Burnet steps forward to help community

By Savanna Gregg

Burnet Bulletin

Fields of green wave at us as we drive down the highway, toward a goal we've worked so hard to achieve. The day is finally here, and we are on our way. The fields of green aren't pastures and farmland, though there is plenty of that to behold in the area.

No, we haven't even left town yet. The kelly green images through the windows of our bus are the residents of Burnet: our family, friends, and neighbors dressed in Bulldog attire, waving flags and banners, releasing balloons and cheering in celebration of our accomplishments.

Two of my most vivid memories of high school are the Esprit De Corps' trips to the UIL State Marching Contest, my sophomore and senior years. Both trips were so special, but our second go-round was one for the books.

The hard work of our musicians, drill team, drum majors, and directors on the mysterious, exhilarating show, “Into The Shadows,” landed us a third-place spot at the State competition. Not a bad way to end our high school career, I would say. For months after, and still to this day – if you're around the right people – a band member would randomly yell “Three!” to the cheers of those around him or her, or hold up three fingers in salute. Someone would shout, “How do you spell Burnet?” And everyone in the vicinity would respond, “W-I-N!” I would figure if someone were to yell that question anywhere in Burnet today, someone else will still shout that response.

Marching at the Alamodome in San Antonio was breathtaking (literally), exciting, and so rewarding I hope to never forget that feeling, and hope my children will someday join the band or Highlandettes and grow up to know those special relationships held by members of such entities. Those memories will stick with everyone involved for a lifetime.

A lot of work goes into any sort of competition, and many hours were spent on the practice field and in the band hall rehearsing music, sets, and slowly forming our shows. Some days were mentally and exhausting, but everyone stuck around because we all shared the common goal of performing to our best and greatest ability and marching toward the victory of performing at the UIL State Marching contest.

Right alongside the memory of hearing “Third place… Burnet High School Esprit De Corps” is the memory we all share of riding down US 281 toward San Antonio and seeing everyone of our community members – parents, grandparents, neighbors, store owners – showing their support along the way.

Watching the recent BHS Lady Dawgs' sendoff to the UIL State semifinals this year brought back many memories. The community lined State 29 and US 281 in their green, black, and white, and spirit, pride, and honor, to cheer the girls onto their trip that made history, regardless of the nasty weather.

Their trek down the highway, the sound of the bystanders cheering, and the sight of the banners showing their support brought a few tears to my eyes. It is so special to know students have the support of their community in every step of their education and beyond, and I am glad I was able to experience that support through my high school career and know that the support is still there, maybe even stronger.

Small communities make it a priority to support causes that are meaningful to their residents and will stop at nothing to do so. From our students to our non-profit organizations, Burnet has always stepped forward and made a difference in the lives of many.

A new development in the community that is in need of support is something unique and so powerful it could change the way things are done in other cities and states across the nation.

The Airport Static Display Restoration Project, made possible by the volunteers of the Lower Colorado River Authority's “Step Forward Day,” will bring back to their former glory four static display aircraft placed on the lawn outside the Burnet Municipal Airport, where they silently honor members of our nation's military and serve as a reminder of the past.

The LCRA is donating 40 volunteers to re-paint the aircraft on Friday, April 5, and volunteers from the Highland Lakes Squadron of the Commemorative Air Force and Burnet Association of Merchants are hard at work collecting donations before the event, and will offer their services the day of the restoration.

Currently, the aircraft are being prepped for the paint, purchased from TNEMEC, a company which has supplied durable paint for water towers and buildings across the country. A crew with Texas Green Blast has been putting hours of work into sandblasting the layers of old paint from the aircraft and will be doing so up until the day of the project. In order to complete the restoration in compliance with the United States Air Force, a professional painter has been designated as the artist who will paint the insignia on the aircraft to the Air Force's specifications.

This project is a first for every entity involved – it is TNEMEC's first time to paint aircraft, Texas Green Blast's first time to sandblast aircraft, and the nation's first time to paint retired military aircraft with such quality material, which is known to last through decades of harsh Texas weather with simple maintenance.

Burnet Airport Manager Leslie Baugh believes this project can set the tone for Commemorative Air Forces throughout the country when the time comes to restore their own static displays, and I believe this project is history in the making, and can be even more powerful if the community would play a part in the process.

Since the funds for the supplies were approved by City Council, other expenses for these professional services have come about and the restoration project is in need of the community's help to make the completion of the project possible.

Burnet has seen the support businesses and individuals show for projects throughout the community for years, and this project is one of the most meaningful. Thousands of vehicles drive down US 281 and behold the majestic aircraft each day. They already draw the eye, so one can imagine the impact a new, shiny, durable paint job will have on the planes and Burnet's visitors and residents.

Individuals and companies interested in supporting Burnet's Airport Static Display Restoration Project, or volunteering the day of the project, are asked to call or visit city hall or pick up sponsor packets at various locations in the community. As sponsors sign up to assist in the effort to continue the legacy of honoring our military and preserving history, their individual names and company names will begin to fill the chainlink fence surrounding the airport, showing visitors how well our community bands together to support things that mean the most to us.

As new bluebonnets begin to bloom beneath the American flags donning the perimeter fence of the Burnet Municipal Airport, passersby will notice a change happening. Fields of green are changing to fields of red, white, and blue, as we move forward as a community to honor the nation's military with this timeless project in our small town.

 

Sponsorship packets may be picked up at the following locations:

 

City Hall

1001 Buchanan Drive, Suite 4

Burnet

 

Burnet Bulletin

220 South Main Street

Burnet

 

Faulkner Airshop and the Commemorative Air Force Museum

2302 South Water Street

Burnet

 

Burnet Chamber of Commerce

101 North Pierce Street

Burnet

 

The Highlander

304A Highlander Circle

Marble Falls

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