Captain Rickey Fitgerald was first approached by sculptor Michael Jernigan after a mobilization ceremony at the Florida capitol. His unit was preparing to deploy for Iraq back in 2009 when Jernigan asked to interview him in consideration for an exhibit honoring the troops. Fitgerald believes he was asked to participate based on his statement of duty and service: “It’s difficult leaving my family, yet I’m ready to serve my duty as a soldier.”
The exhibit will feature 21 bronze portrait sculptures spanning all branches of service with Fitgerald representing the Florida Army National Guard. “It feels great being a part of a national exhibit simply because recognition for our service and sacrifice is very important to soldiers and all other military or public safety personnel who make these great sacrifices,” Fitgerald said. “I think this will increase the appreciation, awareness and perhaps inspire civilians also to find that ‘sacrifice’ inside of them and not just future service men and women.”
Captain Fitgerald currently works in the State Safety Office where he conducts data management and analysis for transportation and traffic safety. He personally knows several service members to be represented in the exhibit including Chief Warrent Officer II Terri Skene (working for FDOT Central Office) and Captain Snow (working for Leon County Sheriff).
The exhibit will be on display during 2014-2015. To find out more, visit: www.honoringthetroops.com