Art of War

Thirty-nine members of Task Force Medical in the Craig Joint Theater Hospital on Bagram AB. Afghanistan, decided to make a difference by reaching for the paintbrush instead of the sword, and their results speak for themselves. The group painted a mural in the in the hospital’s conference room to honor the local Afghan culture and capture the wonder of the scenery around Bagram. Given the fact that such art was banished under Taliban rule, their work had deeper meaning. “I thought this was going to be a quick paint job, but it turned into part of the GWOT mission because of the Taliban’s ban against art,” said MSgt. Cruz Torres Jr., who is deployed from the 710th Medical Squadron at Offutt AFB, Neb. Nearly 290 man-hours later, the entire conference room wall space is full of vibrant color and culture. “When the locals come in here, they are speechless,” said MSgt. Al Greig, a medical logistics superintendent deployed from the 1st Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla. He led the project. “I believe this painting is absolutely significant to the Global War on Terror. Culturally, it’s that important,” he said. (Bagram report by MSgt. Demetrius Lester)