Painted tradition: MUNS mural celebrates rich history

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Collin Schmidt
  • 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs
Over the years, the military has grown a strong connection to the art of its culture and history. In the Air Force, ever since becoming its own branch of the military on Sept. 18, 1947, aircraft have been embellished with art as pilots developed a connection with the machines they flew and fought in.

Today, this tradition of carrying on military history through murals and hand-painted displays still holds a strong connection with the Airmen who are a part of that history.

To many, it is a visual legacy of the team they are a part of; it represents the specific groups they live and work with, and the greater American military family as a whole.

For the 341st Munitions Squadron at Malmstrom Air Force Base, a brand new mural symbolizes the hard work and dedication of the Airmen who put their blood, sweat and tears into the mission they accomplish each day.

"Our murals give a timeline of our home away from home," said Airman 1st Class Richard Flores, 341st MUNS reentry system and reentry vehicle maintenance team member. "The mural (we helped create) adds to the morale of the Airmen. It adds color to the white walls and brown doors, and leaves our fingerprint for future generations to see."

An idea originally formulated by a team member's spouse, became a piece of art which symbolizes exactly what Airmen within the MUNS Squadron accomplish with their mission, nuclear deterrence and the continuous maintenance of an elite weapons system.

For Flores, teamwork and participation from his fellow co-workers was the catalyst that allowed the mural to come to life.

Painted by Flores on his down time and multiple days spent late after work, the mural, which depicts an eagle carrying a Mark 21 reentry vehicle, represents America and the work of the career field, he said.

"The mural really is our generation of (nuclear weapons maintainers) trying to leave our mark on this place," said Senior Airman Matthew Gish, 341 MUNS RS/RV maintenance team member.

"I think the mural will bring a little life back into this place," he continued.

For the Airmen of the 341st MUNS Squadron, the hope is the history of their mission will be preserved for years to come and show future generations that what they do is extremely important.

"I'd just like to thank our leadership for allowing us Airmen to take something that will be immortalized with this building and this squadron, and run with it," said Gish.