Stuart Johnson, Deseret Morning News
Kaziah Hancock

Congress honored Manti artist Kaziah Hancock this week by recognizing her in name in the new Department of Defense reauthorization bill for her work painting portraits of fallen U.S. service members free of charge for surviving family members.

Hancock founded the nonprofit Project Compassion, which now has several volunteer artists helping Hancock fulfill her personal commitment to paint one oil portrait of a fallen military member for any family that asks. So far, more than 700 paintings, most valued in the range of $3,000, have been sent out to families around the country for free. Hancock earns her living as a full-time artist.

The artists rely on donations to purchase supplies and pay for mailing the paintings. Their time — multiple hours or even days for each painting — is donated.

Samples of the portraits can be seen at Project Compassion's Web site, Hancock's own Web site is