Flag mural dedicated in Jacksonville - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Flag mural dedicated in Jacksonville

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JACKSONVILLE - AL -

In 2011, Ben Tomlinson's life changed forever.

The Jacksonville native was shot while serving in Afghanistan. He was paralyzed from the waist down. 

Now, he's working hard to make a come back.  And, his community has rallied behind him.

A mural of the American flag, painted to honor Tomlinson's service and the service of other veterans was dedicated Friday morning.

For Tomlinson, when he sees this mural & the support shown by his community
he's reminded of why he served.

"I don't feel like I deserve it. These people have humongous hearts. It's unbelievable, it really is. I never get used to it," he says.

It took Scott LoBaido just 36 hours to paint the flag on the back of the Jacksonville high school football field stadium.

LoBaido, prides himself in painting the American flag.
 
"Guys like Ben, other veterans, they gave me the right, this unbelievable right to express myself I just wanted to bring the flag to where it is needed and this is where it's needed," says LoBaido

For Tomlinson, the flag and the mural are humbling.

"It shouldn't be to honor me, it should be to honor all those people (who serve)," he says.

Gary Sinise, the actor who played Lt. Dan Taylor in the movie Forrest Gump will bring his Lt. Dan Band to Jacksonville's high school stadium Sunday for a concert benefiting Tomlinson.

All proceeds go toward building a new "smart house" for Tomlinson.

Gates open at 5:00pm the concert begins at 6:00pm.

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