John Magine describes his work at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Riviera Beach as an opportunity to combine two of his loves - art and honoring military veterans.
The Port St. Lucie resident’s artistic talents were recently recognized by the national Veterans Administration.
Magine, 70, designed a poster for Veterans Day that was selected as the winning entry.
It is the third time that his work has been selected. Magine also submitted the winning entry in 2008 and 2011.
It’s a great sense of pride,” Magine said. “They’re not easy to do. They’re very difficult to do and to be chosen is pretty rare. When you’re chosen, it’s exciting a great honor. I’m a veteran, so it means a lot to me too.”
Magine is a Vietnam Veteran who served in the U.S. Army’s 3rd Special Forces Group. He has spent the past five years working at the VA Medical Center after a career as an advertising executive. He is the center’s visual information specialist and designs its posters, brochures and graphic illustrations, among other tasks.
Magine said he developed an interest in design and illustration as a child. He went on to study industrial art design at the University of Illinois and he also studied at the American Academy of Art.
Magine said he has particularly enjoyed having the opportunity to use his artistic talents to honor veterans.
“The thing I enjoy the most is working at the VA,’ he said. “If I were working in an ad agency, I’m not sure I’d still be doing this. To me there’s a value in serving veterans and still doing what I love. I don’t think I could ever have a better job and that’s why I’m still working at 70.”
In addition to his work at the VA Medical Center, Magine also started a company, All-American Hero, making barbecue and hot sauces. The products, which can be purchased online, have different labels representing each branch of the military.
A portion of the proceeds are donated to veterans programs and organizations, Magine said.
“I always made a pretty good barbecue sauce and a hot sauce,” he said.
To find out more about the product, visit his website at www.allamericanherobbq.com
What are your hobbies?
I like to kayak. I have a pilot’s license … I used to run a lot. I ran the first LA Marathon.
What is your favorite childhood memory?
Christmas. Second would be going fishing with my dad in Tennessee.
Who is your favorite artist?
Any of the artists from the push-pin studios in New York. I don’t even know if they’re still around.
Who is your favorite musical artist?
What event in history would you like to have witnessed?
I would love to have been there for the Gettysburg Address. That would have been amazing.
What’s the best advice you’ve given?
Time is a great decision maker.
If you could switch jobs with anyone, who would it be?
Nobody. This is the best job there is.