Marine Mom & Her Hummer
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif.
March 2, 2006)
Karla Comfort received a lot of looks and even some
salutes from people when she drove from Benton,
Ark., to Camp Pendleton, Calif., in her
newly-painted, custom Hummer H3 March 2. The vehicle
is adorned with the likeness of! her son,
20-year-old Lance Cpl. John M. Holmason, and nine
other Marines with F Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th
Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division who where all
killed by the same improvised explosive device blast
in Fallujah, Iraq, in December.
Karla Comfort, having the vehicle air brushed with
the image of the 10 Marines was a way to pay homage
to her hero and his fellow comrades who fell on
Iraq's urban battlefield.
"I wanted to let people know (Marines) are doing
their jobs honorably, and some of them die," said
the 39-year-old from Portland, OR "I don't want
people to forget the sacrifices that my son and the
other Marines made."
Leading up to her son's death, Karla Comfort had
received several letters from him prior to his
return. He had been deployed for five months, and
Comfort "worried everyday he was gone until she got
the letters and found out the date he was coming
home," she said.
Marines knocked on the front door of her home in
Farmington, Mich., at 3 am with the dreadful news.
"I let my guard down when I found out he was coming
home," she said. "There are times that I still
cannot believe it happened. It's very hard to deal
Karla Comfort came up with the idea for the rolling
memorial when she and her two other sons attended
John's funeral in Portland, Oregon.
"I saw a Vietnam (War) memorial on a car, and I said
to my son Josh, 'we should do something like that
for John,' she recalled. "He loved Hummers."
She purchased the vehicle in January and immediately
took it to AirbrushGuy & Co. in Benton, Ark., where
artist Robert Powell went to work on changing the
plain, black vehicle into a decorative, mobile, art
"I only had the vehicle for two days before we took
it in," she joked.
Two hundred and fifty man-hours later, Powell had
completed the vehicle. The custom job would have
cost $25,000. Out of respect for Karla Comfort's
loss and the sacrifices the Marines made,
AirbrushGuy & Co. did it for free. Comfort only had
to purchase the paint, which cost $3,000.
"I love it," she said. "I'm really impressed with
it, and I think John would be happy with the
vehicle. He would have a big smile on his face
because he loved Hummers."
Karla Comfort gave Powell basic instructions on what
to include in the paint job. But in addition to the
image of her son in Dress Blues and the faces of the
nine other Marines, there were several surprises.
"He put a lot more on than I expected," she said. "I
think my favorite part is the heaven scene."
On the left side of the vehicle, a detail of Marines
are depicted carrying their fallen comrades through
the clouds to their final resting place. The
American flag drapes across the hood, the words, "Semper
Fi" crown the front windshield and the spare tire
cover carries the same Eagle Globe and Anchor design
that her son had tattooed on his back.
"All the support I have been getting is wonderful,"
Karla Comfort decided to move back to her hometown
of Portland, and making the cross-country trip from
Arkansas was a way for her to share her son's story.
It's also her way of coping with the loss.
"Along the way I got nothing but positive feedback
from people," she said. "What got to me was when
people would salute the guys (Marines). It's hard to
look at his picture. I still cry and try to get used
to the idea, but it's hard to grasp the idea that
he's really gone."
Let's get this Hummer going around
the world, we won't forget! pass it on.