SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) – Tucked away at the San Marcos airport stands a piece of our nation’s history. But decades after it was built, it is in serious need of renovations.
Built in 1942, this Army Air Corp Base hangar has seen a lot.
“We maintain the hangar as well as maintain the aircrafts,” said Phil Bonasera with Commemorative Air Force. “It is the mission, out of respect for those who served.”
Its walls have weathered many storms, but volunteers won’t let the memories fade away.
“That’s what makes it kind of special,” Bonasera added. “These are the west side doors, been here since 1942, obviously needs repair.
Fernando Cortez says art is his calling and it’s matched by the love for his country.
“I want to make this one look real nice,” he said while painting a piece of artwork on the side of a plane. “This is a great place to be, lot of history.”
He uses pictures and real people to tell our nation’s story.
“It’s challenging, and I like challenges,” Cortez added. “I want to be close to it, I want to interpret military history. I envy any and all serviceman, they are my heroes.”
Cortez wanted to fight for our country, but an Air Force recruiter turned him away.
“He said I should get a degree.”
That decision, he said, probably saved his life. Now, this is his way of serving. He wants to see the hangar stand tall for generations to come.
The Commemorative Air Force has also received grant money to help with renovations and will soon begin work on the west side of the hangar. The group remains about $70,000 short from being able to complete everything.