Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Military Artwork

To many, it's a lovely sight to see in the home of a proud sailor. The artwork that celebrates their service.

No, I'm not talking about breathtaking paintings or sketches that might adorn the walls of a museum. Rather, I'm referring to simple black text on a white or manila colored piece of paper. Of course, some people might jazz up their wallscape by throwing in the super colorful fun ones like Order of the Spanish Main, Order of the Rock, Order of Magellan or any other ceremonious certificate.

Many of you know what I'm talking about. It's the famed "I Love Me Wall". I will say this, evidence of my husband's travels, achievements and escapades are relatively new to my home. He has always been adamant that we will not exhibit that stuff in his home. Maybe he's humble. Perhaps he's sick of seeing military stuff. Who knows. For me, I say paint the walls with your accomplishments honey. Go hog wild!

He's begrudgingly tolerated me hanging a few things over the past couple of years. So, long as it's not in-your-face, he's been okay with it. I can appreciate that. Still, I have some fairly bare walls and since we have ample paperwork from the Coast Guard, I figure why not pretty up the space a bit. Heck, he's not home enough to look at it. He can deal, right?

As I've said before, my husband's grandparents hold most of his awards and documents. They have proudly displayed them from the get-go. It's just the way, it's been and he has liked it that way. Still, I'd really love for the old stuff to make it's way to my house (some day). I know they are proud and all, but so am I. Alright, maybe that's a tad selfish of me. After all, we've never displayed this stuff much in the past, and it's usually difficult to tell that we are a military family by our decor. We are your average, run-of-the mill family with a mix of contemporary and traditional tastes. Nothing too fancy and nothing too patriotic. That's changing though. I've even started making nautical (CG related) crafts. Sheesh--what's become of me?

At any rate, isn't it funny how so many of us have our walls covered in certificates and commendations that to your average citizen might just go in a file drawer somewhere? I'm curious to know your thoughts on this: Is it art? Is it narcissism or pride overkill? What does your home look like? Where do those pretty certificates and praise papers reside?


Amber said...

We totally have a tribute to my hubby wall! I am so proud of him, and he does a lot of hard work. Lots of things our guys do go unrecognized, so I figure if he's getting recognition, I wanna see it.

Plus, there are times that his morale take a little dip, and it's nice to remind him of the difference he makes.

*sigh* I'm a sucker for a certificate.

Becca and Jason said...

We both tend to leave our "I love me" stuff at the office, if it's displayed at all. Mine is limited to two ship's placques and a Chart-Art print of the 110 I was on.

At home, we're not very showy about it at all. Downstairs, the only sign of our service - or, I should say, attachment to things dealing with the water - are a sailboat print and the hub's nautical clock/barometer/ thermometer. Other than that, you'd never know.

Upstairs is a different story, with diplomas and commissions in one room and a bunch of CG helo aviation stuff in another room. But no one ever goes in those rooms, so it's still not that showy.

We always seem to run out of wall space before we figure out what else we'd like to look at all the time, so we limit it. I didn't even hang my FAVORITE picture in this house - a shot from the Boston Globe from when the hubs got back from Katrina.

*shrug* I don't think it's been a conscious thing to NOT hang that stuff, we just haven't done it!

(Wow, long-winded much?) :)

Becca and Jason said...

And I just published my comment under my other blogger identity - This is the FlyingFish!

Mary said...

Interesting, for me, I think alot goes into how I was raised. I wasn't raised to toot my own horn, yet I wasn't raised to hide my accomplishments either. My husband has a nice album that I've put his many computer-generated manila paper certificates on. However, a few really special certificates and plaques will find a place on the wall in our new home, right along side my framed college degrees and professional accolades. I think our office is the most appropriate place to display our accomplishments as reminders of how far we've come, but also to continue to encourage us and our children to continue striving for excellence.

We are a C-130 family, and it shows in our house. We have some very nice C-130 artwork and a wonderful model C-130 that are (or will be in 2 weeks when we move in!) nicely displayed in our home because the C-130/Coast Guard is a large part of our life.

On the flip side, my Father-in-Law was in the Army years ago and I would love so much to see photos/memorabilia from that time displayed in his home somewhere. But I recognize that not everyone feels comfortable displaying their acts of service so openly.

(A Little) Gris Gris said...

First post...hi!!!

We don't have too much out. My husband is pretty strongly opposed to 'me walls'. (Though, he loves to keep his three 65 models (read: toy helicopters) on display.) We have a constant push/pull over framing his commission and diploma. I don't push hard though, because despite my degrees being framed, it wasn't until I started working in higher ed that I wanted mine up - and that's only at work.

A couple of his farewell gifts (painting of a 210 on a chart of the area of operation and a photo of a 65) are up in the office. I think they fit the bill without being ostentatious.

Now, that said, we currently live in something of a Navy town, so we do have a Coast Guard flag flying from the flag pole on our porch. I suppose we do enjoy being antagonistic now and then... :)

Just a Girl in a Port said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Just a Girl in a Port said...

See, I love to see how it goes at other folks houses. I wish we had an office, but alas we don't. So for now, just four frames hang on an inconspicuous wall.

(a little) gris gris, I will admit I don't have my degrees hanging or even framed yet. I guess I envisioned that belonging in an office too. Perhaps that is how DH feels about his stuff as well.

So, I'll fess up. What we do have hanging right now isn't too much. It's just 1 cutter sketch plaque, 1 ceremonious certificate, 1 end of tour plaque, and 1 flag Certificate of Authenticity from GITMO (which is funny because the flags in a box). We haven't hung anything else--oops, I lied--one of my plaques too. So, maybe we aren't that 'loud' about it. I would love some chart art though.
Those are nice.

Recently, I painted an oar and it sits atop a picture frame, but that's it. It's a little out of place.

Did I beat out Becca at the long-winded competition?

Flo said...

Here's a link to a photo of our artwork:

It's a photo of our living room, which has two line crossing certificates framed on the wall next to a huge vintage map of the world. We selected a "world travel" theme to our living room, so that's the only reason they're not sitting in a closet upstairs :) I love how fun they look and how symbolic they are.

Flo said...

Haha. Blogger is hatin' on my long link posted above. That's gotta be one of the most annoying things about it, most HTML tags are not allowed. There is no reasonable explanation for this, but so it is.

Anyway, I'm pasting it into two lines. If you're THAT interested in seeing it, simply put the two lines into one line and copy into an internet browser: