Oklahoma Veteran Making 'Battlefield Crosses' To Honor 17 Fallen Marines
SPERRY, Oklahoma - A Marine veteran from Sperry is remembering 17 fallen Marines. He’s creating what he calls "battlefield crosses" to honor their memory.
Every day, Anthony Marquez looks at a memorial wall that shows the 17 fellow Marines who died in battle. Being able to look at their faces is his motivation for his battlefield crosses.
As the chainsaw blade spins, it carves memories of each of his 17 comrades who lost their lives in battle.
"On our deployment to Afghanistan, we had 17 guys killed and over 160 wounded. So, last summer I got this idea that I wanted to do this chainsaw carving," he said.
Marquez served two tours as a K9 officer. He's seen and endured a lot, but nothing prepared him for the pain of losing so many friends.
Though he's no longer bearing arms, he bears the lasting pain, along with his chainsaw.
"It's like somewhat a healing process; it takes a lot, physically and emotionally," Marquez said.
He's transforming those emotions into battlefield crosses.
With just a few months of experience, he's been able to transform big logs into something beautiful.
Each cross takes about 16 hours to finish.
Marquez said, “I would guess this weights about 150 pounds, maybe even more."
So far he's made three. He's already given one to the family of a fallen marine; he’s sold another. Another one is being auctioned to raise money for a veteran who lost his home in a fire.
But the main focus remains on the 17.
"My ultimate goal is to give one to each family, and there's no limit. It may take me five years," Marquez said.
He’s going to be making at least 17 of the battlefield crosses, so he's looking for people who can donate large chunks of wood; he's also looking for someone who can help him ship it.
If you’d like to get in touch with him, you can find more information here.