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Renowned artist paints mural of Arizona hero Pat Tillman

The mural will be placed outside of Pat Tillman Middle School in Phoenix.

PHOENIX — A life-size mural will be revealed this fall at Pat Tillman Middle School in Phoenix to celebrate the life of a true hero in the community.  

Nationally renowned artist Mike Sullivan created a unique style of art he calls "chiseled" painting. His original paintings are featured in many venues and private collections around the world.

On Thursday morning, Sullivan was at Sun Devil stadium beginning the painting that will be permanently displayed in honor of Tillman.

Tillman, a former ASU star athlete and scholar, put his professional football career as an Arizona Cardinal on hold after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. 

He joined the U.S. Army as a Ranger and served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. On April 22, 2004, Tillman was killed by friendly fire while deployed.

Sullivan formed The Legacy Art Foundation, a non-profit organization, to help support school fundraising, purchase art supplies, and provide schools with virtual art education services. He said that Tillman was a great role model for students.

"He's always going to stand alone because people have fought for causes or whatever, but no one's really given up their entire career and sacrificed for the rest of the country."

Pat Tillman Middle School principal, Devon Shehan said that honoring Tillman's life with this mural is a way for students to understand the principles Tillman stood for.

"The honor, the integrity, the things we look for from our students, this is going to be a constant reminder, a very vivid one," said Shehan.

The mural will be unveiled at a dedication ceremony. The date has yet to be determined.

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