Teresa Mazik never heard about her dad’s experiences in World War II, but she still has a feeling for his experience.

A painting her dad did, roughly on wood, was attached the beams of the family’s garage for years. It was eventually removed, restored and framed and is now entered in the Massachusetts Veterans Art Show.

The show, organized by The Brookfield Institute, has the theme “Perspecitves on Military Service.” Artwork from more than 20 veterans, active duty military, National Guard and Reserve members will be on exhibit through Nov. 30 at Art Works Gallery, 69 Main St., Ware. A reception to meet the artists will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, at the gallery.

‘Looking Back’ by Stephen P. Saletnik

‘Looking Back’ by Stephen P. Saletnik

Stephen P. Saletnik served in the U.S. Army and was wounded in France. Mazik thinks the painting, which she has titled “Looking Back,” reflects his war experiences.

“You see the back of him and there’s a village with a church and the village is still standing,” Mazik said. “At the bottom, there’s a lot of debris. The war happened where he’s standing and the village is peaceful. It’s a World War II veteran reflecting back.”

Saletnik received a Purple Heart, but struggled to get benefits for his war wound.

“I have a whole bunch of paperwork from when my dad was trying to get disability. It was quite interesting,” Mazik said. “My father was only considered 20 percent disabled from his war wound. He could appeal his disability every year and he requested for his disability to be increased every year. One year it got increased to 40 percent, but then it got denied because ‘his condition was better’.” She also found paperwork that he was struggling with relentless headaches but those were never considered as part of his war wounds.

His disability payments were meager, Mazik found in the paperwork. He got $23 a month, which went up to $47 a month when he got married.

Mazik thinks it was because of his chronic pain and the bureaucracy he dealt with that made her dad “basically check out” and not be present for his kids. He died when Teresa was a young teenager. He made the painting after he returned home from the war.

“I only have that one painting and another one he drew on. I knew he was an artist because he had a case filled with paints and a pallet,” Mazik said. “He would draw little things on the walls — my dad built the house we grew up in in Ware — or paint on the wall.”