During his time in Vietnam, John Vandermeulen learned the importance of never leaving any man behind.
His work with the Huey helicopters, which have become so symbolic of the Vietnam War, is indicative of his role as a man whose contribution was the deciding factor in keeping so many soldiers alive.
Despite his booming voice and the presence it creates, Vandermeulen’s deep appreciation of nature reveals that there is always more than what meets the eye.
Vandermeulen’s design juxtaposes the toughness of his work in Vietnam alongside a softness that comes from his appreciation of nature.
As one of the many veterans that were exposed to Agent Orange, Vandermeulen has multiple health related issues. In her design, Emily Watz captured his story through a depiction how the cycle of life, can be both beautiful and gradually crippling.