Veterans Help Veterans through Strand’s Industrial Coatings


Industrial paint and coatings like those sold at Strand’s Industrial Coatings are designed to last a long time – long enough to preserve pieces of history and to honor veterans from past, present and future generations. Located in Marshalltown, Iowa, Strand’s Industrial Coatings gives back to its local community in a variety of ways, but honoring veterans may be the most personal.

“My father and I are both veterans,” says Carter Strand, president of Strand’s Industrial Coatings and son of Steve Strand, the business’s founder. Steve served in the Philippines with the Army Security Agency during the Vietnam War, while Carter served as a helicopter air crewman with the United States Navy.

“I think we – my father and I, but also the people in our community – have a good understanding of the sacrifices our veterans have made for us. By helping out with some paint, that’s the least we can do.”

“Some paint” is a little modest. Strand’s Industrial Coatings has donated all the paint needed to complete a veteran’s memorial mural, restore a Vietnam-era Air Force jet and transition an armored vehicle from military service to police use.

The mural features an American flag, the Statue of Liberty and silhouettes. “It was done by a high school senior,” Carter says. “It really turned out nicely – a big American flag on the side of a building, and it’s facing the Iowa Veterans Home, where many veterans live.”

Veterans memorial mural

The Iowa Veterans Home is a state program and facility that provides housing and healthcare to displaced veterans and their spouses. It has served approximately 6,000 veterans from World War I, World War II, the Vietnam War, and other eras.

In honor of those veterans, Marshalltown is also home to a Vietnam-era F4 fighter jet. The jet sits at the American Legion Golf Course and Lounge, on a busy street in town. After a local veteran arranged to have the jet transferred to Marshalltown in 1993, Strand’s Industrial Coatings donated paint for restoration work done in 2016.

“As part of the agreement with the military, we have to maintain the jet,” Carter says. “We donated the paint for that project, and it turned out beautifully.”

More recently, Strand’s Industrial Coatings worked with the local police department, which had just received a military-service MRAP vehicle for tactical operations. “It came with a military paint scheme,” Carter explains. “The police department wanted to soften that, so we donated the epoxy and urethane to paint it.”

Each of these projects involved high-quality, long-lasting PPG Paints, but for the team at Strand’s Industrial Coatings, that’s not all. “In a town that has been responsible for our existence for the last 45 years, it’s really important for us to give back to the community,” says Carter. “It’s nice to know that it’s not all about selling paint – it’s about helping people.”

For more information about Strand’s Industrial Coatings, visit

This story is part of our ongoing ‘Local Memories, Lasting Impact’ series that highlights small, locally owned businesses and the differences they make in their communities.

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