Off the Base
5:08 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

American Flag Mural To Be Dedicated to Triple Amputee

Since 9 a.m. Monday, American artist Scott LoBaido has been painting a 80' by 30'
American flag mural on the north wall of the Tampa Firefighters Museum in downtown Tampa.

LoBaido has traveled through all 50 states painting murals on rooftops as both a 'welcome home' and a 'thank you' message to our troops. He has not personally served in the U.S. military.

"I have some military in my family, I have never served but I have more freedom than most people in the world," he said.

Credit Yoselis Ramos

LoBaido's specialty is American flags. "I've gazed at the SistineĀ  chapel, I've touched the statue of David by Michelangelo, but my favorite work of art is the 'Star Spangled Banner.' It's the most meaningful, powerful, the most recognizable work of art in the world," he said.

LoBaido's mural will be dedicated to Sergeant Mike Nicholson, who lost both his legs and his left arm during an improvised explosive device (IED) attack in Afghanistan almost two years ago.

Now, the Gary Sinise Foundation and the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation are working together to raise enough funds to build Nicholson a new home in which he can be independent.

These "smart" homes for the most severely wounded U.S. service members cost about half a million dollars and include technology like retractable cook tops and cabinets, automated lighting, and roll-in bathrooms.

To help raise funds for this home, the Gary Sinise Foundation is holding a Lieutenant Dan Band concert on Friday at Curtis Hixon Park. That's Senise's rock band named after the legless Vietnam vet he played in the movie Forrest Gump.

LoBaido will also be there "speed painting." LoBaido will paint a more abstract version of the American flagĀ  in only three minutes and then auction it off. All the proceeds go to helping build Nicholson's new home.

For concert tickets, click here.