Metal artworks depicting military themes, made by the Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) Welding program, now have a new home, after being displayed at the Field of Honor at the College last month.
The five silhouettes have been added to a veterans memorial display in the brand new backyard at the VFW Post 7232 at 2900 Folsom Street in Eau Claire. The area behind the VFW’s tavern at the post is open to the public. CVTC made the donation Friday afternoon.
“I think it’s awesome. It really makes it pop back here. It goes great with our new lawn. What we’re going for here is a memorial type of atmosphere. It’s a great tribute to all veterans,” said Post Senior Vice Commander Jim Zimmerman.
The five pieces depict the POW/MIA logo, the flag raising at Iwo Jima, a military Humvee, the combined Army/Navy Air Force Marines logos, and a military gravesite. They were cut at CVTC’s modern Welding program facility at the College’s Gateway campus by a CNC plasma cutting system with the aid of Computer-Assisted Design (CAD).
CVTC Welding program students then finished them off with painting and other touchups.
The concept came from CVTC Director of Marketing Doug Olson, who asked Welding program instructors if they would like to participate in a display to add to the Field of Honor, a display of American and Wisconsin flags in honor of veterans displayed last month at the CVTC campus south of Clairemont Avenue.
“Personally, I wanted to, because I have relatives in the military, and many of our students are in the military. It’s a way we could honor them,” said Welding program instructor Wally Quaschnick, who had the pieces cut.
Quaschnick found designs for the POW/MIA and military logos pieces on the Internet. The other three were designed at CVTC using a CAD program.
After the Field of Honor closed, Olson asked Tim Bauer, who was heavily involved in the setup, what should be done with the pieces. Bauer is a member of Post 7232.
“I said we had a great place with a new yard, and we could put them right here,” Bauer said.
In fact, Post 7232 had just invested considerable finances and effort into a makeover of the yard behind its post, building a beautiful pavilion, fencing in the area, sprucing up the lawn, adding a concrete patio and placing some military flags. It’s for public use.
“The club is open to the public. We will use it for picnics and weddings. It’s a wonderful addition,” said Zimmerman. The military artwork adds something special.
“We really appreciate the donation. It’s great to have this,” Zimmerman said.
Customers at the post Friday commented that the display looked “awesome.”
Yes, but nowhere near as awesome as the heroes that inspired them.