Saturday, May 8, 2021

A Brush with American Heroes by Artist Malenda Trick

Photos by Maria Lamb | Artist Malenda Trick painted portraits of veterans to honor their service to God & Country.

“They risked it all to come home to the greatest country that is and ever will be, the United States of America.” Malenda Trick 

For Malenda Trick, it all started with a trip to the Bordeaux region of France when she came upon a small French Village. There was a gathering in the village square with men in their World War II military uniforms holding both the United States and French flags celebrating VE Day, the end of WWII in Europe. Malenda’s heart was filled with pride for being an American.  

As an artist, Malenda has created more than 40,000 paintings in her career. Her Marco Island gallery at the Shops of Olde Marco is filled with oil paintings and portraits.  

Malenda wanted to paint the portraits of veterans who had contributed to their community to honor their service to God & Country. Through her paintbrushMalenda paid tribute to the veterans of “the Greatest Generation by completing 20 portraits which were gifted to the veterans or to their families. Some of the veterans who participated in the project have passed on with a few still alive. 


Herb Savage, Army – Korea – Artist Malenda Trick paid tribute to the veterans of the “greatest generation” with this portrait.


Veterans Malenda Honored 

  • Bedford BilesArmy – Normandy 
  • Gerald BrynjulsonNavy – Solomon Islands 
  • William D.C. BlairNavy 
  • Owen CarrArmy – South Pacific 
  • Thomas CarrArmy – Vietnam 
  • William M. DuncanNavy – Vietnam 
  • Nick HaleArmy – Omaha Beach  
  • Christopher B. HambletArmy – Vietnam 
  • Charles D. HartmanArmy – Berlin & Vietnam 
  • Earl Glen HodgesMerchant Marines – Japan 
  • Michael T. JohnsonArmy  Vietnam 
  • John R. KettArmy – Italy  
  • Bob MiksaArmy – Normandy 
  • Katherine FlynnArmy – Utah Beach 
  • Herbert R. SavageArmy, Italy & Japan 
  • Franklyn JohnsonArmy – Normandy 
  • Irving Thomas SmithMarine Corps – South Pacific 
  • Wayne SmithAir Force  SE Asia 
  • Peter ThomasArmy – Normandy 
  • Anthony “Bud” AmendolaNavy – South Pacifi





Bedford Biles, Army – Normandy, June 5, 1944 – “My parachute regiment moved to an airfield in England on June 1944 ready for combat. As a demolition specialist, I had 10 pounds of C2 explosive attached to each leg, along with other necessary equipment.” They were behind Utah Beach, Normandy, France. Bedford was part of the 101st Airborne’s Screaming Eagles. They lost 800 people that day. Bedford went on to receive three Purple Hearts, the Bronze Star and the Legion of Honor. 

Herb Savage, Army – Korea – Herb was fond of his military career where he served his country for 20 years both active and in the reserves. In 1940, he was sent to Italy and in 1952 Herb was called to active duty for the Korean conflict and was sent to Japan. Herb was a chief architect for the Mackle Brothers for 19 years and designed many of the original buildings and homes on Marco in the 1960s and 1970s. 

William Duncan, Navy  Vietnam – On July 28, 1967, his Navy Fighter Squadron Eleven (VF-11) assigned to the aircraft carrier USS FORRESTAL was patrolling the combat zone known as “Yankee Station” off the coast of North Vietnam. Their mission was to bomb industrialized areas of Hanoi and Haiphong, North Vietnam. 

Malenda was not done yet, however! She created an 18-foot wide, doublesided canvas mural called Memorial Wall. The Florida side was dedicated to Florida’s Military History. The other side commemorates the national efforts of all who bravely served our country. 

The Memorial Wall contains images of war scenes from personal photos shared by residents and local veteransShe worked on the Memorial Wall at the Marco Island Historical Museum where the public watched the memories come alive.  

According to Malenda it was a very overwhelming experience and she learned so much military history. 

Malenda remembered that Herb and Emily Savage sang their classic rendition of God Bless America at the unveiling of the Memorial. You can also sign the name of any veteran you wished to honor on the memorial collage with a $25 donation and monies raised were given to various Veterans charities. 

The Memorial Wall is stored at Malenda’s studio at the Shops of Olde Marco and usually assembled and displayed upon request. The Wall is also looking for a permanent home.  

To view Malenda’s collection, head to, or visit the Shops of Old Marco. 



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