Artist Auctions Off Artwork on High Seas to Support Injured Veterans
Wounded Warrior Project’s 20th Anniversary Was Inspiration for Work of Art; Motorcycle Rally on Cruise Ship Honors Warriors
Marc Lacourciere uses art to express himself and his passion for the things he loves. Through color and incredible detail, he brings the cars, motorcycles, and musicians he often paints to life. He’s also using his skill and talent to honor and support wounded veterans.
“Motor Marc” is the official artist for the High Seas Rally, the only motorcycle rally on a cruise ship. Marc has been sailing with the High Seas Rally since 2005, displaying his intricate work and helping to raise money for important causes. Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) became one of those causes in 2022.
Veterans are a big component of the cruise, which usually takes place around Veterans Day. Last year, several WWP warriors were invited to attend the cruise as guests of the High Seas Rally and share their stories. Marc was inspired after hearing them speak.
“It hit me to try to do something special for veterans,” Marc said.
Inspiration and Awe
Marc counts many veterans as fans of his motor and music art. Often, his work sparks a memory or reawakens an emotion of a time before, during, or after service. During last year’s cruise, after hearing a warrior’s story, Marc grabbed one of his military-inspired prints and took it on stage to discuss it. The print ended up bringing in more than $10,000 to support WWP’s life-changing programs and services.
For this year’s cruise, Marc found inspiration in WWP’s 20th anniversary. He wanted to do something extra special and specific to support WWP’s mission to honor and empower wounded warriors.
“I went on Wounded Warrior Project’s site and saw they were celebrating their 20th year,” Marc said. “Then I read some of the stories, and about some of the things that were done in those 20 years. It just hit that nerve again that I want to try to do whatever I can. This is where I got the painting idea.”
Marc’s painting “Courageous Hearts” pays tribute to all the branches of the U.S. military. He did research to get the vehicles of the different branches of the service exactly right, including the F/A Hornet and F16 Falcon fighter jets, Apache and Blackhawk helicopters, a massive Naval aircraft carrier and Coast Guard ship, and the M1 Abram tank. And of course, warriors who are the center of it all.
“Marc normally does great artwork anyway, but this was particularly moving to me,” said WWP warrior and Air Force veteran Sam Hargrove. “He had the Purple Heart and all the branches of the military in there. It was really amazing.”
As for the limited-edition print he planned to auction, Marc got other ideas to make it even more special. He put a patriotic frame around the artwork, and the outside border of the print was embellished with sand from Iraq that was sent to him by warrior Phil Krabbe. Cruise passengers were also able to put their own gold thumbprints around the border.
“So many people were adding their thumbprints, so the outer border is completely gold,” Marc said. “Some people cried when they touched it.”
When Marc first unveiled the artwork on the first day of the cruise and talked about his inspiration for it, he was stunned and excited about the reaction he received.
“To see everybody so interested, it was overwhelming,” he said. “This is the first time I’ve gotten a standing ovation. I’ve always gotten big applause, but never had a standing ovation.”
On the final day, the specially embellished print No. 1 was auctioned off. The winning bid was $17,500 which was donated to WWP to help honor and empower wounded warriors.
“It’s just another way of me honoring the veterans through my art,” Marc said. “I was so glad to be a part of it, and so glad to be a part of supporting Wounded Warrior Project.”
Serving Those Who Served
Thanks to supporters like Marc and the High Seas Rally, WWP has served this nation's post-9/11 veterans for 20 years. What started in 2003 as a grassroots initiative to bring backpacks filled with comfort items to service members in military hospitals has evolved to provide life-changing care in mental health, physical health and wellness, financial education, and long-term rehabilitative care.
The High Seas Rally invited six WWP warriors to attend the cruise as their guests. They were wowed by Marc’s artwork and how he was able to capture the essence of the different branches of service.
“The way he painted was like he ripped out his heart and used it as the baseline for this artwork,” said warrior and Marine Corps veteran Bill Hansen. “Seeing the love he displayed for not only wounded warriors, but all veterans was extremely touching and felt by all – especially me.”
Warrior and Army veteran Chris Hoff said being able to represent WWP during its 20th year and the support he saw on the ship from Marc and others was extraordinary.
“The artwork is amazing. It captures all aspects of the military,” Chris said. “Being on a cruise that supports Wounded Warrior Project was incredible. It was patriotism at its best.”
Sam was especially appreciative of the bonding she was able to experience with other veterans on board, hearing about their experiences, and discussing her own.
“Those types of moments and being able to share your story and connect with others, it lets us know that we are not alone,” Sam said.
Marc hopes his “Courageous Hearts” painting will remind us of the great sacrifice veterans and service members make to keep us safe.
“My message is to tell everybody out there that these veterans have fought courageously for the country, and they should really be recognized,” Marc said. “And they also need help, too, when they come back.”
Contact: — Paris Moulden, Public Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org, 904.570.7910
About Wounded Warrior Project
Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers — helping them achieve their highest ambition. Learn more.