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Kokomo auto worker paints mural for military veterans at his plant

The 26-foot mural is now in the Kokomo Engine Plant's lobby.
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Posted at 4:55 PM, May 23, 2024

KOKOMO — When Michael Moore is not on the assembly line at the Kokomo Engine Plant, he's usually holding a paintbrush. He brought his hobby to his day job to honor co-workers who served in the military.

Moore recently completed a 26-foot mural in the engine plant's lobby dedicated to the armed forces. The scene features detailed depictions of ships and vehicles his co-workers used in combat.

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Michael Moore painted a mural honoring service veterans inside of the Kokomo Engine Plant.

"The stories I've gotten to hear from these guys that have served for years...they can look at this and say, 'This is home,'" Moore said. "There were times where I was on the painting for half a day, then got pulled to go back to work."

Navy veteran Jeff Mallaber served on the USS Forrestal in the Middle East before he started at the engine plant. His supercarrier, complete with the accurate number on its deck, takes up a large portion of the mural.

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A mural honoring service veterans inside of the Kokomo Engine Plant.

"It carries a lot of memories and significance for me, and we served it proud," Mallaber said. "He would just talk to us and get the ideas and apply it to the canvas. Every bit of that is a story."

Moore said he started painting as a way to ease his mind.

"It doesn't really dawn on me what I'm doing until the very end," Moore said. "It helps control the random thoughts in my head. I can zone in, I can concentrate, and nothing else around really matters."

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A mural honoring service veterans inside of the Kokomo Engine Plant.

Moore did not serve in the military himself, but said this is his way of showing appreciation to the servicemembers.

"It takes a different kind of person to put it all on the line for our freedom and our country, and I'm grateful for all of them," Moore said.