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Conroe Today: ''The Way Home'' arrives home to honor all veterans

The eighteen-year project finally installed in Town Green Park on Memorial Day.

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Washington, May 26, 2015 | comments

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas - A work-in-progress for eighteen years, "The Way Home" sculpture finally arrived at its permanent home Memorial Day. The unveiling and dedication took place where the sculpture was installed, at Town Green Park in The Woodlands. Although under a Tornado Watch at the time, the weather cooperated for the ceremony.


Sculpted by the renown Edd Hayes, the “Official Texas State Sculptor,” the centerpiece of the Veterans Memorial Monument depicts the figures of Cory Kosters and Zachary Endsley, two soldiers from the community, who were both killed in the line of duty in 2007, just months apart. The sculpture sits atop a black granite base surrounded by black granite, tile paving commemorating personnel in the military. Emblems from each branch of military service are mounted on a wall that serves as a backdrop to showcase monument.


The ceremony included the color guard from College Park High School JROTC presenting the colors during the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag, followed by the Texas flag pledge, the singing of the National Anthem. Bill Wingo, chairman of The Way Home project for the Greater Woodlands Public Art Foundation, expressed his gratitude in seeing the sculpture installed, as did sculptor, Edd Hayes.


“I had these two guys in my studio, Cory and Zachary, their spirits were in my studio for over a year,” said Hayes.”The wall next to where I was working on the sculpture is covered in their photographs, and I talked to them everyday...God speed Cory and Zachary. We’ll miss you around here, but thank you for your help.”


“From The Woodlands community, and all who visit here, it proclaims these are our heroes. It’s appropriate that the likenesses portraying the soldiers are our neighbors, Pvt First Class, Cory Kosters, and Pvt First Class, Zachary Endsley, said the Honorable Kevin Brady (R) 8th Congressional District. “From this day forward and this memorial, they represent the more than one million men and women who served our nation with honor and bravery.”


Several sponsors enabled the 18-year project to finally come to fruition. Among them, Anadarko and The Woodlands Township. Funding in part, was through individual donations from the sale of granite tiles, memorializing family and friends who served in the military. The monument was designed to include all veterans...those who died in the service to our country, those missing in action, retired veterans; veterans living and deceased. Thus the reason it’s called the Veterans Memorial Monument.


Granite tiles are still available for future honorees, and can be purchased from the Greater Woodlands Public Art Foundation by accessing the link provided.


Congressman Brady summed it up by stating, “I predict this memorial will help inspire another generation of Americans to stand where duty requires them to stand. And there are fewer greater honors than that, because America is only as strong as those willing to fight for the promise of freedom.”



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