Locally made veteran mural to hang in White House

Published 8:03 am Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Tim Holmes of Landscape Impressions originally created the mural for his friend’s shooting range, but when the range shut down, Holmes started looking for another place to grace with its presence.

When he heard U.S. Representative Phil Roe wanted it hung in the White House, he said he was amazed.

“It was overwhelming,” Holmes said. “It was surreal realizing it would be in the White House.”

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The mural, a seven-foot by four-foot vinyl mural, is a collection of images depicting all branches of the U.S. military, including land, sea and air forces, as well as first responders such as firemen and police officers. The mural is so large Holmes said they had to rent a box truck just so they can haul it to D.C.

The mural came about roughly four years ago out of a partnership with Foster Signs.

“I wanted to do a tribute to the military,” Holmes said.

The mural originally ended up on the side of his truck, along with a bunch of other logos and images dotting the rest of the frame, among them a picture of his father-in-law who served.

“My family is military, so I always wanted to go into the military growing up, but I could not because I am legally blind,” he said. “I wanted to give back to the people who sacrifice that much for their communities.”

He said the mural is not about him. Rather, it is about the men and women depicted in it and the sacrifices they make.

The mural eventually made it onto the seven-by-four vinyl display, and has since appeared in a number of places including in the Bristol parade two years ago.

When its home in the shooting range closed down, Holmes said he reached out to a few of his contacts with Roe to see if he would accept it. Not only did Roe say yes, but Holmes said he was invited to come to Washington D.C. next Tuesday, Feb. 12, to be present as they hang it in the Military Affairs Council office.

“This will be a piece of East Tennessee in the White House,” he said. “This will counter all the negative in Washington right now.”

Holmes said he is not going to D.C. just for the presentation, however. He said he plans to visit some of the memorials scattered around the capital the day before.

After that, he said it is business as usual.

“It is just going back to work,” Holmes said.

He said he drives his decorated truck everywhere in Elizabethton and Carter County, showcasing the service and sacrifices military members perform every day.

“They are the reason we can do what we do,” Holmes said. “We sometimes take it for granted, but I want them to know they are not forgotten.”