A new bronze statue will soon guard two Veteran's Memorial Walls in Young County. The new war dog statue, Hero, will honor heroes on all fours who served our country since World War I.
It will sit in front of the Young County Courthouse facing the Veteran's Memorial Wall and the Young County New Century Veteran's Memorial Wall.
The statue was inspired by and modeled after veteran Jim Cox and his K-9 war companion who served in the Vietnam War.
"That dog was his lifeline," Larry Hamilton the president of Freedom Care Warrior Project said. Hamilton served in the marine corps and is a Vietnam veteran as well.
Hamilton said he was amazed by the stories of war dogs. He said one of the most inspirational stories was a K-9 who served in Vietnam and defended his companion's life.
"[The dog] actually stepped between [his handler] and one of the [Viet Cong] and was hit," Hamilton said. "The dog was hit."
Dr. Tim Odom, a retired veterinarian, is passionate in honoring the heroes on all fours like Hamilton. Dr. Odom helped fund the project.
"They're just amazing animals and their loyalty is beyond compare," Dr. Odom said.
Young County Judge John Bullock approved Hero being placed on a pedestal on the Young Co. Courthouse lawn. He said Young Co. residents will feel one thing when they see the statue.
"Patriotism," Judge Bullock said. "That's what Young County feels towards our military, our country and our state."
Hero will be placed in front of the two memorial walls the same day as the Young Co. New Century Veteran's Memorial Wall be finished, on July 4, 2018.
The war dog statue project is being funded privately and will cost around $20,000. Donations are being received at Judge Bullock's office.