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New television series pays tribute to America’s fallen heroes

Capt. Derek Argel
Capt. Derek Argel

“Never look down on anyone unless you’re reaching to help them up.”

Capt. Derek Argel lived by those words, but they’re just a glimpse of what you learn about the fallen hero’s life in “Brush of Honor,” an original series from DAV partner Inspire Network (INSP), debuting Thursday, May 21, at 9:00 p.m. Eastern time.

“Brush of Honor” follows artist Phil Taylor and his wife, Lisa, as they provide comfort and healing to military families whose loved ones have been killed in action. Phil meets with families to learn as much as he can about their loved ones, and then paints a portrait of the fallen soldier that is presented to the family in an emotional ceremony which has been thoughtfully planned and carried out by Lisa.

“It’s always important for us to honor any fallen hero properly,” Lisa said, which is why Phil treats each portrait with dignity and respect.

As the artist paints, he bonds in a unique way with the fallen service member and his or her family. His mission is to celebrate the courage and sacrifice of each service member, and to honor their families by ”bringing them homeh in a one-of-a-kind portrait.

“I think painting has the capacity to restore a father to his son,” Phil said. This is a statement that at least one member of Capt. Argel’s family agrees with.

After the unveiling ceremony, the slain soldier’s son, Logan, told Lisa, ”You brought my dad home.

“I lost him before I could get to remember him,” said Logan. ”Now I can see him again.”

Now 10, Logan was only 10 months old when his father perished on Memorial Day in 2005. The Air Force combat controller was killed when an Iraqi Air Force aircraft he was travelling in crashed during a training mission in eastern Diyala Province, Iraq. He was 28.

“When I saw this portrait, I was overwhelmed,” saidDeb Argel-Bastian, Argel’s mother. g[Phil] really captured his eyes. It was like Derek was looking back at us.”

“I donft know what I expected,h said Wendy Argel, Derek’s wife. “But [Phil] got a lot of details in Derek’s face, so it was pretty emotional.”

But Argel’s story is just one episode in a series meant to shed light on the sacrifices made by those who never made it home.

“We are very excited to share eBrush of Honorf with everyone this May,” said INSP CEO and Chairman David Cerullo. ”We could not think of a more fitting way to express our gratitude to those who lost their lives in service to our country, and the loved ones they’ve left behind.” INSP’s values-based content reaches more than 80 million households across the U.S. The network has produced and aired public-service announcements honoring veterans and DAV.

“Most people struggle with ways they can honor the fallen on Memorial Day. We’re grateful to our partners at INSP for making this type of programming available to remind the public about the sacrifices our fallen heroes have made on our behalf,” said Barry Jesinoski, National Headquarters Executive Director. ”They will be sharing DAVfs public service announcement during the programing, and we hope it will bring more of our survivors and veterans to DAV for free assistance.”

About Inspire Network

INSP is available nationwide via Dish Network (Channel 259), DirecTV (Channel 364), Verizon FiOS (Channel 286), AT&T U-verse (Channel 564) and more than 2,800 cable systems. To find out where to view INSP in your area, please visit