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Lance Cpl. Ashley Tichensky, a motor-transportation operator with Transportation Services Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 2, poses beside her Purple Heart Medal painting at the battalion headquarters building at Camp Lejeune, N.C., May 5, 2016. During the past month, Tichensky spent roughly 15 hours drawing and painting a replica of the medal to represent her battalion’s Marines who have been awarded this military decoration during their service. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Kaitlyn V. Klein/Released)

Photo by Cpl. Kaitlyn V. Klein

Mural stands to honor CLB-2’s past, encourage pride

11 May 2016 | Cpl. Kaitlyn V. Klein 2nd Marine Logistics Group

Hand-painted inside Combat Logistics Battalion 2’s headquarters building stands a 7.5-foot-tall rendition of one of the most recognized and respected medals awarded to members of the U.S. armed forces.

The Purple Heart, an award rich with honor and history dating back to the American Revolution, is recognized by its purple enamel heart showing a relief profile of George Washington in the Continental Army uniform. Lance Cpl. Ashley Tichensky has already spent over 110 hours drawing and painting a replica of the medal to represent her battalion’s Marines who have been awarded this military decoration during their service.

 “When I first heard about the meaning behind [the medal], especially with how the Marines earned it, I was touched by it,” said Tichensky, a motor-transportation operator with Transportation Services Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 2. “My great-grandfather was in World War II, and he earned his Purple Heart during the Battle of Normandy. I can see how much [this mural] means.”

Just to the left of Tichensky’s painting is a double-column of names, recording Marines of CLB-2 who have earned the award. 104 in total upon completion, these names represent a significant part of the battalion’s history, including multiple deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Displayed to honor their sacrifice, the mural serves as a reminder to the lineage of greatness for every Marine that passes by.

 “When CLB-2 started standing up to go to Crisis Response, a lot of people started coming in, and the unit started getting bigger,” said Maj. James Fuller,  officer in charge of the CLB-2 element at Camp Lejeune. “There was a big push across the battalion to remember where you come from. We needed something to say, ‘Here are the same Marines that you are standing shoulder-to-shoulder with, and this is the sacrifice that they gave.’ This is their history, and this is their unit.”

Once Fuller and 1st Sgt. Jack Waller, acting sergeant major with the Lejeune-based CLB-2element, had the idea to bring that reminder of their unit’s warfighting history to the battalion, Waller knew Tichensky  had the perfect combination of skill and motivation for the job.

 “You can tell that she has a passion for it,” said Waller. “She was the perfect fit for the message we are trying to convey to the unit. This is a reminder of who we are as Marines, and something that we can look to and be proud of.”

Fuller described the mural as a focus of conversation for many Marines in the battalion, old and new.

 “When you see it, when you see the detail, you look at Washington and you’re almost drawn into it,” said Fuller. “You step back and look at all the names on there, and the full force of it just hits you. You realize where this unit has been and where it’s going. [Tichensky] was able to take this idea and make it into a reality, in a way that I could have never imagined.”

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