ARTillery

BY OLIVIA MILTNER

Leni D. Anderson used to make a scrapbook of military advertisements he found in magazines. He says he knew when he was knee high that he was going to enlist, inspired by his family’s long history of service.

“My family has been serving since the Civil War,” Anderson said. “Not everyone has made it a career, but a lot of my family, I think we’ve been in every major war.”

He joined the Army Reserves when he was 18, toward the end of his senior year of high school. A year later in 1984, he moved into the 3rd Armored Division in Germany where he was stationed for about three years. What he saw there and in his subsequent years of service, including an MP position with military intelligence in Texas during the Gulf War, still weigh on him today.

Anderson turned to art when he left the military to gain more autonomy in his life, and the practice became a way to work through his experiences and lingering health issues. In November, a few pieces of his art will be showcased at Columbus’s first Veterans Film and Art Festival, an event hosted by the Columbus VA that will explore how art can express and communicate challenging ideas.

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