Pool of Tears Artist Chosen for Schertz Veterans Memorial Plaza Sculpture

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A young boy stands straight and tall, the flag of his father and forefathers tucked securely under his arm, his eyes clearly focused on the Battle Cross of the Fallen Soldier before him. His solemn, respectful salute is to all soldiers, fallen or not, who served to protect our country.

“Veterans Memorials are more than another commission to me,” he says. “They allow me to honor my brothers in arms, both past and present. And that’s a healing thing.”

The Veterans Memorial Plaza in Schertz, Texas, came one step closer to reality last month when members of the steering committee selected artist, Mike Scovel, to create the life size sculpture of a young boy saluting the Battle Cross of the Fallen Soldier. Scovel, a Viet Nam veteran, created a similar sculpture for the Pool of Tears Veterans Memorial in Temple, Texas, dedicated in 2003. Committee member, Ruth Tienor, first saw the sculpture last year when she went to the Pool of Tears Memorial while visiting her daughter in Temple. She felt the addition of the young boy saluting would bring special meaning to the Schertz project.

Scovel, who is a Texas Vet, has worked on a number of veteran related projects in addition to the Pool of Tears project. In 2004, he installed a life size monument     honoring Medal of Honor recipient, Roy P. Benavidez in Cuero, Texas and in 2005 and 2006, he delivered two wall size relief sculpture projects to Pro-Logic, Inc., a Virginia based company that provides IT and communication solutions for the Department of Defense and other government agencies.

“The challenge to design a memorial that will honor veterans of all wars is significant,” says Scovel, “and the Schertz group has done a great job with theirs.” The Plaza will be constructed on a highly visible tract of land, graciously provided by the City of Schertz who has also committed to maintaining the Plaza once it is completed.

The design will be a pentagon over a star with its five tips pointing to individual pillars that represent the five branches of the military. The central part of the Plaza will be a smaller pentagon that contains three separate flags; national, state, and POW. Scovel’s bronze sculpture, titled “Salute to a Hero” will be installed in front of the central pentagon. The sculpture of a young boy will be facing another bronze of the Battle Cross of the Fallen Soldier situated on a small rocky hill; his solemn salute intended to honor all soldiers who paid the ultimate price.     

Scovel used his 9 year old grandson, Kolter, as a model for the first sculpture in Temple but “he’s 18 and over 6’ tall now,” Scovel says, “but fortunately I have more grandsons.” The total cost for the sculpture, including sculpting, casting, delivery and installation will be about $20,000, which includes a 30% discount on Scovel’s fees. “Veterans Memorials are more than another commission to me,” he says. “They allow me to honor my brothers in arms, both past and present. And that’s a healing thing.”

The Veterans Plaza Board has started their fund drive by offering engraved brick pavers honoring individual veterans which will make up the floor of the pentagon shaped design. Order forms for pavers can be downloaded online at http://www.VeteransPlaza.org and are $75 each. The Plaza Board is suggesting that families and friends consider purchasing a paver to honor the veteran in their lives in honor of Veteran’s Day, which is November 11th. Also on the website is a complete list of Plaza components still needing sponsors along with a proposed timeline.

For more information about the Veterans Memorial Plaza, visit http://www.VeteransPlaza.org or call Ruth Stienor at 210-363-5407. For more information about Mike Scovel, visit his website at http://www.mikescovel.com.

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DUSTI SCOVEL

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