For AirbrushGuy & Company artist Robert Powell, it's not the custom airbrushing that's makes this job unique, but the sheer amount of the work and the subject matter that makes this project a bit different.
Powell explains, “You have to take all the parts off, paint them, take them all off, clear them, put them back together. It's a long, drawn out process."
He's was commissioned to airbrush an H3 Hummer for an Oregon mom whose son was killed in Iraq during a roadside bombing.
Karla Comfort says, “It is a part of John and it's an extension of his memory and I just feel very bonded with it."
Her son, Marine Lance Cpl. John Holmason and nine others died during a combat operation in Fallujah. Comfort wanted to do something to remember her son after she saw a similar memorial for Vietnam Veterans. She wanted her own rolling memorial.
“You realized these guys have died for our country. The 10 guys that died, [to] my son, they’re like is family. Including all 10 of them was the appropriate thing to do and I want people to see them and see what they sacrificed."
Ex-military himself, Powell is showing the two sides of war: the troop on the battlefield and the humanitarian side, depicting the troop helping Iraqi children and policing the war torn areas. Tying it all together is the American flag, honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Powell explains, “I've draped a flag over the front and my thinking there was sort of a coffin, like they're sent home."
Comfort says this Hummer is not only a memorial; it's been a part of the grieving process.
"I am in tears every day; it's a positive thing to focus on," she says.
For Powell, he says this is more than just a Hummer with a special paint job is and he hopes people will recognize its significance.
“They look at it and see somebody's mother, somebody's brother, somebody's son, somebody's father,” he explains. “I want them to see that."
The Hummer is expected to be complete in a couple of days and should be on display later in February. Comfort plans to take it on the road for people to see.