• Sculptor memorializes soldiers with life-size statues


    SARASOTA, Fla. (MyFoxTampaBay.com) -- Maybe it takes a hero to make a hero, although the man you're about to meet will likely tell you otherwise. He'd rather his work speak for itself.

    A warehouse in Sarasota is a studio for a master sculptor who has a bit of a patriotic obsession.

    "I preserve legacies of our fallen and living combat veterans and active service members," sculptor Greg Marra said.

    As a commercial artist, Marra gets paid, but he won't pay himself when he sculpts a hero.

    "Every project that we do supports combat veterans. I hire combat veterans to help me with the statues," Greg said. "This helps them achieve a sense of healing, and also a better self-image.”

    He'll donate his latest work to the family of Chris Kyle. The former decorated Navy SEAL was murdered in Texas after leaving the military.

    "He was the most lethal sniper in American history and right there we had to build his statue," Greg said.

    He's almost done with the statue of Adam Brown, a SEAL Team Six member who died in battle. The Arkansas community where Brown is from commissioned Marra, who will only charge for materials.

    "What we try to do is uplift what these soldiers do in combat. These courageous, gallant people. Their sacrifice," Greg said. "What they do on the battlefield must be portrayed as such in bronze."

    Marra works with a local 3D printing company to create the models that get turned to bronze. He sells miniatures to consumers to help defray costs.

    "The end result is a bronze statute that will last for hundreds, if not thousands of years," Greg said.

    An artist who relies on divine inspiration to create larger-than-life memorials to brave and courageous warriors.

    "I listen to God and I listen to my heart."

    Marra hopes one day to create a life-sized bronze memorial honoring Washington's crossing in Pennsylvania. You can find out more about his mission and those smaller statues at this website: www.sculptingourheroes.com

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