Edward Santos was an infantry soldier who served two tours in Afghanistan. In his second tour he was sent home early for medical issues, which began to affect him more than just physically.
Eventually he stumbled upon painting and photography as an outlet which helped improve his overall mental health.
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Scott DeLuzio: 00:00 Hey everybody, this is the Drive On Podcast where we talk about issues affecting veterans after they get out of the military. I'm your host, Scott DeLuzio. And now let's get on with the show.
Scott DeLuzio: Hey everyone, thanks for tuning into the Drive On Podcast. Today my guest is Edward Santos who served with me in Afghanistan in 2010 and he also deployed to Afghanistan in 2006. Since getting out of the military, he's found a more creative outlet, which I wanted to talk to him about that might help other veterans who are coming back from deployments or getting out of the military. So, Santos, I don't want to give too much away here about what you're up to and things that you have been involved with but why don't you go ahead and tell us a little bit about yourself.
Edward Santos: 00:51 Oh, first of all, let me thank you for inviting me onto your show. This is a real honor. It's been a while since you and I chatted and it's great to be able to reconnect here on your show and I want to congratulate you first on this show. I think it's amazing what you're doing and getting the word out to other veterans is something that a lot of veterans are extremely passionate about because when you return home, it's not always an easy thing to transition back into society. We all need those different outlets. Thank you so much for inviting me on and hopefully I can share a little bit of my experience and different outlets I've found in helping me readjust and stay on that right path.
Scott DeLuzio: 01:50 And thank you for being here. Why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey, your path.
Edward Santos: 02:01 I’m Edward Santos and I was born and raised in New York City in the Bronx. Right before 2001, I was an electrician when the whole 911 tragedy happened. That whole patriotic movement is what actually inspired me to join the military. I enlisted in the New York National Guard transferred to the Puerto Rico National Guard, served with them. Went off to basic training here in Ft. Benning, Georgia where I'm living now. And then I transferred to Connecticut National Guard in 2004, shortly after we went on our first deployment in 2006. It's been a long road from 2006 to now. We volunteered for that 2009-2010 deployment and just so much has happened since then.
Edward Santos: 03:03 I had to leave a little bit early, so I struggled a lot.
Edward Santos: 03:13 I was one of the older veterans, I can confidently say. My body wasn’t as fit as the young 20 and 25-year olds, so I had to leave earlier than I wanted to. Having to leave my team and my platoonmates behind really took a toll on me. I felt a lot of guilt. I felt like a failure when I got home. My team got home and I was still stuck at Fort Drum for another year after that. Then another six months at West Point after that until the army medically retired me. So, it was a long struggle. It was bitter sweet getting out and I struggled with that.
Scott DeLuzio: 04:06 Yeah, sure.
Edward Santos: 04:15 So, struggling with that, it was really tough and I think one of the key things and one of the blessing that I've had in my life, first and foremost has been family, [they] have been my support. [Phone ringing sound] My apologies for that my mom calls me every day to check up on me. Having a support circle that will be tight knit, it's key to being able to readjust to whatever traumas or issue that you may be going through when you come back from being on deployment. So, first and foremost, I've always thanked my family for keeping me on the straight and narrow path every time I’ve taken a few steps backwards. So, when I feel like I'm stepping backwards, my family is there to inspire me to continue moving forward?
Scott DeLuzio: 05:17 That's one of the common reoccurring themes that I found with talking to other veterans is that whether it's family or friends or whatever it is, it's that kind of togetherness and having a core group of people that keep you on the right path to keep your head on straight. It seems like a common theme. It's good that you have that as well.
Edward Santos: 05:48 Yeah, it is absolutely crucial. I mean your family is first watch, they're like your service dog. They know you better than you know yourself. Where you think you're having a great day, they can see little things in your attitude, in your anger, your demeaner are starting to change and they recognize those red flags right away and they redirect your attention. Family is absolutely crucial to the beginning of getting into the readjustment to society because they know you better than anybody else. So, when I came back, my family was the one that encouraged me to start going up to the PTSD groups at the Newington [Connecticut] VA at the time when I was still living in Rhode Island and I would travel to the Newington VA on the advice of my family and I got into some groups there.
