A warm hearted and compassionate young man who gave his all when he decided to accomplish something, Brayden Blackmon was always dedicated to the things and people that he loved, always going out of his way to help others. He enjoyed teasing his older sister and mom, constantly sending texts that ended with “I love you mom.” After being medically discharged from the Marines for an almost complete hearing loss, he purchased a home in Pocatello, Idaho and found a best friend in his Siberian Husky. Things appeared to be going well until the therapist at the VA put Brayden on strong meds and Ambien. Three weeks before he passed he had an incident where he had driven over 2 miles to a gas station and his mom had to go pick him up. The next day he had almost no recollection of what happened. On August 16, 2016 Brayden lost his battle. He appeared to have been acting out a night terror. Everyone who knew him was totally shocked because he was not an unhappy person, he had a new house, a new puppy, and was starting school. His family is sure that the medication caused his death.
This portrait received funding to go home to his family. A copy of Brayden's portrait continues to travel with Jessica and the Words Matter exhibit.