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Jun-27-2012 21:02printcomments

Gold Star Marine Mom's Journey from Benton, Ark. to Camp Pendleton, Calif.

“.I think John would be happy with the vehicle He would have a big smile on his face....” - Mother of fallen Marine John M. Holmason

For Karla Comfort, having the vehicle air brushed with the image of the 10 Marines was a way to pay homage to her hero and his fellow comrades who fell on Iraq's urban battlefield
For Karla Comfort, having the vehicle air brushed with the image of the 10 Marines was a way to pay homage to her hero and his fellow comrades who fell on Iraq's urban battlefield

(CLEVELAND) - Karla Comfort received a lot of looks and even some salutes from people when she drove from Benton, Ark.., to Camp Pendleton, Calif., in her newly-painted, custom Hummer H3 March 2.

The vehicle is adorned with the likeness of her son, 20-year-old Lance Cpl. John M. Holmason, and nine other Marines with F Company, 2nd Battalion, 7 th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division who were all killed by the same improvised explosive device blast in Fallujah, Iraq, in December.

For Karla Comfort, having the vehicle air brushed with the image of the 10 Marines was a way to pay homage to her hero and his fellow comrades who fell on Iraq's urban battlefield

”I wanted to let people know (Marines) are doing their jobs honorably, and some of them die,' said the 39-year-old from Portland, or 'I don't want people to forget the sacrifices that my son and the other Marines made.”

Leading up to her son's death, Karla Comfort had received several letters from him prior to his return. He had been deployed for five months, and Comfort, "worried everyday he was gone until she got the letters and found out the date he was coming home," she said.

Marines knocked on the front door of her home in Farmington , Mich. , at 3 am with the dreadful news. “I let my guard down when I found out he was coming home,” she said. “There are times that I still cannot believe it happened. It's very hard to deal with.”

Karla Comfort came up with the idea for the rolling memorial when she and her two other sons attended John's funeral in Portland, Ore.

I saw a Vietnam (War) memorial on a car, and I said to my son Josh, “we should do something like that for John,” she recalled. “He loved Hummers.”

She purchased the vehicle in January and immediately took it to AirbrushGuy & Co. In Benton , Ark., where artist Robert Powell went to work on changing the plain, black vehicle into a decorative, mobile, art piece. "I only had the vehicle for two days before we took it in,” she joked.

Two hundred and fifty man-hours later, Powell had completed the vehicle. The custom job would have cost $25,000. Out of respect for Karla Comfort's loss and the sacrifices the Marines made, AirbrushGuy & Co., did it for free. Comfort only had to purchase the paint, which cost $3,000.

“I love it,” she said. “I'm really impressed with it, and I think John would be happy with the vehicle He would have a big smile on his face because he loved Hummers.”

Benton, Ark., to Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Looks & salutes as Karla Comfort drove her Hummer H3,
Graphics to honor the lives of U.S. Marines for all to see,
Adorned with the likeness of Corporal John M. Holmason,
With nine other Hero Marines as he was not the only one.

F Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Division,
Improvised explosive device created the deadly circumcision,
Karla’s son John and the others with flags are coming back,
Draped over their coffins from devastation in Fallujah, Iraq.

And, not wanting memories of these United States Marines,
To become nothing more than a by word or passing dream,
She had her Hummer H3 air brushed, first class customized,
To be sure all who see remember those who gave their lives.

Robert Powell used his special, gifted, talented painting skills,
And then AirbrushGuy & Co., of Benton, Ark., made it chill,
You better believe it’s definitely cool as ice and twice as nice,
Only paying for paint the company donated the $25,000 price.

Seeing this masterpiece, a picture is worth a thousand words,
Now there might be enough nouns there aren’t enough verbs,
Yet, certainly many before and after have perished in Fallujah,
Marines everywhere & we at Salem-News say, “Ooh-Rah!”

By Luke Easter

Luke Easter is a poet who writes about things that are very close to the heart of Another former U.S. Marine, Luke heals the world with an approach that reaches people on a different level, one known for centuries, yet too often forgotten in the one we live in.

We live in a world of social & economic injustice. The main reason for founding America in the first place was to relieve the oppression of the King of England. Patrick Henry said it best, “give me liberty or give me death.” And yet, all too often death seems to be the only way out. Why is there such a high suicide rate especially among teens, in the land of the free & the home of the brave? What makes headlines? Good news? Ha! More depressing stories than anything else. I feel poetry takes an edge off the hurt of bad news while still delivering it but in a, “glitzy” sort of way. Giving a different perspective. Kind of like slap in the face as opposed to a knife in the back. At least with the slap you’ll live to see another day and you will know whom it’s from. I wasn’t here for the beginning of the world but at 59, I just might be here for the end.

Even though it’s still a knife, rhyme poetry helps to dull the blade. And that’s my job. You can write to Luke Easter at:

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Becky July 17, 2012 11:33 pm (Pacific time)

Tun Tavern, November 10, 1775, Philadelphia, PA.How many times I've been past the location, I can't even count, but in those days much sianificgnt to our nation was happening in Philadelphia.Within short walking distance from Tun Tavern is the Betsy Ross house, where Ms. Ross, noted seamstress, crafted the first official flag for our new country.Today, across Arch st. from Betsy Ross House is where Benjamin Franklin rests in peace.From there, can be seen Independence Hall and Carpenter's Hall, where the first Congress met to do its business of the day. Stationed around the perimeter of the two halls are still the all-weather guard posts, painted in their guard post stripes. Here is where people approaching the two halls were challenged by sentries. Now they stand facing the cobble-stoned streets of the past.Our Liberty Bell is housed in its own building nearby Independence Hall, it's practically all tempered glass for all to see the bell. It's a busy attraction.But today, we celebrate what began with a meeting of patriots at Tun Tavern,the United States Marine Corps. The Leathernecks who manned the riggings of our fighting ships to become famous for their marksmanship the world-over. The sea-going soldiers who actually did wear leather, high collars to ward off sword slashes aimed at the neck area.The Corps, whose motto is Semper Fidelis, has abided by those words from its first minute until today, and many of us know what those two Latin words mean; Always Faithful. They have been and are always faithful, God bless them and Happy Birthday to the Corps. I salute you all.

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