How do you honor someone
who sacrificed everything for his Country,
gave what little he had left to his family,
and you hardly know him?


The Journey to "THE BEST OF HIM"

Henry's story begins on a small farm in rural Minnesota and takes a dramatic turn with him being drafted into the service as a soldier in the armed forces. He bravely serves his country in the Vietnam conflict as part of the Army’s 101st Airborne Division, witnessing the horrors of war and experiencing the trauma that comes with it. However, upon returning home, he finds it difficult to adjust to civilian life. He struggles with depression, anxiety, and PTSD, and finds it difficult to connect with his family and friends.

As a result, Henry becomes withdrawn and isolates, avoiding contact with his loved ones and spending most of his time working. He throws himself into his job, working long hours and neglecting most health concerns in the process. Despite his hard work and dedication, he is diagnosed with throat cancer, which ultimately led to his untimely death.

After Henry's passing, his daughter decided to honor his memory in a unique way. She hired the artist Charles Kapsner to create an oil painting depicting what demonstrated the best of her father. The artist spent weeks studying Henry's life, talking to his family and friends, and examining old photographs and mementos. Finally, he began to sketch out the painting, capturing the essence of Henry's life in vivid detail.

"The Best of Him" oil painting portrays Henry as a heroic figure in both his military and civilian life. The artwork features his military uniform in the background, proudly displayed on the American flag, which he had fought for in the name of freedom of speech, democracy, and equality. In addition to depicting his military journey, the painting also showcases his civilian life, where he worked tirelessly to support his family and found ways to cope with the lingering effects of war.

Henry's story highlights the challenges that many veterans face upon returning home from war. Many struggle with physical and emotional wounds that can take years to heal, if they ever do. This can lead to feelings of isolation and disconnection, which can further exacerbate their mental health issues.

The painting is a powerful symbol of Henry's life and legacy, reminding his family, friends, and nation of the sacrifices he made for his country and his unwavering dedication to his loved ones. It also serves as a reminder of the importance of honoring and remembering those who have served their country and made a difference in the world.

Henry's story, and the painting that honors his memory, are a poignant reminder of the sacrifices that many veterans make for their country, and the struggles they face upon returning home. It also highlights the importance of recognizing and honoring the contributions of those who have made a difference in the world, whether it be through military service or other means. Through art and other forms of expression, we can preserve the legacies of those who have come before us and inspire future generations.

Written by JoyGenea Schumer Furnstahl

writing assistant

The Best of Him- Each Item Details


1 - Savage 12-gauge pump action shotgun

2 - U.S. Army Sargent 101st Airborne uniform

3 - Vintage Velvet pipe tobacco tin

4 - Skoal Xtra Winergreen Pouches Chewing Tabacco

5 - Tan Smooth Leather Work Gloves

6 - The Flag of The United States of America

 7 - Catholic Black Rosery

8 - University of Minnesota Mug

9 - Wild Rice in a Wooden Bowl

10 - Jade Buddha on a Gold Chain

11 - Empty Brass from the Shotgun Shells Fired After The Playing of Taps at His Internment

12 - Red Paper Poppy with Veteren’s Tag

13 - US Army Helmet

The Best of Him- Each Item Details