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One-Armed Soldier Returning Home refers to an illustration by artist Hrishiraj Gawali in which a soldier who lost his hand in war returns home to his daughter, hiding his arm behind his back. Online, the image achieved virality as an exploitable meme format, with users editing various things behind the soldier's back and what the girl is imagining.
On January 26th, 2023, Indian artist Hrishiraj Gawali posted an artwork of a soldier who lost his hand in a war returning home to his daughter. He hides his wounded arm behind his back, with the daughter thinking that he's hiding candy. The illustration gained over 6,200 likes on Instagram in two years (shown below).
The image saw viral spread online through reposts in the following months. For example, on October 6th, 2023, the Facebook page Discover World posted it, with the image gaining over 420,000 reactions and 20,000 shares in two years.
On May 5th, 2023, Twitter user @intothecrevasse posted the earliest found edit of the image, captioning with a joke about Paul Verhoeven's film Benedetta. The tweet (shown below, left) received over 140 retweets and 1,200 likes in two years.
Starting in July 2023, the image saw use as an exploitable, with users editing the thought bubble and adding objects held by the soldier behind his back. On July 18th, 2023, the VK page eNCiaR | Fallout posted the earliest found edit, a Fallout: New Vegas meme that garnered over 2,200 reactions and 150 shares in two years (shown below, left). On August 30th, Instagram user yuruyuru.nime posted a Fumo Fumo edit that gained over 4,000 likes in the same period (shown below, right).
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