COLORADO SPRINGS – After more than 20 years in business, Prime Time Sports owner Stephen Martin didn’t want the giant “store closing” sign–hanging above this doors–to be the last thing he saw when he closed them for good.
Martin made headlines last year, after he removed all Nike apparel from his store to protest the company’s new ad with Colin Kaepernick.
He’s about a week from closing. As the shelves empty, Martin decided to fill the front display windows with thousands of pictures of veterans.
“These are the uniforms that I respect–not the ones Nike makes,” Martin told News5.
If it sounds familiar, it’s because Martin did this back in 2016–asking veterans and their families from all over the country to send in their pictures. He named it the “Honor the Flag” memorial wall.
The wall came in response to Brandon Marshall taking a knee during the National Anthem.
Martin says 2 1/2 years later, the goal remains the same: to honor veterans.
“It represents the face of the what I believe are the men and women who know what sacrifice really means.”
“There is another voice–and that voice was not being heard,” he added.
Like retired Marine Mert Ware, who came across the wall Martin’s interview with News5.
“It’s a great idea that we should never forget. I served in Vietnam and we lost a lot of people there in 1968 and I never forget them. I think about them all the time,” said Ware.
This time around, Martin had some help. He paid several college-aged students to hang pictures.
“You get to play a small little part in getting to share their stories,” said 19-year-old Shelby Stewart, who offered to help for free.
“People need to know that this is America right here,” Stewart said, holding up about a dozen pictures of veterans. “This is what America is made of. They sacrificed a lot,” she added.
The pictures will stay up through March 12th, when the store closes.