Chief Warrant Officer 2 Scott Anderson's magic show has a military theme that enables the Oregon Army National Guard member to reflect on his service as a flight medic in Afghanistan and a Blackhawk pilot in Iraq.
"The greatest medicine I could administer was magic," said Anderson.
During a recent performance, more than 400 people packed the Canby High School auditorium for a magic show to benefit the Vietnam Era Veterans Memorial.
"It was awesome," said Mike Breshears, an audience member. "He had everyone spell bound for the entire performance."
Throughout the show, Anderson weaved photos of Iraqi kids in with magic tricks he did overseas, including making snow, a trick he came up after the special request from an injured Iraqi girl.
"Magic broke down language barriers and allowed us to communicate and brought smiles to their faces," said Anderson, who deployed to Afghanistan with the 1042nd Medical Company as a flight medic, and to Iraq in 2009 with Charlie Company 7-158 Regiment as a pilot.
He started doing magic when he first entered the military and continued through his most recent deployments.
Anderson said when he wasn't on a mission, he would volunteer in the hospitals doing magic.
He remembers a particular incident in which he did a magic trick for a severely burned Iraqi boy who would never cry or laugh.
"When I did tricks for him he would smile and the nurse said it was the only time he would ever show any emotion," said Anderson. "It makes you feel really good."