A few years ago, he decided to have a number of things to honor them painted on the truck he uses for his job. Those images include the POW/MIA flag, decals from every branch of the military and a photograph of his late father-in-law, Dennis Barnette, who served with the Army’s 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam from 1967-69.
“I use this truck every day to support my family,” Holmes said. “These depictions honor the hardworking veterans and first responders who are doing the same. The police, fire and military are the backbone of this country.”
Holmes said his rolling tribute is something of a “head-turner,” and has become a big hit at area parades.
“People go crazy when they see it,” he said. “They appreciate what it means.”
The largest image on Holmes’ truck, which appears on both sides of the vehicle, comes from a painting at a friend’s business in Piney Flats. He said Don Reimer, owner of Shooter’s Edge, commissioned an artist to paint a mural honoring the military, firefighters and police officers. It includes wording from the Second Amendment, as well as the phrases: “Freedom Isn’t Free” and “One Nation Under God.”
He has combined all the images from his truck to make a framed 3-foot-by-6-foot collage. Holmes will be in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 12 to present his tribute to U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, R-Johnson City.
Holmes said he is grateful for the service Roe — the ranking member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs — has provided to area veterans. He hopes the artwork finds a prominent place on Capitol Hill or in the White House.
“It’s a pleasure to have Johnson City local Tim Holmes in our nation’s capital to present his artwork which has such a special meaning,” Roe said in a statement released by his congressional office on Monday. “I want to thank him for his hard work and time creating a piece of art that exemplifies our veterans’ selfless sacrifice, and I look forward to seeing the work in person and to meet the artist himself.”