General Joe Engle, First Air Force Astronaut

This is General Joe Engle. I got to meet Joe Engle in person many years ago. He was the first United States military astronaut. His mission was to put a satellite out in orbit, so they flew it up in the shuttle, opened up the bay doors and then they floated out this communication satellite so I depict all that in this painting. I included one of the patches of when he was in the military that denoted his unit. Joe flew the X-15 depicted here as well.

The medals on his chest are more than mere symbols; they are medals of valor, each one a reflection of his indomitable spirit and unyielding commitment to service. This painting hangs in the halls of the Pentagon, just outside the Chief of Staff's office. It radiates with the resonance of General Engle's legacy—a legacy of pushing boundaries, defying gravity, and expanding human horizons.