GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Inside the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Gulfport, you'll find amazing works of art that are all crafted by veterans living there.
"Once you get into it, there's so much to learn, and you're never finished," said resident Roy Eckert.
When Eckert moved into the Armed Forces Retirement Home five years ago, he had never painted seriously in his life. That changed immediately when he started taking part in an art class offered several times a week.
"The instructor did one and so I said I can do one too, and it's a challenge," Eckert said.
Eckert hasn't stopped painting. He's tried all different styles, and his work shows how serious he is.
Gerry Gorsky loves nature scenes, and you can see her work displayed all over the Coast. She can polish up a picture in less than two days of work. When she's finished, it can even surprise her.
"When you paint something and you really like it, you can't believe that I've done it," Gorsky said. "It turns out so well."
As beautiful as many of the scenes laid out on canvas are, art isn't just about painting. Bill Kyzer has shaped wood almost his entire life.
"I just love it," Kyzer said.
When he moved into the home, he was able to continue his love.
"I like to take it and make something wonderful out of it," Kyzer said.
Wonderful as his work is, it took Kyzer three years to carve a magnificent eagle. What makes him so proud of his work is he knows his hand sculpted pieces will live on for people to see years and years from now.
If it's up to him, we'll have a chance to see many more of Kyzer's pieces. He has no plans of stopping anytime soon.
"If you want to continue being a blessing to other people, then get involved. It's the best blessing you could ever have," Kyzer said.
Staying involved in something, in this case art, is what keeps all of these veterans focused on the future and the goal of creating that perfect masterpiece.
"You can't do a painting and that's the end, because there's something you can always change," Eckert said. "You can take the painting and add to it a month later or two months later, and it'll be different, because you'll learn some new techniques. You can never master it, and that's the key, and it keeps you going."
You have a chance to see the artwork and even buy some of the pieces this Friday on Veterans Day during an open house. Gates will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Armed Forces Retirement Home is also hosting a Veterans Day Ceremony at 9:30 a.m. on Friday.