Rob Bates entered the Marines as someone who liked to draw and left an experienced combat artist. As a soldier for eight years, Bates used pencil and paper to make sense of his living conditions in the Middle East. His drawings of strategic routes while in Afghanistan in 2009 became a part of the National Museum of the Marine Corps combat art collection. Bates, who came home in January, is pursuing his bachelor’s degree at UNC Charlotte. His exhibition, The Joe Bonham Project, can be seen in the Student Union until June 23.