Mural and concert honors Tampa veteran - WFLA News Channel 8

Mural and concert honors Tampa veteran

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Scott LoBaido put the finishing touches on a massive American flag mural on the side of the Tampa Fire Fighter's Museum, just 14 hours after he started painting. He drove himself to Tampa from New York to take part in this special piece of art.

"I made it my business to spend the rest of my life painting American flags wherever I can," he said. "Where they're needed to thank these brave men and women who let me be who I am."

The mural is in honor of Tampa's military veterans, and it's dedicated to one soldier in particular. Sgt. Michael Nicholson lost both of his legs and one arm while serving in Afghanistan. He was there to see the mural completed.

"I didn't think it was going to be that big," he said with a laugh. "It says something about the Tampa community. We are a very patriotic community."

The community has come together to help Sgt. Nicholson. Ground will be broken on his new smart home on Thursday, May 9th. The home is being built with the help of the Gary Sinise Foundation and the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

"The house is designed just for me," Nicholson said. "It's customized to my needs, so it lets me live a little more independently."

The home will feature lower cabinets, sinks, counter tops and hardwood floors.

Sinise is holding a concert to benefit Nicholson Friday, May 10th at Curtis Hixon Park in downtown Tampa. He'll be performing with The Lt. Dan Band, the based on the character he played in the movie "Forest Gump." That character lost his legs fighting in the Vietnam War.

"It's great to see that Hollywood does care. It's great to see a celebrity out supporting the troops," Nicholson said.

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