Edward Santos: 06:52 At first, like everyone else, especially with being in the infantry. You're like, there’s nothing wrong with me. I can handle anything, were like superman? And that's how we all think coming back, especially when you're in a combat unit. You want to still feel like that super soldier but your body's telling you otherwise and you're trying to fight it and it's a constant tennis match. And I feel in my head, it’s a tennis match here, you're going back and forth with I'm superman. No, I'm not. You know, I took the advice and then started going to these groups. And, one day I'm sitting at the group and the counselor says, “Hey, there is a Vietnam veteran here teaching veterans who like yourself, who returned from overseas, how to paint like Bob Ross. What? I grew up watching Bob Ross paint happy little trees maybe a little something in this tree here.
Edward Santos: 07:51 I’d like to try that. And I took the first class and the class was being taught by a Vietnam veteran. Gary <inaudible> an amazing artist and painter who himself was inspired by Bob Ross. He went down to Florida, took the Bob Ross School, became a certified instructor and wanted to share that passion. I was fortunate enough to stumble upon him at the Newington VA and I took that first class and I was blown away by the landscape that I painted in 30 minutes. I was just absolutely blown away. I've always seen him on TV with his soft-spoken voice and painting these amazing landscapes of Alaska and stuff like that. And when I painted that in 30 minutes, I was blown away. I mean, I left that class and I went right to the art store and I bought everything Bob Ross I could find. Every week I would go to Gary's class and paint another landscape and it was mind blowing. I started posting these landscapes on Facebook and people were loving them and wanted them. I was just blown away, something that I created, people were loving it.
Scott DeLuzio: 09:20 You start from just a blank canvas. There's nothing, it's just a white nothing and you create this something that people are flocking over and they're really enjoying to look at and everything like that. So that's an amazing feeling to have. It's like, I created this from nothing.
Edward Santos: 09:43 It was absolutely mind blowing that I found myself wanting to paint every single day from that one-week class. So, I was stuck in my basement just looking up YouTube, Bob Ross videos online to come to the house. I thought along this way, I didn't have to just wait an entire week. I just waited because it hit me like a ton of bricks. It just was something that sparked my passion inside. I never knew I had because here I was, Infantry for nine and a half years. I worked as a Connecticut Corrections Officer for a couple of years and my life was growing up in the Bronx, where everything was rough, hardcore type of lifestyle. You know, here's this rough, hardcore guy who grew up in this craziness and worked in this craziness and now I'm sitting in the basement painting beautiful landscapes.
Scott DeLuzio: 10:49 I've heard the actual story about Bob Ross, he served, I believe it was in the Air Force and he was, I guess like amongst the guys who served under him that he was a hard ass. He would just be yelling at people and he just had that rough and tough attitude. Then he got out and he was like, this isn't me. I don't want to be this guy. I was doing a job and that's what I had to do to get that job done but I don't want to be that guy. And so, he like transformed himself into the guy that you saw on television that you grew up watching on TV.
Edward Santos: 11:29 It makes absolutely perfect sense in my mind because I was working infantry and every other word is the f word out of our mouths, where we are talking amongst each other in a prison environment. Forget about it. And you're just yelling and everything. Growing up in New York City, in the Bronx, with my friends out on the street corners where everything was just hardcore and I always felt there was more out there and the artwork of Bob Ross really softened me up and really allowed me to start viewing life in a different way. When I painted, I was in my own world. I was just coming out of this dark world and entering this, it reminds me of the painting in that movie with Robin Williams when, I'm not sure if you’ve ever seen that movie.
Edward Santos: 12:33 Painting becomes his eternity after he passes.
Scott DeLuzio: Oh, right, yes. Yeah.
