Safariland project honors veterans’ sacrifices

The “Lionhearted” project helps share veterans’ stories through film and art


By PoliceOne Staff

ONTARIO, Calif. — Safariland will honor veterans this year with a documentary featuring soldiers’ stories and an art installation by an Air Force veteran artist. 

The documentary, directed by Purple Heart recipient and Safariland digital media director Shane Ruiz, features the stories of 22 veterans.

Air Force veteran Shawn Ganther artwork, "Lionhearted." (Shawn Ganther)
Air Force veteran Shawn Ganther artwork, "Lionhearted." (Shawn Ganther)

“The Lionhearted project honors the courage of our veterans, and gives them a voice, so others will know it’s okay to talk about their experiences and get support,” Ruiz said. 

Air Force veteran Shawn Ganther created artwork based on each account using Safariland armor plates, which were then assembled into a six-foot-long red, white and blue mosaic American flag. 

“The suicide rate among veterans is unacceptably high, averaging 22 veterans daily,” Ruiz said. “This is a staggering and heartbreaking statistic. For this reason, we wanted to honor and help veterans by giving them the opportunity to share their stories. We expect their stories will help other veterans who can relate to them and provide valuable insights for civilians.”

The documentary will air at the Smithsonian’s Veterans Day Film Festival Nov. 11. Ganther’s accompanying artwork, “The Lionhearted,” will premiere Nov. 8 at  the National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago. It will be displayed as part of the museum’s permanent collection.

To learn more about the “Lionhearted” project, visit The Safariland Group’s YouTube channel and the project’s website.

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