By Carol ThrasherMay 31, 2007
FORT LEE, Va. (Army News Service, May 31, 2007) - Since the start of operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, motorists nationwide display pride in this country and the military with "Support Our Troops" decals on their vehicles.
Lynn and Shelly Baxter of Texas decided that their vehicle should be a "moving tribute" to the loyalty and dedication of the nation's military members. The husband-wife tandem have spent nearly 15 years together on the open road, making cross-country deliveries for Landstar Carrier Group.
Adorned on both sides of their freight-liner truck is a familiar sight to members of the 111th Quartermaster Company, 530th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion.
The mural shows two American Soldiers kneeling in prayer while God's hands reach down from heaven to protect them. One of these Soldiers is Shelly's son, Staff Sgt. Brian Snook, a mortuary affairs NCO in the 111th Quartermaster Co. Sgt. Snook has deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and Korea, among other assignments.
"I thought it was pretty neat that they would do something like this," Sgt. Snook said. "My family is very supportive of the military, and I thought it was an excellent idea."
When asked why the couple had the mural painted on the truck, the Baxters' response is simply: "Love, pride, duty, heritage, God, country and family."
The idea originally was to paint an American flag on both sides, but after further suggestions were made, the design expanded to its current image. The truck's owners, Alvin Mann and wife, endorsed and funded the project, while Shelly's sister, Judi Privett, is credited with compiling all the elements into the thematic mural.
The family ties with the military date as far back as the Civil War era, having members who served in all branches of the Armed Services.
The Baxters said the mural is not about just one person's son, "but all those who have chosen to serve and protect their God and country, and still continue to serve."
(Carol Thrasher is a military Family Member.)