Fort Wainwright sculpture honors combat medics

Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2008

FAIRBANKS - Artist James Grant Sr. hopes his latest sculpture will buoy the spirits of wounded soldiers at Fort Wainwright.

Grant on Saturday installed his sculpture of a combat medic assisting a wounded soldier in front of Bassett Army Community Hospital on Fort Wainwright.

"I wanted to make it as powerful as I could," Grant said of the larger-than-life aluminum piece.

The sculpture depicts a soldier being steadied and helped to his feet by a medic. The piece suggests movement and the medic's eyes are focused forward.

Grant had help creating the statue but made sure he sculpted the two soldiers' faces himself.

"I was really picky about how they would look," he said.

Army officials were looking for a depiction of strength, determination and valor when they commissioned Grant, said Maj. Mike Williams, the hospital chief of logistics.

"We wanted a statute that displays the sacrifices that the combat medic makes in saving the lives of soldiers on the battlefield," he said.

The 7-foot statue is in a traffic circle in front of the hospital. The metal soldiers stand underneath a giant American flag. The aluminum is shiny, but will fade to a milky luster as the statue is subjected to the elements, Grant said.

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