The desire of the committee was to honor two individuals as a memorial - one depicted as a soldier and one as a student - who were close to the UCO family and by extension represent all others who have served to defend our liberties.
Gary chose to depict the two soldiers, back to back. One in full combat uniform, the other dressed for class. Minimizing space between the figures creates a single form. Symbolically, this depiction shows how the soldiers rely on one another as they literally have each other’s back – in service, or in civilian life; they stand together in a life-long connection.
This camaraderie extends to the family of Veterans which can be felt through this composition as well. It can connect with relatives, friends, and fellow service people, creating a space for reflection from any path of life.
The clay enlargement is shown here, the sculpture will be placed as soon as it is cast in bronze.