Fallen Hero Spc. Sean Cook, United States Army Ranger

Spc. Sean S. Cook

September 5, 1987 - August 4, 2010
U.S. Army Ranger

When Sean Steven Cook was 6 years old he proclaimed that he was going to be a soldier. "It was his dream. He played soldier every day, states his mother, Tammie Welch. He joined the Civil Air Patrol at the age of 12 and served Cleveland the next 4 years. In May of 2004 Sean joined the Army and was on his way to becoming a Ranger.

Over the next 6 years Sean served no less than five tours in Operation Iraq Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Then the unthinkable happened. Two weeks after his 5th tour, this young man was killed in a boating accident. Most all of my "hero" portraits are done of KIA's (killed in action); however nothing is written in stone here, and I had a request from another grieving family to 'please do Sean.' I figured with every one of Sean's five deployments he laid his life on the line, and no greater love can a man have for his country. His mother would like me to relate that the wounds are very deep for those who experience war. There can be sorrow, anger, hardening of hearts, guilt... Things not necessarily visible to our eyes. After each deployment she saw the scars that were put on his 'soft and sweet heart.' (On his last deployment they "lost" ten brothers.)

While painting Sean's portrait I thought of other quotes from his mother. "He was the best son a mamma could have been blessed with." "He had a heart of gold." And, "His laugh lit up a room." Sean was one month shy of turning 23.

Portrait Sponsored by:
- Anonymous Gold Star Family