By LISA M. REED
IRON MOUNTAIN - A Vietnam veteran will showcase his artwork on top Pine Mountain and at the Oscar G. Johnson Veterans Administration Hospital as a form of healing for veterans this Memorial Day weekend.
Charles Lee Hamilton Jr. of Irma, Wis. will set his military-related sculptures at Veterans Memorial and Park on top Pine Mountain on Friday afternoon and be at the site until 5 p.m. Monday.
"It's a healing process for myself and others," he said. "Through my artwork, it seems to work."
Hamilton Jr., who served from 1970-72, first having served in the brown-water Navy in 1971, created the sculptures to help veterans heal their spiritual wounds while offering the public a moving tribute to the sacrifice of servicemen and women and their families.
He spends hours talking to visitors about his art and about the experiences of Vietnam veterans like himself.
He said showcasing his artwork is healing to him and to others.
Some of the life-size sculptures Hamilton Jr. will have in Iron Mountain are titled Determination, Sailor, Globe, and Valor.
Hamilton Jr. will also be at the VA Hospital in Iron Mountain on Monday morning during their Memorial Day ceremony to showcase his sculpture, Valor.
This sculpture will remain on site temporarily.
Hamilton Jr. has made quite a few sculptures.
A plaque for one his sculptures reads: Vietnam, 1954-1975, U.S. military fatal casualties: 58,479; 113 died while incarcerated, 771 POW's.
"I have been to the Traveling Wall four or five times, and have had three 21-gun salutes over my pieces," he said. "It is contributing of the Veterans Administration to have put me in school to learn how to weld."
At a later date, the Irma resident hopes to sell or donate his sculptures to museums in Wisconsin.
Hamilton Jr. greatly appreciates donations.
Lisa M. Reed's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.