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Veteran Delivers Unique Sculptures to Fellow Soldiers’ Grave Sites

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On what would have been his 27th birthday, Lance Cpl. John Felix Farias received a large, meaningful sculpture on his grave at Fort Houston National Cemetery from an artist and fellow veteran who served alongside him, Anthony Marquez. KSAT reports that Oklahoma-based Marquez creates wooden sculptures to honor fallen soldiers by hand. Each takes 12 hours to craft and weighs around 160 pounds. He hand delivers them to the grave sites across the United States.

The wooden sculptures he carves are of the battlefield cross. According to the National Museum of American History, the battlefield cross was often used during WWI and WWII to serve as a marker for the Graves Registration Service and as a memorial for the dead. “Beginning with the Gulf War in 1991, and during Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, the latest version of the battlefield cross: rifle, helmet, boots, and dog tags, has become the symbol of loss, of mourning and closure for the living,” they explain.

Marquez will travel to Ohio next to deliver another piece. “At times, it seems overwhelming, (like), ‘How am I going to complete all this?’” Marquez told KSAT. “But it’s just one at a time.” Families, like Farias’s, truly appreciate the amount of work and thought Marquez puts into each piece that honors the fallen soldiers.