The Soldotna City Council at their January 14th meeting unanimously passed a resolution to officially support the implementation of an Iron Mike Statue in the Soldotna Creek Park.
According to Mike Meredith VFW Post # 100046 commander “Iron Mike” is a de facto or nick name of monuments honoring service men and women depicting their bravery. During the major renovations of Soldotna Creek Park flag poles and a pedestal were erected at the front of the park, “The city came forth and put a nice monument in there. It has three flag poles and has a pedestal with 5 sides representing all of the 5 branches of the military service, so we want to top it off with a real nice bronze statue, like the one at Ft. Bragg that has become known as Iron Mike,” Stettler told the Council during public testimony. The statue will stand about five feet high, weigh nearly a ton and cost approximately $48,000.
“This has been a community effort,” said Soldotna VFW Post commander Mike Meredith, “Not just the VFW but everyone across the board and it has made me proud of them and all the support that has come from the city council and parks and rec. department. It’s going to be beautiful. Whether in the winter or summer all visitors to the park we be greeted with the remembrance that we are free to enjoy this beautiful home of ours because of the fighting men and women of our military services.” The funds for the statue are also being raised from a broad community base, “We still have some fund raising to do and are looking for sponsorships, we don’t want the City to have to pay for it all and we weren’t asking for financial support tonight, they have already done so much it makes me proud to live here and to be part of this happening. Our post will be raising some funds for the purchase, transportation and installation. We may be calling on some local businesses to finish it off but anyone interested in helping can get in touch with me at the VFW in Soldotna and we’ll let you know how you can help and hopefully this spring Iron Mike will be here to help us all remember those who have served so we may live free,” said Meredith.