Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Inspiration

Captain Ross Parrish USMC-Commanding Officer F/2/1


Captain Phillip Ash USMC-Commanding Officer K/3/7



I finally tracked down pictures of the two captains who served as the inspiration for "The Skipper". I served with Captain Ross Parrish's company, Fox 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment both in Operation Steel Curtain, and in Hit for the December 15th general election and its lead up. Captain Phillip Ash is the CO of Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, and I spent time with his Marines in Ramadi. These guys are the marrow of this nation.


The plasticine bust was handed over to the Wegner Foundry here in Fredericksburg this past Friday. In about a month the piece will be cast, after an rather involved process of creating a mold, working up the wax version that comes from the mold, and the final "lost wax" method of pouring a bronze bust. Once the bronze piece is created an additional process takes place creating the final patina. Sculpture is very collaborative. I'm on to my next piece.


Another reason I've been off-line this past month is due to having fallen in love. Yes, the old Gunner is head over heals in LOVE. Over Christmas my daughter and Mom were giving me a hard time about my singleness.....so I signed up for Match.com with the moniker of Jarheadmike. In very short order I met my sweetie, GIJanis, a Sergeant First Class in the US Army Reserve who spent 18 months in Iraq. She's got a blog of her own called American Commentary.

19 comments:

Ben said...

Heh! Love is a mighty fine inspiration. Wish you both the best!

Anonymous said...

I read her last post. I am disappointed. Too bad she seems to be a liberal. I didn't care for what she said about the President. I am not a big fan of the man right now either - he is not conservative enough. But calling him a dictator - maybe she will be the next soldier to appear on 60 Minutes...

I bet you are the type of guy who gets walked on by women because your are too "nice". I am glad you think you are in love but, use your head. I would be very disappointed if you suddenly started talking the same smack as she does.

Laurie said...

The hearts of single women all around the blogosphere are broken for sure ;) But seriously, congratulations!

jma63 said...

Apparently, Mr./Ms. Anonymous, you did not read any of the other posts -- before "Hamburger Hill," on the American Commentary blogsite. If you had, you might have reconsidered your comments before you put YOUR words into circulation.

Being there and witnessing and experiencing the reality of it all can certainly sway one to want to tell the REAL story. Experiencing it first-hand is a whole lot different than watching it on the evening news or reading it in the newspaper.

However, as Americans, you both are exercising your First Amendment rights, and you both have the right to your own opinions.

That being said, I bet in a combat environment she still would save your ass, regardless of how "Liberal" or "Conservative" either of you think the other is.

Anonymous said...

Hey,

I have had my brothers in Iraq who I know would save my ass, so don't assume jma63 that I don't know what I am talking about and haven't heard the "REAL" story about what is going on over there. Calling our current government a dictatorship is way out of line and I did read more than just one post.... I still have the same opinion.

Anonymous said...

Those are some good looking Marines. I can see why you were inspired. It is all about capturing the eyes and how they express the feelings and experiences that words fail to convey. Amazing work.

mdfay said...

Janis and I differ significantly on some very key issues with regards to the War in Iraq. She, among many other lovely attributes, is a bonafide card carrying member at the highest level of the "been there, done that" club and as such has deeply reasoned opinions that need to be listened to. It is her deepest wish to return to Iraq, and is currently serving her fellow soldiers (and their families) suffering from both physical and psychic wounds here at home. Going before the press is not high on her to do list.

Buck Pennington said...

Yes, the old Gunner is head over heals in LOVE.

Congrats, Mr. Fay! And be careful out there...

;-)

Anonymous said...

Yeah Mike,

She has been there done that and thinks she deserves a medal for her bravery. Why on earth would she want to go back to Iraq if she truly believes that it is a lost cause and we shouldn't be over there etc. etc. Why would she want to serve under the Bush "dictatorship"? You must be one lonely dude.

jma63 said...

Anonymous,

I went back to read the "Hamburger Hill" article upon which you seem to be fixated, and did not see anything that "declared" the Bush administration a "dictatorship." Her exact words were:

"How can we allow one man to destroy a society -- both here and there -- because his ego won't accept the truth, or the advice from the very people whom he asked? When did the Office of the President of the United States become and autocratic dictatorship? A nation where the will of the people, and the governance of the representatives they elect to Congress, does not take precedence? Is this a democracy . . . or is this Saddam's Iraq? Is this what we're showing the world how to be?"

All she did was ask a question; pose a position on which to ponder. And considering our Vice President actually told the media "We don't care what the American public thinks . . . we'll do what we want," that sure sounds dictatorial to me.

Until one has actually be over there for themselves, been under fire, worked with the local people and the government firsthand--all the stories, pictures, news reports, and even conversations with the Vets will be just that: stories.

Having your "brothers" there, and being there yourself are two completely different things. I know, I was there too.

Mike, you done good!

Flag Gazer said...

We wish you joy and happiness!

Flag Gazer said...

I see these men in the Skipper - thank you for showing us their pictures.

SK said...

You did a brilliant job of capturing the very essence of these men!

Kelly A. Battles said...

Your fellow combat artist and I were commenting on how gifted you are in sculpture and how your scuplting style truly mimics your painting style. Awesome work! Can't wait to see the finished bronze piece.

Caitlin said...

Your post about meeting Janis made me smile all day - my best wishes to you both :) And thanks for posting the photos of the inspiration for the Skipper - it's fascinating to see them side by side.

(And I wish people didn't use the option to be anonymous as permission to be jerks. But they do...) I'll keep reading!

Anonymous said...

Okay jma63,

You are right... My brothers (who happen to be Marines and have done a combined 3 tours) and their buddies are wrong about Iraq. You and GIJanis are right...and I am not allowed to have an opinion of my own because I haven't been over there. Got it. Thanks. I have been enlightened. But wait... according to your own logic, I can't believe you either because, "Until one has actually be over there for themselves, been under fire, worked with the local people and the government firsthand--all the stories, pictures, news reports, and even conversations with the Vets will be just that: stories."

Even though I believe your logic to be flawed along with your opinion of the president, war, etc., I truly do appreciate your service along with GIJanis' and every other soldier and marine who has "been there- done that."

Anonymous said...

That is right. jma63, according to your own logic, you cannot have an opinion about the presidency because you haven't been one nor walked in one's shoes! Until you have been one, I cannot listen to a word you say. You haven't been there or done that.: ) TB

carl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
carl said...

Anonymous must be your alias for jackass. If you don't like someone else's "Bill of Right's protected" opinion then too bad. Maybe you should quit living vicariously through your 3 Marine brothers, grow a sack and enlist.