"The Cost of Freedom Eagle"
by Jeremy Dean Russell
(New Castle, Colorado, Garfield)
Jeremy and 50 foot Eagle
“The artist and the eagle”
Jeremy Dean Russell, born on June, 12th 1969 in Pueblo, Colorado to Benjamin E. and Carol A. Russell., was the newest addition to a creative family, he is the youngest out of five children. From the time he started walking he had an uncanny ability to build things out of household items such as toy trucks from cardboard, toilet paper rolls, and ceran wrap. His creative talents were largely encouraged, and as he grew they expanded into drawing, painting, and music. He had a normal childhood up until he lost his mother to cancer on March, 24th 1984. He was 13 years old and lost. From here it gets complicated. Due to a car accident Jeremy, suffered on July, 14th 1996 he lost most of his memory from the age of 13 to the time of the accident from a skull fracture which resulted in a closed head injury. He consequently in addition suffered massive internal injuries, a shattered pelvis, a broken back among many other fractures, and had a large shard of steel go through his right leg. When Jeremy, was found at the scene he had bled to death and it was touch and go all the way to the nearest hospital. Somehow by the grace of God, the surgeons were able to scrape Jeremy, off of the gurney and mend him back together. After many months of healing Jeremy, was slowly recovering, but an unfortunate complication arose. It was time for the pins to be removed from his right leg. When the doctor pulled the pins out, he introduced a methicilin resistant staphylococcus aurous, into Jeremy's femur which created a condition called osteomyalitus, a very hard to treat infection that embeds itself in the bone. After 20 some different debridements and an antibiotic that was causing him to go deaf, Jeremy was given the choice between his hearing and a chance to keep his leg. By that time however it was too late and the leg was removed above the knee before it could kill him. Before the accident sources say that Jeremy, dealt with overwhelming depression and tried to take his own life many times. He lived in the fast lane, and had little or no respect for life. Jeremy believes that the accident represented a good swift kick in the butt and that somehow it changed him into a better person. After years of recovery it was time for him to take advantage of his new lease on life. All though his high school and college education were lost in the accident Jeremy, found a way to adapt. He found that his talents were still mostly intact and was anxious to put them to use. He taught himself how to play guitar again and joined a band, but something was still missing. An outlet for visual art...Then one day an old friend happened by. He was someone who attended high school with Jeremy, who he couldn't remember. He showed Jeremy an old photo album with them in it and helped Jeremy to fill in some of his past. His newly found old friend knew that Jeremy had many natural talents and needed some help to make stone samples he was marketing for a quarry owner polished and crafted. So he gave Jeremy a chunk of rock and left him alone with it. Jeremy, carved the rock into a small bear, and from that bear he received a commission to carve a larger piece. This was Jeremy's first attempt at sculpting a major work. Two months later he had created a masterpiece and called it “An Eagles Dream”. The quarry owner saw Jeremy's natural ability to carve stone and invited him up to his quarry for a visit. The quarry owner offered Jeremy, a wall of solid alabaster to carve on, and a vision was born. “THE COST OF FREEDOM EAGLE”, is a fifty foot sculpture of our national bird. It is Jeremy's intention that this sculpture will represent the cost of freedom. The “FREEDOM EAGLE” will honor every person who has ever served in the armed forces, who have protected and sometimes have made the ultimate sacrifice for American freedom. This is what gives Jeremy, the passion and will to press on through the continuing struggles that come with a project of this magnitude. Jeremy has found a way to carve out a new life, and do something for the love of his country.