Submitted by Michael Shepard, member
On November 11, 2018, at 11 am, the Visquenay Doughboy Statue was rededicated for the Montana Veterans Home in Columbia Falls. This project was done by Past Commander Michael Shepard as one of his outgoing chosen projects. Funding was secured from Vietnam Veterans of America Post 1087, with funds left over from the Travelling Wall of September 2017. After the original manufacturing company refused to help, Shepard secured the help of Acutech, a custom metal and powder coater, to assist. Jeff Harker, Bob Haessley, Duane Hagen and Shepard removed the statue and delivered it to Acutech. Shepard then secured samples of coatings that closely matched the real uniform color of the era and allowed one of the veterans at the home, who is an actual military historian, to choose the color. A lot of work went into the custom sandblasting and cleaning of the copper statue. Repairs were made due to the years of abuse, to include being hit by autos several times while it was at the Flathead County Courthouse lawn in Kalispell. The rededication ceremony was held 90 years to the day. L.D. Gross gave a half-hour history of WWI, and Shepard discussed the importance of this statue and of Visquenay himself. 150 people were present for the ceremony, which concluded with military honors and Taps. Note the plaque...it is brass, but with years of copper oxidation running down the front face, it looks copper coated. This ceremony marks the beginning of our post's commemoration of 100 years of The American Legion.