Feedback: Fort Drum Receives Gift From Civilian Workforce
It's one monument with two themes.
That was the goal of sculptor Susan Grant Raymond in creating Fort Drum's Fallen Warrior Monument.
One scene captures the emotions of soldiers honoring a fallen comrade at a forward operating base.
"I was really after their strength and calm and dignity," said the sculptor.
Portraying those emotions in art wasn't easy.
"Lots of times when I was trying to draw that and trying to imagine what it felt like, and I'd have to put the pencil down and walk away," said Grant Raymond.
The other part of the monument offers hope for the future with a soldier reaching back to join hands with an Afghan boy.
The sculptor used John Pavlik, a 10th Mountain Division medic in Afghanistan, as her inspiration.
The scene is drawn from Pavlik's experiences and photos he sent to the artist.
"This is exactly how things went down when we were over there. Kids would chase us and ask for pens and candy and toys and we were happy to help them out," said Pavlik.
The Fallen Warrior Monument is a gift from the Fort Drum civilian workforce.
"It's a wonderful way to commemorate the sacrifice that our soldiers have made and the families and all of us that support the soldiers," said Colonel Gary Rosenburg, garrison commander.
If you notice continuity between the new monument and the Military Mountaineers Monument already there, there's a reason.
The sculptor created that one, too, more than 20 years ago.