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Tinker Talent: Cartoonist Kody Kolke draws on Team Tinker for inspiration

Kody Kolke, a hazardous material handler with the 565th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, takes a few minutes out of his work day to help boost morale by drawing funny or patriotic scenes on a whiteboard in a heavily-travelled hallway in Bldg. 2121.

Kody Kolke, a hazardous material handler with the 565th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, takes a few minutes out of his work day to help boost morale by drawing funny or patriotic scenes on a whiteboard in a heavily-travelled hallway in Bldg. 2121. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --

Last October, Tinker’s Kody Kolke, 25, a hazardous materials handler with the 565th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, decided he’d add a touch of color to the white dry-erase board (constraint board) in his shop.

A self-described doodler, Kolke has a fun sense of humor and his colorful drawings have brought smiles and chuckles from his co-workers when they take a break from performing maintenance on B-52s in Bldg. 2121.

Kolke’s job includes filling out a lot of paperwork, as well as ordering grease, solvents, degreasers and primer. He takes care of any hazardous waste and checks out bags of rags. The rags are used in conjunction with isopropyl alcohol and Methyl n-Propyl Ketone to clean up any corrosion, debris and dirt on the aircraft before the surface is prepped with alodine and coated with primer.

He said he comes in early at about 4:30 a.m. when he’s inspired to draw a new cartoon.

One of his most popular cartoons included a big rig with the slogan, “Mother Trucking Fridays,” adding a camel for Wednesdays (Hump Day) and a narwhal holding a sign that states “it’s cold!” when the temperature drops.

“I drew an American eagle last week,” Kolke said. “It seems that everybody likes them and it’s good for morale. I used to doodle in my spare time, but we just had a baby, so I don’t have lots of spare time.”

Kolke grew up in Moore, Oklahoma, moved to California and joined the U.S. Marine Corps. He served for four years as a 1345 Heavy Equipment Operator, earning the rank of corporal before he was honorably discharged in 2014. He then returned to Oklahoma to work at Tinker.

He said some of his inspiration comes from a comic strip titled, “Terminal Lance,” which is drawn by Maximilian Uriarte, a former U.S. Marine. The comic makes fun of the Marines from a grunt’s perspective.

“I’m inspired by ‘Terminal Lance’ because he plays on the different stuff in the military, like when people have down time,” Kolke said. “Drawing is just something fun for me to do. It’s great that everyone gets a kick out of it.”