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  • Jet Baker

Painting Crosses Honoring 9 Soldiers


Share Art Heal volunteers and students from ADP's Summer Youth Leadership Program painted crosses honoring the Nine Soldiers killed in a flooding accident June 9th 2016. Their truck went missing when fast-moving Texas floodwaters swept it away during training exercises, three other were hospitalized and released.

"Jet, we've got more project you can help us with." I was wrapping up the last art project on our final art day at camp when Officer Oakmon asked me. "The Student Team Leaders are building crosses to honor the 9 Soldiers who died in the Ft. Hood flood accident this month. We're gonna bring them to Ft. Hood with us next week. Will you paint the names and ranks of the soldiers on the crosses?"

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"Yes. It would be an honor," was my reply. I didn't ask him if he's seen my writing or remind him that I make abstract paintings with an palette knife. I new I needed to find an artist to for the job. When I told Share Art Heal artist Elizabeth Hendley about the project she instantly volunteered to paint them saying the same thing I did, 'It would be an honor,"

Officers Eric Oakmon and Bihn Nguyen built the crosses then the student team leaders painted them white. Share Art Heal volunteer Tyler Foster measured and marked guide lines on each white cross then Elizabeth added the names and ranks. Elizabeth Hendley is the Art Therapist at Dell Children's Medical Center. She was the perfect artist for the job. Thank you Elizabeth!

The students at APD's Summer Youth Leadership Program had a ceremony at the Memorial. The crosses were displayed at the memorial. A Chaplain and Soldiers from the unit were in attendance. With a prayer and a short ceremony students of APD's Summer Youth Program honored the soldiers lost in the accident:

Staff Sgt. Miguel Angel Colonvazquez, 38, from Brooklyn, New York

Spc. Christine Faith Armstrong, 27, from Twentynine Palms, California

Spc. Yingming Sun, 25, of Monterey Park, California

Pfc. Brandon Austin Banner, 22, from Milton, Florida

Pfc. Zachery Nathaniel Fuller, 23, from Palmetto, Florida

Pvt. Isaac Lee Deleon, 19, of San Angelo, Texas

Pvt. Eddy Raelaurin Gates, 20, of Dunn, North Carolina

Pvt. Tysheena Lynette James, 21, of Jersey City, New Jersey

Cadet Mitchell Alexander Winey, 21, of Valparaiso, Indiana

#FtHood #AustinPoliceDepartment #DellChildrensMedicalCenter

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