Soldier leaves brigade’s mark on Kuwait

1st Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade
Story by Staff Sgt. Aaron Duncan

Date: 08.19.2015
Posted: 09.19.2015 04:08
News ID: 176642
Soldier leaves brigade’s mark on Kuwait

CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait – Pfc. Frank Runnels, a native of Orlando, Fla., a computer technician assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion, 1st Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade painted a concrete barrier, or T-wall, with a design representing the brigade from the end of July to Aug. 19.

Runnels painted the T-wall in order to leave a lasting reminder for the Soldiers assigned to the unit in Kuwait after their departure.

“I really wanted to leave something behind that represented my unit and what we have accomplished here,” said Runnels.

It has become an unspoken tradition among units with the evidence visible as you travel from one end of post to the other. Along the side of the road are cement barriers painted by units that served here previously.

“It gave me a sense of pride that the unit allowed me to be the one to paint the mural,” said Runnels. “The knowledge that something I did is still there after I am gone is a great feeling.”

Runnels was selected for the project when others in the unit noticed his artistic skill. With frequent practice, his skill at drawing has progressed steadily.

However, his skill with a pencil did not prepare him for the challenge of working with paint.

“It was a much bigger scale than what I was used to,” said Runnels. “Bigger portraits create bigger problems.”

His peers and leaders were impressed with the work regardless of the challenges he faced working with the new medium.

“I am proud to know we have such talent within the formation,” said Col. Allen T. Cassell, the 1st Inf. Div. Sust. Bde. commander. “His work represents the brigade and the mission.”

The design he chose to use, in order to leave his and the unit’s mark on the desert country of Kuwait, is the unit’s crest surrounded by roots that branch out and interconnect with each other.

“I wanted to show with the design the interconnected nature of our mission,” said Runnels. “Just like roots sustain a tree we sustain the guys on the front lines.”

With the project complete, another unit is memorialized on the cement barriers in Kuwait. Among the other units that have answered the call for the nation, 1st Inf. Div. Sust. Bde. will also stand representing the deeds of its Soldiers.