WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Wichita Falls is home to the largest and most diversified training center in air education and training command.
With a population of 8,500 men and women serving their country, Sheppard Air Force Base has served Wichita Falls for nearly 80 years, and one woman is showing her appreciation in a very artistic way.
The idea came from Owner of Deli Planet Rebecca Rutledge, and once she saved up the money for a new mural, she knew exactly who she wanted to paint it.
Brea’n Thompson has been carefully working on something huge right outside the gates of Sheppard Air Force Base.
“It’s about 71 feet of wall and it’s about 14 feet high, so it’s kind of a big undertaking for one person,” muralist Brea’n Thompson said.
This isn’t Thompson’s first rodeo either as she’s a part of the Eastside Mural Project and also painted one of the crosswalks downtown. Rutledge said that’s what inspired her to have Thompson do this new mural on the sidewall of Deli Planet.
“Of course the new art craze going on in Wichita Falls and the downtown murals that are going up and we have this big beautiful wall,” Rutledge said.
A big beautiful wall is something Thompson is very familiar with.
“I’ve been doing murals since I was about 14-years-old. I really needed a canvas, and I didn’t have any, so I painted in my mother’s walls and it sparked a love in muraling for me,” Thompson said.
Thompson began the mural at the beginning of this month and said the mural will pay homage to Army, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard, and with military personnel being 80 percent of deli planets business, Rutledge said this is the perfect way to pay tribute to them.
“They’re very important to us as a business, we’ve been here 22 years outside the main gate and we know that if it wasn’t for SAFB our family probably wouldn’t be able to be raised the way that we raised them,” Rutledge said.
Both Rutledge and Thompson said they hope the blood sweat and tears of our military men and women will be reflected off the walls that have been serving heroes for decades and decades to come.
Thompson said shes plans for the mural to be completed by Sept. 1.