Airmen in your community: From artist to engine mechanic

2013-11-11T00:00:00Z 2013-11-11T14:42:11Z Airmen in your community: From artist to engine mechanicby Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier 355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Arizona Daily Star

When some Airmen join the military, people won't know who they are years from now, but once in a while you find someone who leaves something behind.

Senior Airman Patrick Corcoran, 755th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron propulsion technician, is a passionate artist who is leaving his mark in the squadron's hanger at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.

Corcoran has always had an interest for art. He draws and does watercolors, but his favorite medium is airbrushing. Growing up, a neighbor who worked as an auto body painter gave him some guidance.

"One day, he pulled out a truck and it had the checkered flag all the way down the side," Corcoran said. "I asked him about it and he gave me a book on airbrushing and custom automotive painting."

Along with the book, Corcoran's neighbor offered him one piece of advice that really stuck. He wished he had gone to art school first and then learned how to do auto paint instead of the other way around.

In 2007, Corcoran received a bachelor's degree in fine art from the American Academy of Art in Chicago, and tried for two and half years to make his artwork a career.

"It was hard to live off the money," he said. "One week you might make $2000 and then not get another job for over three weeks."

When his wife became pregnant, priorities changed. Corcoran decided to join the Air Force.

"I joined for stability," Corcoran said. "If I were to get sick, it would be okay. What were to happen if my son got sick? He wouldn't have insurance. I needed to look out for him."

For two years he put his artwork aside to focus on the Air Force mission.

"I knew how to airbrush," he said. "What I needed to focus on was aircraft engines. I needed to be able to study and know what I was doing, and do it well. If I didn't know what I was doing for my job, I would have got kicked out and had to start over again."

Once Corcoran was settled in and comfortable with his knowledge and experience of engines, he made his way back into the world of art.

"No one in the shop knew I drew," he said. "They knew I had a degree but they didn't know in what. I never drew at work or did anything artistic."

When Corcoran began airbrushing again, he started displaying his work and received very positive feedback. He was even asked to airbrush communication sets for some of his co-workers.

Earlier this year, he talked with his leadership and was approved to airbrush murals in the squadron.

Read more.

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About this blog

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, known as “D-M” to our neighbors, is home to the 355th Fighter Wing, the premier air combat base for all Air Force A-10 C fighter aircraft training. Davis-Monthan is also home to other vital Department of Defense units including 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern), 55th Electronic Combat Group, 563rd Rescue Group and the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, nicknamed “The Boneyard.”

Davis-Monthan is located within the city limits of Tucson, Ariz., and has been an integral part of the Tucson community since its dedication in 1927. In fiscal year 2012, Davis-Monthan circulated approximately $1.1 billion ($1.6 billion including retirees) into the local community and created 4,687 jobs in Tucson. The more than 10,800 personnel, who are assigned and employed at Davis-Monthan, live, work and educate their children in the Tucson metropolitan area. Nearly 75 percent of our 7,537 military service members live off base.

D-M Airmen are proud to serve their country, deploying to nearly every corner of the globe. At any given time 500 or more are deployed in support of worldwide operations. D-M Airmen are also proud to call Tucson home. The valuable relationship with the Tucson community and Southern Arizona supporters helps us achieve our missions.

Check out D-M’s economic impact.

Watch our Mission video.

Read more on our website and our Facebook page.

If you have suggestions, comments or questions about this blog, e-mail: 355WGPA@DM.AF.MIL

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