Statue Built to Honor Fremont County Veterans

 Victoria Fregoso reports,

 Fremont County Veterans will be honored this weekend in Lander. Part of the ceremony is the unveiling of a 9-foot-tall statue.

 For the past 6 weeks, workers here at Eagle Bronze in Lander have been working around the clock to complete this statue.
It was made to honor Fremont County Veterans.

"This is a project that when we were doing the small bronze version, I was working on the metal floor at that time as a metal sheet supervisor. So it was a piece I was passionate about producing as a small piece and when I heard we would be doing one eventually as a large piece I was really excited about it," said Edward Hooper, the Production Manager for Eagle Bronze.

The soldier stands in at 9 feet tall and weighs over 800 pounds.
He's wearing authentic World War II gear.
Everything from the boots on his feet to the pack on his back were made with great detail.

"So the rifles are a life-and-a-half size of a regular rifle," Hooper said. "The strapping and all that has been hand fabricated in the metal shop."

But there is more to this statue than meets the eye. It was sculpted by John Phelps, whose son Lance Corporal Chance Phelps of Dubois was killed in action while on tour in Iraq on April 9th, 2004.

"Right before it was cast in bronze, Chance's dad let me sculpt portions of the face," said Gretchen Mack, Chance's mother, during a phone interview.

Chance's mother describes him as your typical All-American teenage boy that knew he wanted to be a Marine at an early age. She says this statue represents all members of the U-S military.

"We just really need to remember, the price of freedom and it is not free."

The statue of Chance Phelps is not quiet done yet. But when it is, he will hold a dog tag that says "Some Gave All."

"In Chance's left hand, he's holding a pair of dog tags. The dog tags are a symbol of his fallen comrades, as the name of the piece is "Some Gave All," the piece is of a young soldier who is remembering his fallen comrades," Hooper added.

A memorial will be held this Saturday July 16th in front of the Fremont County Courthouse in Lander with music by the Wyoming National Guard band starting at 9:30.