San Benito County

New mural in Hollister expresses gratitude for veterans

Veterans mural in Hollister

HOLLISTER, Calif. - A splash of color now brightens Third Street in downtown Hollister.

What was once a concrete wall is now an expression of gratitude for local veterans like Sgt. Brian Jergens.

Jergens, who recently moved to Hollister, lost both of his legs while serving in Afghanistan and suffered serious head injuries.

His eyes lit up when he saw the mural for the first time during Sunday's unveiling, but he stood before it with humility.

"I really just gave a small amount compared to people who gave way more than me."

But he also recognizes the gesture, saying the mural is a huge sign that his new hometown cares about him and his fellow veterans. 

In early July, five artists, one a veteran, decided to propose the project idea before city council. They supported the mural along with American Legion Post 69 and the American Legion Riders. 

"Major teamwork, and that's what we are looking for throughout our city, groups of people, willing to help our city, and make their city a better place to live," Hollister Mayor Ignacio Velazquez said.

Hundreds of hours went into the mural. The artists say seeing Jergens' reaction made every minute worth it.

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