A Tulsa eagle scout teamed up with a Marine veteran to create a carving that is now displayed at the Jack C. Montgomery Medical Center that portrays the "Battlefield Cross."
At the Jack C. Montgomery Medical Center, a tall wooden carving is now displayed in main lobby. To some, this is a beautiful wooden carving. But to veterans like Alan Romans, it’s a symbol of sacrifice.
“Every time I see that, I think of the guys who paid the ultimate price so we can be here in this country,” says Romans.
The carving, complete with wooden boots, a gun and an army hat, portrays the "Battlefield Cross" for the soldiers who died in combat. The piece was made possible by Tulsa Eagle Scout, Mitchell Scott, and Marine veteran, Anthony Marquez.
“I always thought it would be cool to do something for the veterans hospital," Scott said. "I went out to the hospital three years ago and I continued to think about it until I met Mr. Marquez.”
Marquez made a name for himself carving wood art for families of fallen and wounded soldiers: turning tree trunks into treasure. Scott reached out to Marquez to do a piece for his eagle scout project. Scott raised the money on his own, and Marquez went to work.
“It feels good because they are the younger generation to come and it’s good to be a part of that because he’s going to remember it for years to come ,” says Marquez.
Marquez’s story and the project, even getting the attention of former OU football coach Barry Switzer.
“I’m an American patriot, I have always believed in serving the country, I always thought I could make a career in the military, football kept me from doing that, but if I haven’t been coaching I probably would have served,” says Switzer.
So when you walk by that wooden monument at Jack C. Montgomery, remember its meaning behind the wood, and that it's a symbol of service.
"I just want people to realize that veterans give everything," says Scott, "even if they don’t give their lives, give their emotional well-being for all of this, you should still recognize their sacrifice.”
Marquez said he wants to partner with other organizations like Boy Scouts and make more carvings. As for Mitchell he wants to continue helping veterans.