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Artist Paints American Flag Tribute For Sgt. Vitale

(Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Dave Forstate)

(Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Dave Forstate)

CRAWLEY Dave Crawley
Dave Crawley joined KDKA in April of 1988 where he reports on the...
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McMURRAY (KDKA) — Scott LoBaido is not just painting a wall. The artist from Staten Island paints giant American flags for veterans nationwide.

At the VFW Post in McMurray, he puts finishing touches on a star-spangled tribute to injured Marine Sgt. Doug Vitale.

The artist recently drove here from Minnesota, where he painted a similar mural for another wounded veteran.

“The greatest work of art is the Star Spangled Banner,” LoBaido says. “It’s the most powerful, meaningful, beautiful, most recognized work of art in the entire world.”

In the Post 764 parking lot, Alexis Vitale reunites with friends and family as her husband shares time with the best man at his wedding.

Sgt. Vitale was on the football team at Slippery Rock University when he joined the Marines. He lost his legs and suffered head trauma in Afghanistan. This is the couple’s homecoming after lengthy rehab in Florida.

“We fully figured out how to communicate with him and how to make him happy and do things that he likes,” Alexis says, “and let him be involved in all the decisions.”

Post 764 donated $100,000, and a benefit concert Friday night will raise more funds toward a “smart home” for the couple in Peters Township.

“We’re going to have lifts to help him through his bedroom and into the bathroom,” Alexis explains. “He’s going to have his man area, his little man cave downstairs.”

A crowd gathers, as plans for the “smart home” are unveiled. There’s a long way to go, but so far, Alexis and Doug say thumbs up all the way.

RELATED LINKS:
More Operation Doug Reports
More Reports by Dave Crawley

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