Sculptor creates memorial to Fort Hood victims

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by JADE MINGUS / KVUE NEWS and Photojournalist MICHAEL MOORE

Bio | Email | Follow: @JadeM_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on November 7, 2012 at 7:33 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 3:10 AM

SALADO, Texas -- Sculptor Troy Kelley spends his days tirelessly working on tributes to the 13 people who died in the mass shooting at Fort Hood on November 5, 2009.

The Vietnam veteran is a world-renowned artist who is using the favorite objects of each of the victims to create a special bronze statue for each person.

"This is a labor of love," said Kelley. "I hope I do them justice."

For physicians assistant Michael "Doc" Cahill, Kelley created a statue comprised of his three favorite books, a stethoscope and his coffee cup.

For Specialist Jason Hunt, his family wanted his favorite greyhound dog, Rex, in the statue--his most loyal companion.

For Private First Class Francheska Velez, he crafted her favorite character, Scooby Doo. Velez was three months pregnant when she died.

"Notice I put a tear in Scooby Doo's eye. He is weeping for her," said Kelley.

Right now fundraising is still underway to build a permanent monument to the 13 shooting victims. Join Hands America has raised $150,000 so far, but a total of $500,000 is needed.

The monument will be located at the Killeen Civic and Convention Center. It will consist of a pavilion, a flagpole, and 13 granite columns for each of the victims. Their names, portraits, and a message from each family will be engraved on each one. Kelley's statues will rest on the top of the column.

"They gave their life no different than being in combat as far as I'm concerned," said Kelley.

 

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