Edward Santos: You know, and it just allows you to see the world in color where it's living in this black and white world. And the art really brightened up the world for me when I would sit there and paint. So, like I was saying, I started painting, people started noticing it and one day I had a friend of mine say, “Wow, your paintings are really good, you should try to get them into a gallery.” I think, “Nah, this is just something that I do on my downtime.” I'm not comfortable talking to people and putting my art somewhere. But again, family came into play and they were like, “Hey, you need to do this. We will take you over.
Edward Santos: 13:31 You try to get it into your first art show. And what happened was thankfully at the same Newington VA there was a group there started by an Iraqi veteran called the Veterans’ Heart Art Foundation and I heard that they were having their first ever art show. My family inspired me to approach them. I approached the president who started the foundation and they accepted my artwork into their first art show and that just blew the doors wide open when I noticed it. Here you have a group of veterans when you thought you were the only one. Now you meet a group of veterans who are just like you, painting and sculpting and all types of different art. It’s coming from veterans, just like yourself and it was a very inspiring thing to see and I was fortunate enough to be invited to get heavily involved with them.
Edward Santos: 14:46 When I did, I'm able to be a part of their amazing art shows. They had art shows all over Connecticut. Just inspiring veterans of all eras, Vietnam veterans. We have Vietnam veterans, Korean veterans from the Korean War. They're displaying their art, and it is just absolutely amazing. Since then, what it taught me was the more I put my art into a place, the easier it became for me to come out of my shell and speak to people. I was more of a hermit after coming back, always putting myself down, that I failed, that I didn't become super soldier. I wanted to be but my body didn't allow me to, I became a hermit because of all those thoughts. And every time I would step backwards, I'd get into painting and you get involved with the art and it would just draw me out and draw me up as this different person inside of me who
Scott DeLuzio: 15:59 It's a way to kind of express yourself; it's almost like that the icebreaker, when you meet someone for the first time and you have nothing in common but you start talking about something like that icebreaker that you might have. And then the conversation flows. Whereas with this, you have your art and then that's the common bond that people have with you. They see the art and talk to you, approach you and talk to you about that. And then it opens up the door. It feels like you would be able to talk to people more freely at that point. Is that sort of along the lines of what you're talking about?
Edward Santos: 16:37 Yeah, absolutely. It wasn't only with veterans. What I noticed was in the beginning when I first started to display my art and I was that veteran artists and I would have my picture on the wall and I was standing way back and would just watch people admire my work and ask for the artist and I'd be hiding behind a column somewhere because I was afraid to talk about my art and what inspired me to paint such a thing. But little by little, the Veterans Art Foundation, those fellow veterans would call me out. Hey, that's the artist right there. That's Edward Santos, he painted this. I would be forced to speak to these people about what inspired me and how I started. And without even realizing it, it opened me up. Before you knew it I was the social butterfly at the art show, at the art school where I'd hang my painting on the wall and the second I'd see someone looking at one of my pieces, I'd run right up to them, put my arm around them and I told them exactly why that painting would look great on their walls.
Scott DeLuzio: 17:43 Yeah. Because when you were saying that you clammed up and you just weren't talking to people and you're hiding out in the corner and everything. That's not the Santos that I knew.
Edward Santos: 18:02 Absolutely amazing. You know how I was with the fellows, I joke around and stuff like that after coming home and feeling like I couldn't get into regular society and feeling like a failure and feeling the guilt, it just really knocks you down to the point where you just want to be in bed all day. You don't want to associate with people but the art just drew me out of there and slowly I was a hermit at the art show, but little by little without realizing it, I became that Santos that you remember kicking down the door in Afghanistan with my guitar and more boring guys like Gaston saying I’m Johnny Cash and throw rocks at me for my horrible guitar playing. Yeah.
