The lives of Charley and Edie Harper were interrupted by the war. Charley enlisted in the Army and served as a Scout in the 104th Infantry Division in the European Campaign. Meanwhile, Edie served as a photographer for the Army Corps of Engineers. During his tour, Charley documented his experiences in sketches. He was also known to draw portraits of his fellow soldiers to send back home to their families. It is there where he learned how to work quickly and concisely to depict the scenes around him. This gave rise to his simplified approach.