CAMP AL QA’IM, Iraq --
Hippocrates once said, “Art is long, life is short- Ars longa, vita brevis. ”
Cpl. Jeremy David Allbaugh, a machine gunner with Personal Security Detachment, Headquarters and Support Company, Task Force 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, attached to Regimental Combat Team 2, lived a short life. But, he was immortalized recently in acrylics by a friend and fellow Marine who painted a mural in his honor at the Warhammer Gym here.
“I feel sad because it is for him, but it makes me happy because I can still do something for him,” said Lance Cpl. Cory Jamieson, a rifleman and a Punxsutawney, Penn., native, with the PSD.
Allbaugh was recently killed conducting combat operations. A church and memorial service were held, but Jamieson felt he could do more for his fallen friend.
“I thought about it during the ceremony in the chapel. I looked up at the stained glass windows and I thought ‘I should do something like that,’” Jamieson said.
The heavenly scene inspired Jamieson to paint a mural for Allbaugh. Inspiration became action and when he wasn’t escorting the commanding officer of Task Force 1st Bn., 4th Marines, or conducting operations with the quick reaction force, he painted, and painted, and painted.
Along with help from family, a fellow Marine and a Morale, Wefare and Recreation manager, Jamieson had the paint and tools needed.
“I would paint eight or nine hours in the gym and time would fly by,” Jamieson said.
Keeping to the stained glass effect, Jamieson decided on bright colors to draw out the positive of Allbaugh’s existence.
“Bright is powerful,” Jamieson said. “You stand there and it’s big and powerful and it overwhelms you.”
The mural’s brilliant colors create a strong appearance that visually screams for attention. Although it’s an effigy of a fallen Marine, it is of St. Michael, the patron saint, and not of the Marine himself.
“You think of St. Michael as big and strong and a fighter of evil, and Allbaugh was a big and strong Marine. And, what do Marines do? We fight evil,” Jamieson said.
This wasn’t the first time Jamieson has expressed his emotions through his art although this was the first religious piece of work he’s completed.
“I wouldn’t call myself religious but He (Christ) came and died on the cross. I believe in stuff like that. St. Michael is the protector in battle,” Jamieson said.
St. Michael is originally recognized in the Books of Daniel, Enoch and Revelations, and the Qur’an and is even mentioned in the occult. There are slight differences in his story and title but every religion and belief has promoted him as a protector, a warrior and general against evil.
"I relate St. Michael to every Marine in my platoon. We all carry a St. Michael card. You figure you have a religious icon with you, and you think it will help you through the chance you hit the hole and it goes boom.”
Allbaugh’s short life inspired Jamieson to paint the spiritual mural. Jamieson immortalized his friend and fellow Marine and unknowingly, reminded anyone seeing the striking effigy that there is always a protector out there; Marine, archangel or whatever he may be called.