Scott DeLuzio: 18:52 Yup. That's along the lines of what I was talking about. You were not the one to just sit back and be quiet. You had the guitar out, you were out there playing, it didn't matter. It didn’t matter how good anyone thought you were. You just enjoyed playing it. So, you're out there and you're playing so you did it.
Edward Santos: 19:15 That's the kind of things that going overseas, whether you're in a firefight or you lose someone or you come back or like I did feeling like a failure. I felt like I let people down. And I could have done more. But because your body's telling you otherwise you get back over here and all of a sudden you find yourself alone in your house and your buddies are no longer around. They're out there trying to build their own lives and stuff like that. And I just really fell into a deep dark, dark place and that dark passenger as I called it, binged watched a lot of shows during that time. I binge watch a lot of shows and Dexter was one of my favorites and the way he described his demon was his dark passenger. I was like, that's exactly what it feels like you have a dark passenger right there constantly reminding you that you're a failure.
Edward Santos: 20:19 You have to find ways to keep that dark passenger at bay and the art was what did it for me. When I feel that dark passenger trying to creep in and say, “you're not going to succeed at this. You're not going to succeed at this, not going to succeed at this.” I pick up my art tools and redirect my attention and my focus and that along with my family, my constant support team, it pulls me away into a different direction. And with the art, I want to inspire. I hope this podcast will inspire other veterans to seek out the art, whether it's painting, photography, sculpting, car building, kayaking, whatever it is you enjoy that makes you feel free. That makes you open up your eyes and see that there's a beautiful world out there. I want you to go out there and seek it out. And for me it started with painting.
Edward Santos: 21:28 Uh, yeah.
Edward Santos: 21:30 And then it slowly transitioned to what is photography now? You know? Wow. Because I felt when I was painting, although I loved it and I was doing really well. My paintings were everywhere, in different art galleries throughout Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York. A few were chosen in New York City, which was amazing. I always found that I had to be stuck in my basement and painting? So, although I loved it, I always felt like I was stuck in the basement painting. A fellow artist one day suggested, “why don't you go out and start taking pictures with your iPhone and painting your photographs. Man, that's a neat idea. So, I couldn't afford expensive cameras. I started with my iPhone and what I found out was this entire community of mobile photographers who call themselves iphonography. The big movement called iphonography.
Edward Santos: 22:33 And I was blown away with what the iPhone camera could do and how recognized it was among the art community. And so, I started taking pictures without even realizing it, the picture that I intended to go back home and paint, they never got to the canvas because the photography, without realizing, drew me out of that basement. Once I started seeing the picture that I could carry and capture with my phone, I was like, wow, and here I was outdoors now. Now I'm wanting my wife to take me here. And take me there. I want to go photograph this and I want to go photograph this storm coming in. I want to photograph this wave coming in. I want to get pictures of waves and even by the beach in Rhode Island I had the opportunity to walk down to the beach every day and get pictures of waves and sand and sky.
Edward Santos: 23:32 ah.
Edward Santos: 23:33 So I started creating artwork with just my phone and a digital painting, different apps that allow you to create, turn your photography into a work of art.
Edward Santos: 23:48 Well, I started doing that and dabbling and go in a gallery where they were having mobile photography art shows and I decided to submit one of my photographs and I turned into a piece of art and low and behold it was juried into the gallery for the show. And the next thing you know here I was having photographs, that I created with my iPhone in galleries throughout Connecticut, Rhode Island and then New York and started getting more heavily involved in the photography community in different Facebook groups. Getting more recognition for my artwork. Getting the banner cover photo here and there, blown away.
Edward Santos: 24:34 One of my biggest achievements came of a photograph of a friend of mine that I took a call for artists for iPhone photography only called Impossible Humans. And this show was in Italy. I was like, man, wouldn't that be great if I could get into a show in Italy? I took a photograph, a portrait of my buddy, and I turned it into this black and white portrait and sent it over to Italy. Next thing you know, I'm getting an email back. Congratulations, you've been accepted to the show and a month later, congratulations, you won best in show. I was like, Wow. That was amazing. To see, something that started out from nothing into getting so much recognition in Europe.
