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Artful salutes to the troops

Photo of mural

A mural depicting the history of aviation and gratitude toward Robins Air Force Base personnel sits near the corner of Carl Vinson Parkway and Watson Boulevard in Warner Robins, Georgia. Muralist Chris Johnson of Cuthbert, Georgia, spent two months drawing and painting the 11-panel mural, which includes historical figures like astronaut Sally Ride and Air Force Gen. Chuck Yeager. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kisha Johnson)

Photo of mural

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- A mural depicting military service members and their families stands at the corner of Davis Drive and Watson Boulevard in Warner Robins, Georgia, June 16, 2020. In March 2010, a group of Warner Robins High School students and their teacher, Polly Sheehan, spent two days painting this mural celebrating the armed forces.

Photo of mural

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. – Shrubs cut into the letters EDIMGIAFAD run along Watson Boulevard at the intersection of Corder Road in Warner Robins, Georgia, June 16, 2020. EDIMGIAFAD, which stands for Every Day In Middle Georgia Is Armed Forces Appreciation Day, was coined in 1968 by local physician Dan Callahan, who wanted a way to honor Robins Airmen at the height of the Vietnam War. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kisha Johnson)

Photo of mural

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- A mural honoring local service members sits near the intersection of Watson Boulevard and Davis Drive in Warner Robins, Georgia, June 16, 2020. Georgia Military College Professor Mike Gillis, with the help of a small group of students, completed this mural in the fall of 2019, which highlights several local service members such as the first Black female pilot in the Georgia National Guard, 1st Lt. Andrea Lewis, and Brig. Gen. Augustine Warner Robins, for whom Robins Air Force Base is named


There is a new mural to marvel over in Warner Robins.

The 11-panel collection highlights the history of aviation and the U.S. Armed Forces, and pays tribute to the men and women who work at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia.

Displays of patriotism are a welcomed sight for service members like Master Sgt. Jeremy Smith, 52nd Combat Communications Squadron cyber transport supervisor.

“It is just hard to beat Middle Georgia. Everyone is so nice. It does not surprise me, the support this community gives to the base,” said Smith.

When Airmen arrive in town, their sacrifice and service are not lost on the local residents.

Efforts are made to extend support and show gratefulness around Middle Georgia, from discounts on food and shopping, to entertainment and artwork.  

“It is absolutely great. If I am in uniform, I get at least one or two people thanking me for my service,” said Tech Sgt. James Matheny, 52nd CBCS senior flight chief. “It is definitely nice when you are in an area where the local population is really supportive. It just makes it feel that even though this is not your home, it makes it feel closer to home.”

A local businessman commissioned muralist Chris Johnson of Cuthbert, Georgia, to create the large scale piece of artwork in which each panel is 11 feet high and 11 feet wide. 

“Murals instill civic pride in people,” said Johnson who is also an associate professor of art. “They look at their community a little bit differently, which is cool to see people form that appreciation for their surroundings.”

Several historical figures featured in the work include: aviation pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright, pilots Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart, Tuskegee Airman John W. Rogers Sr., astronaut Sally Ride, Air Force pilot Gen. Chuck Yeager, and astronaut John Glenn.


Editor’s note: There is no federal endorsement intended in this article.