Baytown artist memorializes service members killed in Tennessee

BAYTOWN (KTRK) -- Following the tragic shooting in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Baytown resident Ken Pridgeon is working on a portrait of the four Marines - Sgt. Carson Holmquist, Sgt. David Wyatt, Lance Cpl. Skip Wells, and Sgt. Thomas Sullivan - and one sailor - Petty Officer Randall Smith - who were shot and killed. After completing the painting, he intends to deliver it to the families in Tennessee.

Pridgeon has been painting portraits of fallen service members for the last five years.

He says he does this to honor his fellow service members. A veteran himself, Pridgeon served in the Air Force for 10 years. It was there that he began to paint.

"I like to tell stories. All of my paintings have stories in the background," he said.

He started this project in 2010. Since then, he has competed 155 portraits of service members. He usually keeps one painting in his gallery and gives the other to the family. Pridgeon's expansive collection of artwork has outgrown his gallery in Baytown and he is asking for donations to build a new gallery.

However, he says that he isn't looking for anything excessive.

"I paint. I'm not worried about raising millions of dollars," Pridgeon says.

To see more of Pridgeon's artwork or donate to his cause, visit his website.
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