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
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
“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.”
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.
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
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