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Celeste Collier

Celeste J. von Ahnen Collier is well aware of the ties that bind soldiers to their families and the strain on both at wartime, especially when challenges arise at home. Two of her brothers and one brother-in-law are in the Air Force. Both her husband, 2nd Lt. Mark R. Collier, and another brother are in the National Guard. Recently, she underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatment for stage 3 breast cancer while her husband was away in training. She and their two children, Lucas and Josie, relied heavily on their church family during this period. “That and a lot of prayers,” she says.


16 x 20 in.

Oil on canvas

This oil painting depicts the modest home of a family waiting for a loved one to return home. “For every soldier who is serving, there is a faithful family waiting and praying,” Collier says. She painted it while her husband was training with the National Guard at Fort Benning, Ga.