a show or to exhibit some place I can’t get them there myself.”
Gardner claims that he truly feels blessed to receive such a helpful gift from folks who probably don’t even know him on a personal basis. “It’s very humbling. I guess it’s the best word to say because most of my life I haven’t felt like I deserve that,” said Gardner.
After a successful career in the military, Gardner received an honorable discharge. He then got married and went to Maryville University to study art. “At the time, I was doing very, very well,” Gardner explained. “I was selling art, back in the ’80s, to people that knew me. My wife at the time kept wanting me to put it into a gallery but I didn’t have the confidence to do that yet.”
Unfortunately, before finishing school, Gardner went through a rough divorce where his ex-wife took just about all of his work and sold it to a St. Louis Gallery due to Gardner’s outstanding debt to her. “A couple of years ago I was watching TV and there was a show on the ‘Starz,’ the movie channel, and I’m 99% sure that as I was watching this show, a piece of my art was sitting hanging on wall in the set of this show, in a mansion and I’m like, that’s my painting,” he claimed.
That’s when Gardner’s life went downhill. He began to cope with PTSD while struggling to find work and make ends meet. It was then that he reached out to “Welcome Home” for support to get back on his feet. The organization was able to work together with “Cars4Heroes” to obtain just what Gardner needed to get his art career back on track.
Megan Sievers, Welcome Home’s Developmental Director, believed that the best way to honor a veteran’s sacrifice is to give them a better life back at home. “Part of that process in helping a veteran transition and get back to a greater quality of life that they deserve is to have reliable transportation, to get to and from work, to get to and from the store, things that we might take for granted on a daily basis with our vehicle,” she said.
“For Scott, since he has gotten back on his feet and is doing phenomenal, this will provide him that one extra step up and order to even do more and go beyond probably what he thought he could do before,” explained Sievers.