Sault native helps vets transition to civilian life

Dec 8, 2016   by: Darren Taylor

Sault native Jim Leonard has launched Stirring Images to help Canadian veterans suffering from physical and mental injuries. Photo supplied by Jim Leonard.

Jim Leonard’s latest project is an art business featuring the drawings of a longtime friend

If you’re a baseball fan, an art lover (or both) and interested in helping Canadian veterans, you’ll want to get in touch with Jim Leonard.

Leonard, 52, a Sault native who now lives and works as a consultant in Trenton, Ontario, has launched Stirring Images, an online business where you’ll find the eye-catching artwork of his friend and fellow military veteran Doug Comeau.

A portion of the money raised from sales of Comeau’s prints will go to Wounded Warriors Canada, a group which offers a wide range of services for ill and injured Canadian Armed Forces members, veterans and their families.

Comeau has completed his first set of highly-detailed graphite and coloured pencil images for sale on the site, each of them combining the themes of blue jays and baseball.

“I assist military folks with mentoring and coaching as they transition to civilian life.  This newest venture (Stirring Images) takes that to a whole new place.  Doug and I sincerely hope to expand awareness for the need to support our veterans and first responders who suffer lasting injuries from their service to Canada,” Leonard told SooToday.

Leonard served with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) from 1983 to 2011.

“Doug and I got through our military careers without suffering any debilitating things,” Leonard said.

However, Leonard said he knows veterans who continue to suffer, both physically and mentally, from wounds received while serving with the Canadian Army in Afghanistan.

“I knew Doug pretty much the whole time I was in the military.”

“When he showed me this very first image of a blue jay catching a ball in the air, my mind exploded.”

“We saw a way we could use it to help a lot of our friends from the military who are disabled, either physically or through PTSD.”

Comeau is currently drawing more images for sale on the site, with an ‘executive office’ theme.

Comeau will create, Leonard will do the marketing.

He certainly has marketing skills and experience.

“I started my very first company when I was 10.  I used to sell greeting cards door-to-door.”

Leonard was raised in the Sault, a member of the 155 Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron before joining the RCAF in 1983.

Leonard said he has been in contact with Toronto Blue Jays management and hopes they will form some kind of association with Stirring Images, as the baseball club is another supporter of Wounded Warriors Canada.

“It would be a really great opportunity to magnify our ability to help our friends,” Leonard said.

To check out the artwork for sale, go to the Stirring Images website

Wounded Warriors Canada’s website can be found here

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