As we give thanks this month for our blessings, including the brave veterans who have done so much to protect our freedoms, it’s an honor to share a story that’s near and dear to our hearts.
It’s about a collaborative art project called Warrior Storyfield that aims to deepen connections between veterans and civilians through the creative process. Spearheaded by two co-founders—civilian artist Robert Bellows and veteran Brad Gallup—the project has inspired veterans, their families and civilians over the last 10+ years to join forces in building two massive 20-foot-tall welded steel sculptures—a Phoenix and a Dragon each weighing 10,000 and 12,000 pounds, respectively— to spark conversations and explore deep personal and communal expression.
After the casters Bellows was using under the platform to support the Phoenix royally failed (they shattered, actually), he contacted our very own Hamilton Inside Sales pro Justin Sprouse for help.
“I said,I need a caster that won’t even sneeze if a 12,000-pound Dragon tried to snap it’s axle,” Bellows recalled. “And Justin said,Yep, we can handle that.”
Fast forward to today, where both the Dragon and Phoenix are supported by Hamilton Spinfinity Maintenance-Free Kingpinless swivel casters.“I’m beyond delighted with Hamilton,” said Bellows. “The casters work like a dream. They are safe, solid, steady and easy to turn and move. Both sculptures can now be easily rotated with a light duty half-ton come along or even a couple of pry bars.”
Bellows hopes to eventually place the Dragon and Phoenix on a large tract of land, facing each other in “an eternal stare.” The space between these two mythic creatures, which symbolizes both the veteran at war and the veteran who returns home from war forever changed, will become a communal gathering place to ask questions and share stories about what it takes to come home from combat. The project could be completed as early as late 2024.
We’re honored to be carrying a small part of your story, Robert. And we look forward to the project’s next chapter of hope.