Hummer Memorial

Tribute to Camp Pendleton fallen soldiers

“Dedicated to the son I love”



Karla Comfort received a lot of looks and even some salutes from people when she drove from Benton, Arkansas, to Camp Pendleton, California, in her newly-painted, custom Hummer H3. The vehicle is adorned with the likeness of her son, 20-year-old Lance Cpl. John M. Holmason, and nine other Marines with F Company, 2nd Battalion, 7 th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division who were all killed by the same improvised explosive device blast in Fallujah, Iraq, in December, 2011.


For Karla Comfort, having the vehicle air brushed with the image of the 10 Marines was a way to pay homage to her hero and his fellow comrades who fell on Iraq’s urban battlefield. “I wanted to let people know (Marines) are doing their jobs honorably, and some of them die,” said the 39-year-old from Portland, Oregon. “I don’t want people to forget the sacrifices that my son and the other Marines made.”


Leading up to her son’s death, Karla Comfort had received several letters from him prior to his return. He had been deployed for five months, and Comfort “worried everyday he was gone until she got the letters and found out the date he was coming home,” she said. Marines knocked on the front door of her home in Farmington, Michigan, at 3 am with the dreadful news. “I let my guard down when I found out he was coming home,” she said. “There are times that I still cannot believe it happened. It’s very hard to deal with.”


Karla Comfort came up with the idea for the rolling memorial when she and her two other sons attended John’s funeral in Portland, Oregon. “I saw a Vietnam memorial on a car, and I said to my son Josh, ‘we should do something like that for John,’ ” she recalled. “He loved Hummers.” She purchased the vehicle in January and immediately took it to AirbrushGuy & Co. in Benton, Arkansas, where artist Robert Powell went to work on changing the plain, black vehicle into a decorative, mobile art piece. “I only had the vehicle for two days before we took it in,” she joked.


Two hundred and fifty man-hours later, Powell had completed the vehicle. The custom job would have cost $25,000. Out of respect for Karla Comfort’s loss and the sacrifices the Marines made, AirbrushGuy & Co. did it for free. Comfort only had to purchase the paint, which cost $3,000. “I love it,” she said. “I’m really impressed with it, and I think John would be happy with the vehicle. He would have a big smile on his face because he loved Hummers.”


Karla Comfort gave Powell basic instructions on what to include in the paint job. But in addition to the image of her son in Dress Blues and the faces of the nine other Marines, there were several surprises. “He put a lot more on than I expected,” she said. “I think my favorite part is the heaven scene.” On the left side of the vehicle, a detail of Marines are depicted carrying their fallen comrades through the clouds to their final resting place. The American flag drapes across the hood, the words, “Semper Fi” crown the front windshield and the spare tire cover carries the same Eagle Globe and Anchor design that her son had tattooed on his back.


“All the support I have been getting is wonderful,” she said. Karla Comfort decided to move back to her hometown of Portland, and making the cross-country trip from Arkansas was a way for her to share her son’s story. It’s also her way of coping with the loss. “Along the way I got nothing but positive feedback from people,” she said. “What got to me was when people would salute the guys (Marines). It’s hard to look at his picture. I still cry and try to get used to the idea, but it’s hard to grasp the idea that he’s really gone.”

QuotaBills
Salivation Army - Archie Bunker

An army marches on its stomach. - Napoleon Bonaparte

A good soldier is a poor scout. - Cheyenne Proverb

Drill Sergeant: An army dentist. - Daffynitions joe-ks.com

Love is a kind of military service. - Ovid

I am not a politician, but a soldier. - Idi Amin

In war, there are no unwounded soldiers. - Jose Narosky

Skill and confidence are an unconquered army. - George Herbert

The army is the true nobility of our country. - Napoleon III

Military intelligence is a contradiction in terms. - Groucho Marx

I now close my military career and just fade away. - Douglas MacArthur

Famous men have the whole earth as their memorial. - Pericles

Marketing strategy is a lot like military strategy. - Liddell Hart

Spare the rod and spoil the Memorial Day rotisserie. - Brian Spellman

Soldiers win the battles and generals get the credit. - Napoleon Bonaparte

The dead soldier's silence sings our national anthem. - Aaron Kilbourn

The military don't start wars. Politicians start wars. - William Westmoreland

We come not to mourn our dead soldiers, but to praise them. - Francis A Walker

Where some states have an army, the Prussian army has a state. - Voltaire

A conquering army on the border will not be stopped by eloquence. - Otto von Bismarck

Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved. - Martin Luther

A standing army is one of the greatest mischiefs that can possibly happen. - James Madison

A piece of spaghetti or a military unit can only be led from the front end. - George S Patton

Two armies that fight each other is like one large army that commits suicide. - Henri Barbusse

An army of deer led by a lion is more to be feared than an army of lions led by a deer. - Philip II

It used to be that when all else failed, a guy went into the army; now he becomes a consultant. - Blackie Sherrod

I've always wanted to go to Switzerland to see what the army does with those wee red knives. - Billy Connolly

Moses was the greatest legislator and the commander in chief of perhaps the first liberation army. - Elie Wiesel

I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep. I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great

There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come. - Victor Hugo

The reason there are so many tree-lined boulevards in Paris is so the German army can march in the shade. - George S Patton

I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its stupidity. - Dwight D Eisenhower

The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him. - G K Chesterton

The policemen or soldiers are only a gun in the establishments hand. They make the racist secure in his racism. - Huey Newton

In July of 2004, I came out strongly against the war with Iraq because it was going to destabilize the Middle East. - Donald Trump

Maybe the answer to Selective Service is to start everyone off in the army and draft them for civilian life as needed. - Bill Vaughan

My other brother-in-law died. He was a karate expert, then joined the army. The first time he saluted, he killed himself. - Henny Youngman

Toy Soldiers was my introduction to film. I certainly didn't think I was doing art by any stretch of the imagination. - Tim Robbins

It takes but one positive thought when given a chance to survive and thrive to overpower an entire army of negative thoughts. - Robert H. Schuller

Eating a tuna roll at a sushi restaurant should be considered no more environmentally benign than driving a Hummer or harpooning a manatee. - Daniel Pauly


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24-Jun-2021