Bald Knob mayor fulfills campaign promise to paint mural for veterans

BALD KNOB, AR (KAIT) - The mayor of Bald Knob promised during his campaign tocommission a mural honoring local veterans. Doyle Wallace made good on thatpromise, as an artist puts the finishing touches on a project bringing thecommunity closer together.

"It's very appealing to the eye when you stop and take alook at it," Samuel Tucker said.

Tucker has enjoyed driving by the mural at the corner ofMain Street and Arkansas 367, watching the large painting progress day by day.

"When they put the Air Force (insignia) in, that's whatcaught my eye because that's what I spent 20 years in," Tucker said.

The mural depicts the insignias from each military branchand also shows other familiar military symbols, like an airplane and a ship.The wall has a special meaning to Tucker, a 20-year Air Force veteran whofought in Korea and Vietnam.

"I defended (my country) honorably and proudly. I'm proud tobe a veteran," Tucker said.

"I couldn't think of anything around Bald Knob that we hadthat did recognize or salute our veterans," Mayor Wallace said.

The mural will serve as a veterans memorial in Bald Knob,the first of its kind in the close-knit community. Wallace, a Korean Warveteran, formed a committee with four other veterans to raise money for themural. Carl White, Roger Heathscott, David Miller and Clois Cox round out the group.The five men have raised $2,500 so far to pay Gene Reagan of Bradford to finishthe large-scale painting.

"I just know thatwhen they came to me I just quickly responded and said, yeah, go ahead andpaint it right here," John Fisher said.

Fisher provided the 14 by 40-foot canvas on the side of hisbuilding. He says the mural is the talk of the town, and he hopes that it drawsthe community closer together – one brush stroke at a time.

"We have freedom because we have people that have stepped upand done their part, and so this is just a way to give back a little to them,"Fisher said.

Wallace says the mural should be done in time for VeteransDay. He plans to hold a dedication ceremony so that the community can admirethe finished work.

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