Scott DeLuzio: 25:35 I think one of the big takeaways from that is that if you let that kind of darkness linger over you and just, “Oh, I'm not good enough. I'm not going to do this kind of artwork. I'm not going to go out and I'm not going to take these pictures. I'm not going to do any of that stuff because I'm just not good enough.” And you let that darkness just linger over you. None of the good stuff would have come from that. Submitting your picture for that show in Italy and then winning the best in show, winning over there, wouldn't have happened if you just allowed that dark cloud to hang over you. So, you almost have to force yourself to do some of this stuff in order to break through and see the more positive stuff that's out there. But it's a good thing that you do that type of stuff. Otherwise, you'd still be thinking, “oh well, I'm just not good enough. I'm not good enough. I shouldn't even bother.”
Edward Santos: 26:37 yeah, absolutely I heavily advise every veteran
Edward Santos: 26:44 I'm still a part of PTSD groups. One of the biggest things I like to get involved in is with the Vet center. I love going to the vet center and in a group out there. I've seen the arts and how it changed the way I was and how it's changed a lot of the veterans. A lot of the veterans that I had started art with in Connecticut continue their art shows out there; they have monthly art shows. It drew them out of that PTSD group. I saw veterans that only went from home to the group and back home to now veteran starting groups where they meet once a week and they travel in groups to botanical gardens, on boat rides.
Edward Santos: 27:35 That veteran group, it was started by a Vietnam veteran in Newington, Connecticut. They're still going strong. They got me out on an amazing tour when I was living over there to photograph lighthouses around New England. That was it. And these were all guys who at one point were just going from their house to the group and back. And now all of a sudden, they're in groups and the group started from one or two guys who love photography to a group of about 15 to 20 and they're probably bigger now. So, the art inspires you to inspire others and see the world and different places. As I went from painting on a canvas to picking up the camera and now photographing with a camera, what I noticed every time my wife, she knows me better than I do,
Edward Santos: 28:32 when she is seeing my demeanor changing, my attitude changing, she'll pick up my camera and say, “listen, let's go for a ride.” Looking into that Lens, I'm able to see the beauty of the world and it absolutely overshadows whatever darkness or whatever it is I'm going through or thinking about; seeing the colors, especially this time of year, I'm looking forward to that, to the fall foliage. It's peace and tranquility and just mesmerizing. And it's something that makes you feel really good inside. And the arts can do that for you. Whether you’re sitting in there creating something out of clay where you are two seconds ago, thinking about dark times or a significant loss. Now your mind is redirected and you're creating a thing of beauty from your mind. You're putting your thoughts into that project and it's amazing where your thoughts, a lot of times for me, they're dark. Well, when I take that photograph, that thought now just became this beautiful,
Edward Santos: 29:49 landscape. I was painting those dark thoughts now are beautiful colors on a canvas that people are loving and being inspired by it. So, I highly recommend and suggest to all the veterans pick up some sort of art, get involved in groups where you're going to meet other veterans who are like minded and listen to your family. Your family's your biggest support. You know, they're there. They're your first responders. They're my first responders; they know me. They’re like a PTSD dog for a veteran who has epilepsy? They know before even before a veteran does, that's your first responders who pick up on your slightest little change and can direct your focus, people at the vet center, PTSD groups? You're always going to find somebody; get involved.
Scott DeLuzio: 30:49 I found that the veteran community, no matter what era you came from, whether it's our era, the Iraq, Afghanistan Wars or Desert Storm or Vietnam or earlier or whatever, if you're a veteran, other veterans want to help each other. We want to lift each other up. Yes. Sometimes
Scott DeLuzio: 31:14 we'll talk about each other and we'll joke around and everything like that, but it's all coming from a place of love. I believe we truly want each other to be better and get better or do great things and reach our full potential. And so, if you don't have that community, that group of people even, if you don't have a family around you that you are comfortable with that you could trust or whatever, get involved in some of these groups. And I think that will help
Scott DeLuzio: 31:45 drive you forward to those bigger and better things like you were talking about and get involved with these organizations or other people, whether it's at the vet center or a VA program or PTSD groups or whatever. The people who are going there, they don't go there wanting to see you fail. They go there because they're trying to get through their own issues. If they can help you, maybe that will also help them. And so that’s how each other can lift each other up and get through these issues together.
