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Artist Honors Fallen Veterans With Annual Artwork on Freedom Rock

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MENLO, Iowa  --  A local artist honors those who have made the ultimate sacrifice every year through.

The Freedom Rock sits just west of Menlo, and each year Bubba Sorensen paints a mural on it to commemorate fallen veterans.

"This year, I wanted to put as many faces as I thought I could on, and every face has given their life for our country," said Sorensen.

This is his way of saying thank you to the more than one million United States service members who fought and continue to serve the country.

Donald Rice, a veteran from Wisconsin, visits the rock every year.

"A lot of good people gave a lot of good things just to make other things better," he said.

Sorensen is also giving families closure. The rock isn't just a way to say thanks--it's also a memorial.

"They wanted to sprinkle ashes of some recently fallen Vietnam veterans. It's usually a lot windier than this out here, I said they're just gonna blow away in the wind, let's dump them here in my green paint, I'll paint them on here, and they'll be here forever," Sorensen said.

Despite the rock getting a new look every year, Sorensen will never paint over the helicopter.

"Now there's over 100 different Vietnam veterans in the helicopter."

And the lives of fallen soldiers will never be forgotten.

Sorensen says he already has plans in the works for next year's Freedom Rock--and it might include a lot of red, white, and blue.

A gallon of the paint Sorenses uses costs about $200, and he uses quite a few in his art. He is accepting donations through his website thefreedomrock.com.

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