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NY man painting his way across the country with flags to thank Vets

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MILFORD -- While an untrained eye sees a wall, Scott LoBaido sees a blank canvas.

"God gave me the gift, my parents molded my talent, and the men and women of the Armed Forces gave me the right to express it," he said Monday afternoon at the VFW Post 7788 in Milford.

LoBaido is on another tour to paint flags across the country. This time, he's stopping at one VFW outpost in each state to paint a rendition of Old Glory.

The Staten Island artist began the project around 11 a.m., and finished up around 5 p.m.. In the process, he turned a blank, beige wall into a rippling flag with shimmering colors of red, white, and blue.

"The American flag, she has to be waving," he said. "She loves a windy day. She's alive. She's a living breathing thing, that flag, that fabric. And I can't just paint a flat flag, I have to make it alive, so when people are driving down the street, you can almost just crawl underneath the ripples sometimes."

The artist has been on the road for more than four months. He began his mission in North Carolina.

He says he's doing it to give thanks to veterans who don't always get the credit and gratitude they deserve. "The humble men and women who hang out in these Veteran's Posts, they sacrificed. For what? For me, for us, so I could be whatever I want and here I am traveling the country, this beautiful, beautiful country."

Scott travels around in a Chevy Suburban that he hand-painted. At the end of the journey, the vehicle will be auctioned off for charity.

He hopes that with each mural, people will thank a veteran for their service.

"There's so much involved and it all comes from [our hearts]. Right here, and that's what art is. To provoke emotion with the gift that you have."

The VFW Post will dedicate the mural at a ceremony scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday. All are invited to attend.

To find out more about Scott's work, visit his website: http://scottlobaido.com/

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