Despite being retired from the Coast Guard, the soft-spoken and humble Iraq War Veteran John Shatney has never stopped giving of his time and energy. His current service is through painting.
Shatney, of Pine Grove, says he has been interested in painting his whole life, though he has recently pursued this talent more in the past two years, almost always giving his handiwork to others.
He has given handmade and painted musky lures to patients at the Clarksburg Veterans Hospital that he made specifically for their fishing excursions. But his generosity doesn't stop there. Fellow veterans have also received his handmade canes as generous gifts.
Above: Pictured is John Shatney with the bowling pin, cane, and canvas he has painted. (Photo by Lauren Matthews)
When asked what big fish he has been able to lure in with one of his creations, Shatney stated he has caught both a 30 pound catfish, as well as a 48 inch, 25-30 pound musky in the waters of the Ohio River.
If interested in purchasing Shatney's homemade fishing lures, he encourages people to contact him via Facebook "John Shatney" or by cellular phone, at 586-531-7783.
But Shatney's art casts beyond the fishing pole. His art was given to two local businesses for display. Appropriately for a veteran artist, the works always retain a patriotic flair.
The Pine Grove American Legion proudly hangs his artwork in their meeting room. A rather unique object of Shatney's art can be found at Bruce Bowling Lanes in New Martinsville. Of this unusual piece, Shatney explains that he had learned that bowling pins could be airbrush painted. So he asked the local bowling alley for a pin to serve as his next canvas. He notes that at the time, of course, those at the bowling alley thought it was odd that someone was wanting a bowling pin to paint. However, after he brought the finished piece in, people were definitely impressed.
"It's gorgeous," stated bowling alley employee Helen Agar. She said it also has special meaning to those who have served in the military. "People understand what it's all about."