At the age of 82, Colonel Charles Waterhouse—the first and only artist-in- residence of the United States Marine Corps—undertook what would be his final mission: to create a comprehensive series of paintings depicting Marines and Navy corpsmen in the acts for which they were awarded the Medal of Honor. Over the next seven years, Waterhouse worked feverishly against the clock to complete his vision, stopping only when his body finally gave out, and he could no longer make it to his easel.
Time and Chance is the true story of a few good men who went above and beyond the call of duty, and one tenacious artist who sought to capture their heroism on canvas. It tracks Charles Waterhouse through seven decades—from his near-miss with death in the epic battle for Iwo Jima… through his early artistic training under two masters of the Brandywine school of romantic realism… to his years as an illustrator, civilian combat artist and—ultimately—the renown military painter that Marines of every generation still refer to as ‘our Rockwell.’
Interwoven with his journey are the tales of ten American heroes who won the Medal of Honor—and one who didn’t, but should have. Their stories run in parallel with Waterhouse’s, overlapping and intertwining, until time takes the upper hand. The 89-year old artist spends his last days in the care of his family, surrounded by his Medal of Honor paintings, and the faces of the extraordinary men he sought to honor until his dying breath.