Nellis Airman paints mural at entrance

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Aileen Carter
  • Nellis AFB Public Affairs
Previous 99th Air Base Wing leadership left behind the legacy of allowing Airmen to submit designs and paint the entrance sign at the Nellis AFB main gate. One Airman from the 820th Red Horse Squadron was happy to jump at the chance even if the task had to be completed just one week shy of her deployment to Southwest Asia.

"Colonel Michael Bartley and Chief Master Sgt. Britton Ellis came up with the idea of having the enlisted show their talents and abilities to connect with Team Nellis," said Tech. Sgt. Jillian Swanson, 99th Air Base Wing Command Chief's Assistant.

Airman Cordero first learned of this volunteer opportunity through a membership meeting with the Airman Committed to Excellence organization; it only took her an hour to pencil a theme design for the mural. She chose a topic that was close to her heart.

"I instantly thought about education. I am always trying to influence those around me and those lower ranking than me to not waste time and just do it - go to school," Airman Cordero said. "I thought a picture of the Military Personnel Flight would be perfect because that is where we would start when we decide to go back to school," she said.

The addition of one more item onto her "to-do" list so close to her deployment date seemed like a recipe for more stress, but Airman Cordero was able to lighten her load by extending the opportunity to her teammates.

"Once I came up with the design, I asked [my co-workers] if they would like to help me with this and make it a services squadron-shop project. My co-workers were excited to help and because we only had a weekend left, it really took all hands in," she said.

Airman Cordero said the most challenging aspect of completing the sign was time management and reproducing the mural on a much larger scale. However, two days later, the sign was complete and ready for display by Sept. 1.

According to Sergeant Swanson, it normally takes an artist up to two weeks to complete a project like this.

"I hope above everything else, it influences [Airmen] to continue taking steps toward earning a degree," Airman Cordero said.

While Airman Cordero's sign focuses on education, there is also another message worth mentioning.

"On the board is a red horse hiding behind the Air Force wings. Within the horse's head is a sticker that says 'CODE1'," she explained.

The tribute honors the memory of Staff Sgt. Cody Herring, a squadron member who recently lost his life in a motorcycle accident.

"Designing the sign which greets thousands of Nellis Airmen and visitors daily is an opportunity to not only display artwork but have your voice heard," Airman Cordero added.

Sergeant Swanson said the entrance sign will feature artwork for up to two and a half months before the 99th Air Base Wing Command Chief requests another theme design. Airmen wishing to submit a design should contact the 99th Air Base Wing Command Chief's office.