From: Field of Dreams, Welcome Home
TELLURIDE ARTIST CAPTURES "WELCOME HOME" IN
By Jennie Aubert
Telluride sculptor Richard Arnold has more to share
with the Western Slope Vietnam War Memorial's "Welcome Home" project than just
his talent as a large-scale bronze artist. Arnold is also a Vietnam vet, who
served as a U.S. Army military police investigator in Da Nang for the first
half of his tour, and put together the lifeguard program on China Beach in Da
Nang during the second half. He was 22-years-old when he was sent to Vietnam in
"I was there like most young men scared and
when I got home I was not welcomed," says Arnold.
"The Welcome Home"
Project was coined for Vietnam veterans, like Arnold, who never received a
welcome home upon their return. For many young men and women, the only welcome
they received was from their families.
The three-firgure bronze work is
a mother and father welcoming home their son from duty, yet will symbolically
provide a welcome home to all men and women who have served our
The life-sized work
was dedicated on Veterans' Day, November 11, 2006. The Western Slope Vietnam
War Memorial Park is adjacent to the Colorado Welcome Center at the Fruita exit
on I-70. The sculpture is in the garden space below the Huey
The father was the first
figure to arrive from the foundry. Here Richard Arnold and his bronze creation
demonstrate how the artwork emerges from the
After the opening
ceremonies on November 11, 2006, the scultpure is
The bronze parents reach
out in welcome to all veterans:
The beautiful marble bench
at the site was donated by the Vietnam Vets Motorcycle Club USA in memory of
those who never came home.
The dreams of youth,
heroism, of truth,
a child gone, returns a man,
forged in the fire of
his child's heart no more.
He hesitates, his eyes uncertain,
unfailing love lifts the curtain
and his heart returns
tearful, "Welcome Home!"