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Students decorate airplane nose

Brandy Buchholz (left) and Martina Juhlin, from Pender High School, look out from the Nebraska Air National Guard KC135R Stratotanker that carries their 2011 winning nose art design. The Nebraska Air Guard hosts an annual nose art program with schools around Nebraska to help promote the Air Guard and to make high school students aware of what the guard has to offer.

Brandy Buchholz (left) and Martina Juhlin, from Pender High School, look out from the Nebraska Air National Guard KC135R Stratotanker that carries their 2011 winning nose art design. The Nebraska Air Guard hosts an annual nose art program with schools around Nebraska to help promote the Air Guard and to make high school students aware of what the guard has to offer.

Lincoln, Neb. -- The 155th Air Refueling Wing honored two Pender High School freshmen girls who unveiled their artwork on the nose of a KC-135R Stratotanker during the Guardians of Freedom Airshow, Sept. 10, in Lincoln, Neb.

The unveiling ceremony is an annual event sponsored by the 155th Air Refueling Wing. It is designed to honor those Nebraska communities that are extraordinarily supportive of their hometown Nebraska Air National Guard Airmen.

Each community's high school is offered an opportunity for students to submit artwork to be selected and painted on a KC-135R Stratotanker for a minimum of one year. Pender is the seventh community selected to display student artwork on the wing's aircraft.

The two girls whose artwork was chosen, Brandy Buchholz and Martina Juhlan, age 14, were one out of 36 groups to submit artwork. They put their artistic minds together and created a piece of art that will represent their community and Nebraska when the plane refuels other aircraft around the world.

Buchholz said it was fairly intimidating to submit her artwork and did not expect to win. She was surprised when she and Juhlan were notified that their artwork was the number one choice.

The drawing featured the head of a red, fire-breathing dragon in the center of a bold black circle, to signify the Pender Dragons.

"We feel honored that we were chosen to be a part of this... especially during 9/11," said Buchholz.

Family and community members from Pender, Neb., traveled to Lincoln to show support and pride for their town to have the honor of being recognized.

Juhlan thanked her parents and her art teacher for their support and help. She said she was really excited to have her artwork selected after dedicating so much time and effort to the drawing.

Buchholz said she is trying to pursue art for her future, while Juhlan would like to travel the world as a journalist or be an equine veterinarian.

The accomplishment of these two artists will be seen by the eyes of many around the world over the next year. Only time will tell where these girl's talents will lead them.
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