Cable network INSP recently launched its first original series, Brush of Honor, about Dallas-based artist Phil Taylor and his mission to paint portraits of America’s fallen heroes and hand-deliver them to surviving family members across the country.
The June 18 episode, which will air at 8:30 p.m. CDT, will focus on Army Staff Sgt. Bryan Burgess, who grew up in Cleburne. On March 28, 2011, the 29-year-old Burgess was killed in action in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Burgess was assigned to No Slack 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) in Fort Campbell, Ky. In March 2011, he was part of “Operation Strong Eagle III,” a mission using elite troops to infiltrate a Taliban stronghold deep inside one of Afghanistan’s most hostile valleys, according to INSP’s website.
During nine days of intense fighting, Burgess’ platoon was ambushed by the Taliban, and he was severely injured by a sniper. He kept fighting, saving the lives of several of his men by getting them away from enemy fire. But he couldn’t be evacuated quickly enough because of the fighting, and died shortly after being moved to a hospital.
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That’s just a fraction of Burgess’ story; for the complete version from INSP, go here.
The 2014 documentary The Hornet’s Nest, co-directed by SMU grad Christian Tureaud, followed the 101st Airborne for two years. Cary Darling’s review of the movie for DFW.com mentioned Burgess as one of soldiers who didn’t come back.
Taylor, the Dallas artist, founded The American Fallen Soldiers Project in 2006 after he attended the funeral of an Army captain he’d grown up with. His work was featured in an art show at the Veterans Day Fair in November 2014 at Grapevine’s Botanical Gardens. You can see a gallery of his work here.
“As an artist,” Taylor says in an INSP release, “I feel I am called to use my paintbrush to honor the sacrifice of our military heroes and offer a heartfelt ‘thank you’ on behalf of a grateful nation.”
To find out whether your cable or satellite provider carries INSP, go here.