Final statue placed at Fort Benning Gateway - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Final statue placed at Fort Benning Gateway

By Curtis McCloud -   bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WXTX) - A huge monument now greets people as they go onto Fort Benning. The years of planning and months of construction is near completion as the final statue is set in place.

Danny Coward is the man that pulled the project together.

"It was a lot in my hands because one mistake one malfunction, or one thing that wasn't planned, it could be totally on me," Coward said.

For over thirty years Danny has been operating cranes, lifting tons of heavy steel and iron. Today he and a team of men placed the final statue on its pillar.

Weighing over 10 thousand pounds Trooper of The Plains will join the Follow me solider and two bald eagles already on their pillars.

Danny who served as a tanker in the army is proud to be part of today's milestone. He says this project means a lot to him and other members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

And today like a chef Danny was able to put the icing on a cake fresh out of the oven. But he says it wouldn't have been possible without the help of his team.

"I give everybody here credit because we all did it together," Coward said.

The project cost about $6 million dollars. The funding is a combination of Stimulus money and private donations. Landscape artist Gary Gallate has been with the project since it started.

"We just think it's a great way to celebrate our community and to say we are proud of our military and we are proud of Fort Benning," Gallate said.

For Danny Coward it's a chance to be part of history, doing something special for the men and women who put their lives on the line for people in America every day.

"For the armed forces we don't get to do this too much and I'm really glad I got to do it," Coward said.

The gate way at Fort Benning is expected to completely be finished by September.

Copyright 2011 WXTX. All rights reserved.

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