ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. - Jonathan Hudgins knows his job here at Anniston Army Depot is important, just as he knows every job that affects equipment used by men and women in uniform around the world can be vital to the survival of those warfighters.

Jonathan, who works in the K-Yard, knows this because his father died due to an overlooked defect while he was serving his country.

"I want everyone to remember the fallen and the reason we are here," he said. "It only took one person to overlook my father's truck and that is the reason he is no longer here. The studs for a tire were not installed correctly and, as he came over a hill, the wheel snapped off and his water tanker rolled, crushing the cab. No matter how small the job is, it is still very important that we remember why we are here and what we do."

Junior Hudgins was 25 years old when he died on May 20, 1983. He was serving the U.S. Army in Israel on a peacekeeping mission and he left behind his wife, Pamela, and two sons, Jonathan and Mark.

Jonathan was 15 months old at the time. When he was old enough to be told about his father, he was shown a photo that, for Jonathan, has come to symbolize not only his father's service and sacrifice, but that of all Veterans.

"My brother Mark and I were told the story when we were old enough to understand and we were given a picture of my mother receiving a folded flag and my brother reaching for it. That image has stuck with me this whole time," said Jonathan.

For Veterans Day this year, Jonathan turned that memory into a piece of art he wanted to share with his co-workers here. It's his way of reminding everyone the work performed at this depot and our sister depots affects not only the lives of those who serve, but also of the loved ones they leave behind.

Jonathan has been drawing for many years. He found his talent for it when he met his wife, Kori.

"When I was 18, an Army recruiter named Kori came to my home. Two days later, I married her," said Jonathan. "I had no money, so I drew her some yellow roses, since they were her favorite flower. Ten years and four children later, I still draw for her. She is the reason I found the talent for it and the reason I draw today."

Kori is now a disabled veteran. She left the service in February 2007. That same year, Jonathan began working on the depot as a contractor for Lockheed Martin.

In 2008, he changed jobs to work for another contractor here and then, on Dec. 23, 2009, he began working for the depot as a tool and parts attendant. He can now be found in the K-Yard where he handles hazardous chemicals and supports the shops throughout the Nichols Industrial Complex by pulling orders.

Page last updated Wed November 10th, 2010 at 16:08