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Monument Gives Wounded Marine Warriors Hope
by USMC Cpl. Anthony Kirby - April 1, 2013

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - A monument created to honor service members wounded in the line of duty was unveiled at the Warrior Hope and Care Center at Wounded Warrior Battalion East aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune March 8, 2013.

Cpl. Dane Shaffer and Sgt. Chris Marquez, two of the three Marines the monument is based off of, help unveil the new monument at the Warrior Hope and Care Center at Wounded Warrior Battalion East aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune March 8, 2013. Photo by USMC Cpl. Anthony Kirby
Cpl. Dane Shaffer and Sgt. Chris Marquez, two of the three Marines the monument is based off of, help unveil the new monument at the Warrior Hope and Care Center at Wounded Warrior Battalion East aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune March 8, 2013. Photo by USMC Cpl. Anthony Kirby

Sgt. Chris Marquez and Cpl. Dane Shaffer, two of the three Marines depicted in the monument, lifted the white cloth off of the sculpture that stands about 10 feet tall and 13 feet wide.

The idea of this monument came from a photograph titled ‘Hell house'. The photo shows Marquez and Shaffer assisting 1st Sgt. Bradley Kasal, a Marine who shielded another Marine from a grenade explosion, out of a house to safety.

Artist John Phelps, a Vietnam veteran, created the sculpture. The love he has for his son, Lance Cpl. Chance Phelps, who was killed in action in April 2004, inspired him to take on this project. He also said he wanted to give back to the community.

“It's a great honor for me to be here and to have been selected to do this project,” said Phelps.

Attendees like Phelps and Hope for the Warriors President Robin Kelleher understand that it's not just about the creation of the monument but about the love behind the creation.

“We've had about five years working on this project,” said Kelleher. “You get kind of caught up in the time and you get caught up in the work part, but today was really about the love that was behind all of this.”

The monument is a symbol of camaraderie that's important to Marines, not only in combat but in the healing process as well, said Kelleher. The saying “no Marine is left behind” shows through the monument. It gives hope to Marines and hope is an important concept wounded service members need in order to move to the next phase of recovery.

“It's just a tremendous story,” said Kelleher. “I think everyone should come and see it, and feel what the presence of this monument is about.”

Lt. Col. Nicholas Davis, the commanding officer for Wounded Warrior Battalion East, describes the monument as being a combination of years of building facilities for the wounded, ill and injured Marines aboard Camp Lejeune.

“As a Marine walks in or drives into this complex, they're going to see Marines helping Marines, and that's what Wounded Warrior Battalion East does,” said Davis. “Our mission is to help the wounded, ill and injured through transition back to the fleet or back to civilian life, and this monument shows that in sculpture.”

By USMC Cpl. Anthony Kirby
Provided through DVIDS
Copyright 2013

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