We Gotta Get Out of This Place
The experience depicted in the painting, "We Gotta Get Out of This Place", was
universal in Vietnam. Although the actual servicemen depicted in the painting are
U.S. Army soldiers, this could have been any unit in the field; grunts, Marines, LRRPs,
or special forces. And as it would happen, the story of a Marine would would play
an important role in the process of this piece of art.
The artist met Butch Meilinger at "Operation Homecoming" in Branson, MO in
the summer of 2005 while selling, Brotherhood of the Ribbon, which was
the official Limited Edition Print for the event. "Every time I saw Butch he was
dragging another one of his buddies over to my table where I was selling prints", Britt recalls. The artist and Butch stayed in touch over the months afterward.
Once, when sharing a possible idea for his next painting, Britt remembers that Butch,
fell silent on the phone. Then he responded, "That was exactly the way I left Vietnam."
Meilinger was wounded in an ambush with the Viet Cong, on Hill 761 near Dak To.
Due to low ceiling and monsoon rains, the Huey MED/EVAC helicopter couldn't
make it in. The wounded Marine was carried five hours down the steep slopes until
they reached a suitable landing zone at the base. Little did Butch know at the time that his
story would confirm the subject of the painting.
Special thanks to Anthony "Butch" Meilinger who made it home, finally, in one piece. He is a
Pro Staff Member for Horton, the world's oldest and largest crossbow manufacturer.
Butch holds the world record for the largest lion, the 2nd largest leopard, and the
10th largest impala taken with a crossbow. He is a professional hunting and fishing guide. Visit www.huntwithbutch.com.
Army Aviation Heritage Foundation
The Huey UH-1D that appears in the painting was drawn from photographs taken
while the combat veteran aircraft, 624, Lucky Star, was flown in position and
flared to create the exact attitude and angle needed for the art. Lucky Star is
owned and maintained by the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation, and was
generously made available on five separate occasions for this painting. Visit www.armyav.org/ for more information on the activities of Army Aviation Heritage Foundation.