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Airman serves through art

Staff Sgt. Alfonzo Martinez, 460th Logistics Readiness Squadron property manager, paints a mural of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in honor of Black History Month Jan. 21, 2014, on the spirit rock on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. The spirit rock can be painted by all Team Buckley members wanting to highlight individuals, promote unit camaraderie or honor special observances.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Chief Master Sgt. Richard Halseth/Released)

Staff Sgt. Alfonzo Martinez, 460th Logistics Readiness Squadron property manager, paints a mural of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in honor of Black History Month Jan. 21, 2014, on the spirit rock on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. The spirit rock can be painted by all Team Buckley members wanting to highlight individuals, promote unit camaraderie or honor special observances. (U.S. Air Force photo by Chief Master Sgt. Richard Halseth/Released)

Staff Sgt. Alfonzo Martinez, 460th Logistics Readiness Squadron property manager, painted a mural of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in honor of Black History Month Jan. 21, 2014, on the spirit rock on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. The spirit rock can be painted by all Team Buckley members wanting to showcase individuals, promote unit camaraderie or honor special observances.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Chief Master Sgt. Richard Halseth/Released)

Staff Sgt. Alfonzo Martinez, 460th Logistics Readiness Squadron property manager, painted a mural of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in honor of Black History Month Jan. 21, 2014, on the spirit rock on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. The spirit rock can be painted by all Team Buckley members wanting to showcase individuals, promote unit camaraderie or honor special observances. (U.S. Air Force photo by Chief Master Sgt. Richard Halseth/Released)

Chief Master Sgt. Douglas McIntyre, Air Force Space Command command chief, left, looks at the Spirit Rock with Chief Master Sgt. Ben Roberson, 460th Mission Support Group chief enlisted manager, and Master Sgt. Pourshia Chambers-Motley, 460th MSG first sergeant, July 23, 2013, on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. Staff Sgt. Alfonzo Martinez, 460th Logistics Readiness Squadron property manager, painted the mural in honor of Airman 1st Class Shaquille Hargrove, 2nd Space Warning Squadron satellite systems operator, who was killed in an incident in downtown Denver July 13, 2013. The spirit rock is open to all Team Buckley members wanting to highlight individuals, promote unit camaraderie or honor special observances.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Riley Johnson/Released)

Chief Master Sgt. Douglas McIntyre, Air Force Space Command command chief, left, looks at the Spirit Rock with Chief Master Sgt. Ben Roberson, 460th Mission Support Group chief enlisted manager, and Master Sgt. Pourshia Chambers-Motley, 460th MSG first sergeant, July 23, 2013, on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. Staff Sgt. Alfonzo Martinez, 460th Logistics Readiness Squadron property manager, painted the mural in honor of Airman 1st Class Shaquille Hargrove, 2nd Space Warning Squadron satellite systems operator, who was killed in an incident in downtown Denver July 13, 2013. The spirit rock is open to all Team Buckley members wanting to highlight individuals, promote unit camaraderie or honor special observances. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Riley Johnson/Released)

Staff Sgt. Alfonzo Martinez, 460th Logistics Readiness Squadron property manager, painted a mural promoting the 460th Logistics Readiness Squadron Nov. 11, 2011, on the spirit rock on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. The spirit rock can be painted by all Team Buckley members wanting to highlight individuals, promote unit camaraderie or honor special observances.  (Courtesy photo)

Staff Sgt. Alfonzo Martinez, 460th Logistics Readiness Squadron property manager, painted a mural promoting the 460th Logistics Readiness Squadron Nov. 11, 2011, on the spirit rock on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. The spirit rock can be painted by all Team Buckley members wanting to highlight individuals, promote unit camaraderie or honor special observances. (Courtesy photo)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The Buckley Spirit Rock sits on the corner of Aspen and Breckenridge Streets. Although small in stature, the murals painted on the rock by Team Buckley members have a large impact on the base, honoring units, special observances and individuals.

One of the rock's frequent painters, Staff Sgt. Alfonso Martinez, 460th Logistics Readiness Squadron property manager, said he paints the spirit rock not only to fulfill his creative energy, but also to boost morale, something he said brings his small unit even closer and get's their name on the street.

Other Team Buckley members, to include Chief Master Sgt. Halseth, agree.

"It definitely builds unit pride," said Chief Master Sgt. Richard Halseth, 460th Mission Support Group superintendent. "Big or small units, they are all allowed to 'represent' on the spirit rock. There's something special about driving past the rock and seeing your unit represented on it.

I look forward to driving past the rock seeing some of the artistry and imagination that people have," he added

The Buckley spirit rock is open to all Team Buckley members, and anyone is allowed to paint it with their leadership's approval as long as the prior painting has been displayed for at least two weeks.

"When people get out there and paint the spirit rock, I think it makes them feel like they are actually part of the base versus 'just working here,'" Halseth said.

Leftover paint from projects on base is available free of charge from the hazardous material office.

Aside from getting him out of the office, Martinez joked, he is incredibly grateful for Buckley giving him the opportunity to display his talent and highlight important events.

His latest painting, a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. mural honoring Black History Month, attracted a lot of positive attention. Martinez said a few people stopped by when he was painting, giving their thanks and appreciation for his work.

Along with the praise from his unit and the Buckley community, Martinez is also grateful for such a supportive family. Whenever his mom see's the work he has done, she always jokes that she and his father should've pushed him through art school. His kids are also some of his biggest fans, he said.

Although the murals painted on the spirit rock will eventually get painted over, covering up many hours of hard work and dedication, Martinez's passion for art makes it all worth it.

"It's a cool feeling," Martinez stated. "It sends a message out there. As long as I send out what its saying, what it represents, then I did my job."






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