Stockton Gold Star Family Receives Portrait of Their Son

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STOCKTON -- There was a special delivery unveiled Sunday for a local Gold Star family.

As the world paused to mark the 100-year anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I and people celebrated the men and women serving the nation for Veterans Day, one Stockton family received a portrait of Staff Sgt. John W. Perry.

Stuart Perry, a Marine Corps veteran, accepted the painting on behalf of his son, John, and the others killed in a suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan two years ago.

"Our son John was attacked and killed while preparing his group of soldiers for a Veterans Day event just like this one," Stuart Perry said.

The painting was sent to the Stockton Police Department with no address. So an officer tracked down the family to make sure it got to them.

The artist, Kaziah Hancock, paints the portraits honoring fallen military service members and law enforcement at no cost.

"It's an absolute pleasure," Stuart Perry said. "It's a beautiful work of art. Really special to receive something like this where somebody does this for families."

The portrait even captured John Perry's smirk, which brought a smile to his family's face.

"The smirk is like, 'Oh, OK, let's get this over with so we can get going.' That's my son," Stuart Perry said.

The Perrys say they will be forever grateful for the honor for their son but added for them, the day will always hold a different meaning.

"Veterans Day is our new Memorial Day," Stuart Perry said.

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