ORU art student pays tribute to fallen soldier
|Updated: 9/24/2012 10:14 am
||Published: 9/21/2012 5:14 pm
Four pieces of charcoal and two hours is how a local artist paid tribute to a local soldier killed in Afghanistan.
"He knew where he belonged and I liked that picture and I thought people should see it," said ORU art student Taylor Hoffer.
Pfc. Jon Townsend, 19, of Claremore was among the four soldiers who were killed in what the Pentagon calls an insider attack by Afghan police over the weekend.
Hoffer, who is only 18-years old, said she never met Townsend but wanted to memorialize him and thank him for her freedom.
"I started right there with that eye," said Hoffer.
She used his military picture and continued to draw Townsend’s face on Oologah Park’s basketball court.
"I just felt he was really looking at you," said Hoffer. "I like his reserve confidence. There was no arrogance."
Townsend was a newlywed and recently graduated from Sequoyah High School in Claremore.
He enlisted in the Army and became an infantryman in Afghanistan.
“It was hard to believe to see someone so young and so willing to serve his country who was taken from his family like that,” said Hoffer.
Last weekend, Townsend and three other soldiers were killed by Afghan police.
"It must be hard to see the entire world to keep moving on with what they were doing," said Hoffer. "It was something I felt I needed to do."
She lives in a nearby community, but never knew Townsend.
"It doesn't matter how small your town is, anything can happen," said Hoffer.
With a few pieces of charcoal Hoffer left on the basketball court, veterans, friends and even strangers are sending their gratitude to a soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice.
"It doesn't bring him back but it lets people know that he was here," said Hoffer.
She would like the entire basketball court filled with messages. The artist said it’s a sign of supporting your troops.
She learned to draw portraits when Blue Star Mothers would send pictures of living and fallen soldiers to her high school art class in Bartlesville.
On Friday, Hoffer met Townsend’s sister and aunt who thanked her for the tribute.
A Facebook page “Hometown Hero-Jon R. Townsend” has been set up for his family.
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