Photos: Mo. FD paints truck in stars and stripes to honor veterans
The Central County Fire & Rescue vehicle's decor was inspired by fallen Marine Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz
By Leila Merrill
SAINT PETERS, Mo. — Central County Fire & Rescue’s new truck has a stars and stripes design in honor of veterans.
The department will host a push-in ceremony Friday, according to a news release.
The department wanted to honor Marine Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz, who was killed in action on Aug. 26, 2021 in Afghanistan. He was awarded the Purple Heart, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Construction had been underway for three new trucks for the department when the idea for the design struck.
“Our entire community was in shock and mourning the death of a local hero, and we knew we wanted to do something to honor him,” said Jason Meinershagen, CCFR deputy chief and public information officer. “Our fire district is very supportive of our veterans, so we quickly knew it was not enough to dedicate a fire truck to just one man, as tragic as his death was. We wanted to do something that touched the heart of every patriot in our community,” says Meinershagen.
The extra cost of the design has been covered by an anonymous donor, not taxpayer funds.
“Every fire truck tells a story, and this one certainly stands out,” Meinershagen said. “This truck is a rolling tribute to every American who has the distinguished honor of calling themselves an American veteran, and we are proud to present this fire truck to our community, where it will continue to live out its story for many years.”