TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — A Tuscaloosa veteran is helping to memorialize our nation’s heroes. He works with Gold Star families to create busts in the likeness of their lost loved ones.
“If you had told me at this stage in life I’d be a sculptor, I would’ve gone, ‘you got the wrong guy,'” Colonel Lee Busby said.
The retired Marine even surprised himself when he starting experimenting with ceramics.
“Started doing some sculpting, got a little better at it and I found myself drawn to sculpting, primarily, military men in uniform,” Busby explained.
The Colonel’s hobby turned into an art of healing when he offered to sculpt the likeness of several soldiers killed in action.
“It has been one of the most unpredictably rewarding things I do,” Busby said with a chuckle.
“To sit down and work with the sculptor, bringing that loved one back and into three-dimensional form, can be very emotional,” Colonel Busby explained. “The common denominator in all those families has been the emotional courage I see come out of them as they do something that’s personally very difficult. But they do it so that the memory of their loved one…lives on. And I’ve seen it be very healing to them also.”
A lot of painstaking detail goes into each one of Busby’s sculptures. He says military men and women can read a uniform like a blind person reads braille, so the minutia is critical. Busby says, coming from a military family, it must be perfect.
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