Edward Santos: 32:25 I've found, for me, what was more helpful than the VA. I try to stay away from VA groups run by VA personnel because what I've found is that VA personnel are just looking to write on their daily sheet how they cured you. Compared to a VA group that's run by volunteer civilian. Like the art group that I had with a volunteer Vietnam veteran. And his sole purpose was just to share his love with his fellow veteran. They're writing on a sheet at the end of the day “so and so”, he attended a class and he's fucking cured. And a lot of veterans are hesitant to be clinically analyzed. And I know I always had an issue; I always closed up.
Speaker 3 33:24 And I still do when I go to my psychiatrist, when I go to anything that is VA related magically I close up like a clam and I don't open up because I just feel like they're analyzing you just to put it in their report. But when I get involved with civilian-type veterans who are genuinely there to support you and seeing you get better and see you do good things in life, that's where I function at my best. That's when I open up. And that's why I'm now able to share and be enthusiastic about my passion, about work, about the beauty that art offers. So, if you're going to get involved, find a genuine place that the VA does offer where a veteran will volunteer his time, those types of groups.
Edward Santos: 34:21 The Vet Center Groups where they're not run by counselors, they’re run by fellow veterans. Remember, community centers have different activities where veterans can come and gather together and you're not being judged, you're not being analyzed, you're not being looked at as you're faking your injuries that people can't see. A lot of people can't see what's wrong with you. I've found that with people in the military who were like cooks or mechanics, who I met through fellow art groups and their biggest thing is, “well, I'm not infantry. I didn't do anything.” People always ask me, why am I feeling this way when I didn't do anything but cook. And I always tell them, “listen, you served overseas.
Edward Santos: 35:24 You were in a hostile environment. Everyday there, you didn't even know if you were going to come home. The rocket was going to land in your FOB and over on your FOB or whatever the case may be, traveling to and from one base to another, you don't even know what's going to happen that weighed heavily in your mind because you didn't go. The infantry did get into fights and do all this craziness that combat units do. That doesn’t mean that you don't have some sort of PTSD, you feared for your life every day that he was there, that's traumatic.
Scott DeLuzio: 36:02 Sure. And bottom line is they did what their country asked of them. You know, they went to training to learn how to be a mechanic or a cook, or whatever the job is that they did.
Edward Santos: 36:16 At one point you raised your hand and said, I will defend my country. You should be proud of that. Doesn't matter if you were Infantry or you were a cook. You raised your right hand and you served your country honorably. And you know,
Scott DeLuzio: 36:30 I even know some guys who served in like the mid ‘90s, when there were no major conflicts going on at that point. And they felt the same way, even though they may have been infantry or something like that they may have felt the same way because they felt like, “oh, I didn't deploy. I didn't go and do anything.
Edward Santos: 36:54 You raised your right hand and you served your country honorably.
Scott DeLuzio: 36:57 Exactly. Yeah. And they still were part of that deterrent, the fact that America still had a military force that was there, it still acted as a deterrent to prevent outside forces from coming in and ruining our way of life. So, the fact that they didn't feel like they actually went out and did anything, it doesn't mean they didn't do anything because they still were there. They still
Edward Santos: 37:27 were ready to go away when the country needed them. Exactly. And if and when they were ready to deploy at a moment's notice.
