Portraits of Service: Students Honor Veterans with Artwork

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SCRANTON, Pa. -- Veterans in Scranton are getting a chance to see themselves as a work of art this weekend.

High school students spent weeks drawing portraits of residents at the Gino Merli Veteran's Center and the subjects are getting their first looks.

A rec room inside the veterans' center has transformed into an art gallery. The art is the residents -- veterans from World War II and each major conflict since then.

"I was in Spokane, Washington, Geiger Field, but I did my basic training Biloxi, Mississippi," recalled World War II veteran 93-year-old Angelo Losi.

At first, didn't recognize his face in a frame.

"I didn't recognize myself!" Losi exclaimed.

But, he was honored and humble.

"They all said I looked so nice, they think so, and I appreciate it."

These are the kind of men who don't necessarily like all the attention but deserve it.

Art students from West Scranton High School spent weeks drawing the portraits and are just now getting to meet their subjects.

Armand Martinelli was a teacher at West Scranton after serving in the Korean War.

"I was over there, Korea, about 17 months. I worked at, I was a special agent in counterintelligence," said Martinelli.

West Scranton High School is the only high school in the country that has a mascot -- The Invader -- honoring World War II vets.

"It's scary to know that they went out and they risked their lives to help make ours better. I just felt honored to be one of the artists to make one of the portraits," said senior Rachael Mehl.

And while he was honored to be a work of art, Angelo Losi said the greatest honor was getting to meet the young artist who brought his service to life.

"I hope he knows it's a big honor that I got to do this for him and his family," said senior Ava Jones.

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