'No Man Left Behind' Iraq War Memorial Revealed at Camp Pendleton

'No Man Left Behind' Iraq War Memorial Revealed at Camp Pendleton

Immortalizing a photo that became an icon of the Iraq war, the No Man Left Behind memorial sculpture was unveiled Wednesday at Camp Pendleton with the artist and one of the soldiers depicted present.

Hope for the Warriors writes, regarding the new monument, “Hope For The Warriors® is proud to share our gift of the monument, titled No Man Left Behind, to the Marine Corps aboard Camp Lejeune and Camp Pendleton. The monument brings to life the iconic photo captured in Fallujah by acclaimed combat photographer Lucian Read. As battle raged, then 1st Sgt Bradley Kasal, USMC, risked his life for the lives of his Marines. In turn, two of his Marines, Lance Corporals Chris Marquez and Dane Shaffer, risked their lives to carry him out of the building called ‘Hell House.’”

Marquez, present for Wednesday’s unveiling at Camp Pendleton, told ABC 10 News, “We went across the, I guess you could call it, the kill zone, and one by one we pulled out the people in the room and one of them happened to be Sgt. Maj. Kasal and that’s how the picture was taken.”

No Man Left Behind came to life through the artistic gifting of Vietnam veteran and Gold Star Father John Phelps. Hope for the Warriors states John’s son, LCpl Chance Phelps of the U.S. Marine Corps, was killed in action in April, 20014. “I know he’d be proud,” Phelps told 10 News at the ceremony.

Phelps took one year to complete the project, telling 10 News, “It was a labor of love.” He went on to say, “It’s an honor, definitely an honor to sculpt a monument to heroes and to the Marine Corps.”

The Friday before the unveiling, some of the soldiers from the 1st Marine Division gathered at Marine Corps base Camp Pendleton to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the launch of the second battle of Fallujah, marked by Military.com as the Marine Corps’ largest urban battle since 1968. Officials reportedly focused on remembering the bravery and heroism of soldiers in the battle, but also expressed the disheartening fact that the city fell to ISIS earlier this year.

No Man Left Behind portrays the heroism of Corporal Christopher Marquez (L) and Corporal Dane Shaffer (R) as they rescued 1st Sgt. Bradley Kasal in the heat of the second battle of Fallujah.

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Photo: Reuters/Mike Blake