MCRD Parris Island, S.C. -- For weeks, Pfc. Matthew Sachs ran up the stairs to his squad bay and stared at a Fox Company mural that was over 20 years old. Sachs, who graduated from Platoon 2001, Fox Co., 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, on Jan. 5, thought he could paint a better one.
"I knew the old mural was old and thought it would be motivating for recruits [to have a new one]," said Sachs, who is originally from Columbus, Ohio.
Sachs approached Gunnery Sgt. Paul Costa, his senior drill instructor, with the idea and was given permission to paint a new mural during team week. Team week is the week after the recruits complete the rifle range and the recruits complete various jobs around the Depot.
"I've been drawing since I was about three years old," said Sachs. "It's just something I've always loved doing."
After high school, Sachs, 24, attended the Columbus College of Art where he studied illustration. After college, Sachs worked as a landscaper in Columbus and then moved to Florida where he and a friend opened a martial arts school. It wasn't until a few months ago he decided to enlist in the Marine Corps Reserve.
"I had no personal ties and I always wanted to join the Marines," said Sachs. "Now just seemed like a good time."
With paint in hand and a few recruits to assist him, Sachs applied his art skills to create a mural that he hoped would motivate his fellow recruits. By the end of the week, Sachs had completed his goal and created a new mural that showed the pride he had of Fox Co. and of the drill instructors who trained him.
Measuring over 4 feet in width, the mural depicts a fox wearing a Marine Corps uniform and a campaign cover. To create the uniform the fox is wearing, Sachs used one of his platoon's drill instructors as a model.
"I based the ribbons and badges off of Drill Instructor Sgt. Quinton Shaw because I look up to him," said Sachs. "I think he liked it."
Despite being the model for the new mural, Shaw remained modest in his contribution to the painting.
"I did my job and was a positive role model," said Shaw. "I'm proud of [the mural]."
Shaw was not the only one proud of the new mural. According to Sachs, a lot of the recruits were really happy with it and said it motivated them during their training.
Sachs will soon complete Marine Combat Training at the School of Infantry, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., and will then go to school to be an intelligence Marine, but he hopes his painting will remain on the wall of Fox Co. and motivate future recruits.
"I hope this one is up for a long time," said Sachs, "or at least until another recruit can paint a better one."