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Heading Home

The soldier is alone…as he is never alone in battle. The weight of all he has seen and done, of the pain he has borne and the trials he has overcome bear down on his broad shoulders. The soldier’s personal war is over: he is Heading Home.

I did not choose to show the warrior’s face in my painting of the homecoming veteran. The hero of Heading Home is not an individual at all; he is the essence of the American soldier. We cannot tell whether he returns from Normandy, from Saigon, from Beirut. In a sense, he has spilled his blood on all those fields of honor.

Like all of us, the soldier walks the path of his life and finds himself under God’s watchful eye, alone. He is bathed in a golden light that can only be called “heavenly.” Like all God’s children, his ultimate destination is a heavenly home, where he can know the sweet peace of divine love.

We cannot know whether he is Heading Home to hearth and family, to the pleasures of domestic love and a joyful reunion, or whether he may be returning instead to the bliss of heaven, which is the perfection of those earthly pleasures. We can only wish him a joyful homecoming, and say a sublime word of thanks to the hero’s of every generation!

  • Thomas Kinkade has hidden three N’s in Heading Home, in a continued tribute to his loving wife Nanette.
  • The soldier in Heading Home wears the insignia of the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, whose valiant efforts have been present in every major initiative for the last 100 years.
  • The soldier is bathed in light, representing God’s grace, guiding him on his journey home.
  • During this time of turmoil, our hearts turn to the thoughts of the heroes who have given their lives in honor of their country. Heading Home pays quiet tribute to their sacrifice.
  • To remind us of the heroic efforts of all the military and stir our imagination, Thom took license with the placement of the American flag on the soldier’s jacket and duffle.
  • Thom’s touching rendition of Christ in The Prince of Peace is another sensitive portrait of a beloved image that has shaped our culture. In this same spirit, Thom honors our soldiers who have borne the weight of many trials on their broad shoulders in Heading Home.
Title Heading Home
Published June 2004

Image Sizes

12" x 9"
16" x 12"
20" x 16"

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