Many thanks to...
VFW Ladies Auxiliary
American Legion Auxiliary
Union Pacific Retired Railroad Assoc.
Ogden Mens Club
Fareway Stores, Inc.
Moose Lodge 104
Boone County Hunt & Fish Club
ABATE of Iowa, Inc. District 25
Top & Body Repair
Fred & Laurie Greiner
Bill & Judy Alley
Bob & Ardith Hammond
Robert L. Fisher
Mike & Jane Madden
About the Freedom Rock Tour
The Freedom Rock Tour, created by Freedom Rock artist Ray "Bubba" Sorenson, aims to boost tourism and spread the message of thanking our Veterans. The tour also provides a Freedom Rock unique to the county it is placed in, and will eventually feature a Freedom Rock in all of Iowa's 99 counties.
Sorenson will tour the state for the next few summers completing the murals and providing an instant tourist attraction.
The goal is to be unique and tell area-specific stories on each rock. The artist will not include every era/branch/race/gender/etc. on each rock, but will instead represent each of those things across the entire tour through specific stories. Think of each rock as a piece of the puzzle, not all-encompassing until you step back and look at the entire project.
For more information, visit www.thefreedomrock.com.
Creating a memorial to Honor our Veterans
The Boone County Freedom Rock is located in Boone, Iowa at the corner of W 3rd Street and Main Street.
The Boone County Freedom Rock project was started in 2014 by Mysty Stumbo to honor her son, Sgt. Daniel Sesker.
Sgt. Daniel Sesker, born in Boone in 1983, graduated from Ogden High School in 2001. He was deployed to Kosovo in 2003 as part of Operation Joint Guardian. In July 2005, he volunteered to join the Le Mars-based Troop C, 1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry, which performs reconnaissance and surveillance missions. Between his tours of duty, he worked as a counselor at Woodward Academy and as a part-time police officer in Gowrie. Sesker, then 22, was killed on April 6, 2006 when a bomb exploded near his Humvee. He was manning a gun aboard the vehicle when insurgents detonated the bomb outside Tikrit.
By summer 2015, enough funds were raised from various organizations and individuals in Boone County to have Ray “Bubba” Sorenson paint a Freedom Rock for Boone County.
Sorensen says he had the plan for this rock imagined long before he started the process. He had always been amazed by photos of trains going across the Kate Shelley Bridge, located just a few miles west of Boone. After getting to see it in person, Sorensen wanted the draped flag to blend into the sky behind the steaming train.
The back side of the rock features Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower. Mamie was a famous resident of Boone, and her birthplace is located at 709 Carroll Street in Boone. General Eisenhower commanded troops during WWII.
Sorensen also met with Sgt. Sesker's family, and was able to paint a beautiful tribute to him on the rock.
"I love to learn about our Veterans and their history," said Sorensen, "especially those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice. This time I got to meet with and get to know members of both families of the Veterans I put on this rock and it has added to my continued inspiration on this tour and hopefully is seen in this artwork."
The rock also features the first woman promoted to the rank of command sergeant major in the Iowa Army National Guard. Command Sgt. Maj. Marilyn L. Gabbard of Polk City was also the first woman in the history of the Iowa National Guard to be killed in combat. She was a passenger on a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter when it crashed Jan. 20, 2007 northeast of Baghdad. Assigned to Joint Forces Headquarters, Iowa Army National Guard, Camp Dodge, Johnston, Iowa, she served as the non-commissioned officer in charge of the National Guard Affairs Team in Baghdad.
Now, it is time to finish the landscaping around Boone County's Freedom Rock. The committee plans to purchase six flag poles, each one representing a branch of the armed services. The landscaping will also include engraved pavers that pay tribute to local veterans. The project is planned to be complete by summer 2020.
Approximately $50,000 is needed to complete the Boone County Freedom Rock project. If you are interested in helping fund this project, you may purchase a paver or make a donation.