Edward Santos: 37:41 I've met guys like that who have to walk around with this guilt and I've seen how the arts have been able to help them as well. It's just that art is an amazing tool, whether it's music, painting, photography, I highly encourage each and every one of you guys out there to try some sort of art to help you cope with whatever you're going through and you're going to see a dramatic change where you were. If you were like me or if you're like me, where you know, that dark passenger tries to overtake you here and there, pick up that camera and pick up that guitar. Even if you can't play it.
Scott DeLuzio: 38:32 Is there anything that you wish someone would've told you before you joined the military? Some kind of either advice or things to look out for or anything like that. It doesn't necessarily have to be with regards to arts or anything like that. Just any generic advice for the next generation of troops that might be listening to this.
Edward Santos: 38:59 I'm actually the first ever in my family to join the military and I didn't really seek out any advice. I saw the whole patriotic movement. I didn't look for any advice. I’d say, I'm proud that I made the decisions that I did. It got me out from where I was born and raised and showed me a whole different world. I think a lot of people are afraid to join the military because they think they are immediately going to go to war. I'm always trying to push people towards the military because it got me from this poor Puerto Rican kid who grew up in the ghetto, the Bronx to a Puerto Rican kid who's ready to buy his second house.
Edward Santos: 39:53 I have issues that I dealt with in the military. It also expanded my family, everyone that I served with, in the nine and a half years that I was in, is a brother or sister and someone that I can call anytime day or night and pretty much they're always going to pick up and be there for me, if I needed them. So, as far as wishing that someone gave me any advice. No. I'd do it all over again without any advice about the military. I'd do it all over again. When you’re a kid, you struggle and when you're sucking life and you're hating life. But when you get out and you're not in it anymore, I know for myself, I miss it. I said a lot when I still see these guys who are still in and still serving there, I'm like, wow, I wish I was still there.
Scott DeLuzio: 40:57 Yeah. And it's a sense of pride that you have to for what you've done, for your country and for your community and everything like that to be able to serve. That’s the thing for me when I was going through all of that. The training that sucked and the cold, sleeping outside and the winters and when it's raining on you and everything else and it just sucks. Just knowing that at some point I'm going to be able to look back on this and be like I'm proud of what I did. I think that to me was of a motivation to keep going. It's like what we're doing sucks right now, but it's for a bigger cause it's bigger than myself. It's bigger than even this group of guys that I'm with. Looking back on that, it was something to be proud of.
Edward Santos: 41:52 Absolutely.
Scott DeLuzio: 41:53 Anything else that you might want to add before we wrap up as we are coming up on time here.
Edward Santos: 42:01 Oh, well if you're interested in seeking out the arts, look at your local communities, your vet centers. I'm sure there are guys there who have started art groups. Yeah, there is always call for artists. I'm going to give Scott some information on a current call for artists, for an art show in the Rhode Island area that you guys might want to get involved in if you're artists. I'll give him all the contact information and help me put it out for y'all, but in your states, in your counties and your towns, and even if they don't have that, you might feel inspired to start your own veterans art group and where you are the photography or go out on walks to the parks, to the local aquarium, to the little zoos and just have a field day with local veterans and you'll see how amazing it is to get together and go out there and start seeing the world through the eyes of a camera or being able to paint what you saw when you get home. So, I encourage everyone to go out and seek some sort of art. It's going to take you places you'd never dreamed of, I promise you that.
Scott DeLuzio: 43:11 Well, awesome. I just want to thank you again for being on the show; it's amazing to be able to share the success that you've had with your artwork and everything. I am looking forward to seeing more art coming out of you. I see you posting stuff on Facebook all the time. I am looking forward to future artwork that comes out of you.
Edward Santos: 43:37 No, thank you. Thank you. It was definitely an honor and a privilege to be on your show and I want to wish everyone the best out there. Thanks a lot.
Scott DeLuzio: 43:47 All right. Thank you.
Scott DeLuzio: 43:50 Thanks for listening to the Drive On Podcast. If you want to check out more episodes or learn more about the show, you can visit our website, DriveOnPodcast.com we're on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at DriveOnPodcast.