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Statue of OverSeas Progress


1As part of the U.S. Army's Task Force Ironhorse, the 4th Infantry Divisionwas deployed in Iraq for most of 2003, participated in the capture of Saddam Hussein in December 2003, and saw many of their comrades killed and wounded in the violence that followed the end of major combat operations. In mid-2003, while the 4th Infantry Division was headquartered in Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's hometown, Command Sgt. Maj. Charles Fuss, the division's top noncommissioned officer, headed up a project to commemorate the unit's dead and conceived of a memorial featuring the figure of a forlorn soldier kneeling to mourn before empty helmet, boots, and rifle — an array of objects that traditionally represents a fallen compatriot.

Needing a sculptor to carry out his vision, Sgt. Maj. Fuss and other Americans asked around for local talent, and an Iraqi contractor recommended a 27-year-old artist named Khalid Alussy to them…

As the work neared completion, Sgt. Fuss and the division's commander, Maj. Gen. Ray Odierno, decided it needed a clearer connection to Iraq. The general suggested adding a small child to symbolize Iraq's new future… After four months' worth of night and weekend labor, Mr. Alussy completed his assignment, and the statues were installed in an entranceway inside the 4th Infantry Division's headquarters in Tikrit. In February 2004 the statues were flown to the 4th Infantry Division Museum at the unit's home base of Fort Hood, Texas.

2The statue arrived at Fort Hood's Robert Gray Army Airfield Feb. 16, along with the first 60 soldiers in the task force to redeploy from Iraq, said Capt. Charles Armstrong, secretary of the general staff for the rear detachment.

Task Force Ironhorse soldiers donated the $18,000 to cover the cost of the statue, created by an Iraqi sculptor from the melted-down remnants of statues he had been forced to sculpt for former dictator Saddam Hussein, said Maj. Josslyn Aberle, public affairs officer for the 4th Infantry Division at its Iraq headquarters in Tikrit.

1. Snopes
2. U.S. Department of Defense

1 Comments With Humanity:

Deutschland said...

Great post!
Really nice point of view!
Like!

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