By Cpl. Dave Flores, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms
MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, CA --
The Officers’ Club hosted a dedication ceremony for a new sculpture at their establishment Jan. 9, 2018. The sculpture was gifted by Claudio D’Augustino, a sculptor who has created many Marine Corps-related pieces for the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, Calif.
In 1997, D’Augustino, was commissioned by MCRD San Diego to create a piece to commemorate more than 75 years of recruit training in San Diego. D’Augustino viewed the creation of the sculpture, “Marine Recruit,” as a way to give back to the military community and thank them for their service.
In the years to follow, D’Augustino created several more Marine-related pieces, such as a drill instructor bust, a bust of Gen. John A. Lejeune and his most recent piece, a sculpture of the Marine Corps emblem, which was donated to the Combat Center.
“I was able to work on [my latest] sculpture on board MCRD San Diego, and hearing the drill instructors and seeing the Marines go through training inspired me,” D’Augustino said. “Once you step on to a Marine Corps base, you can feel the sacrifices that have been made and you get the sense that you’re doing things for the United States. By working on base, I was able to feel those emotions and make this sculpture happen.”
Lt. Col. Larry Warfield, assistant chief of staff, Marine Corps Community Services, and the senior manager of the Officers’ Club, spoke at the dedication ceremony.
“When I look at Claudio’s sculpture, I can hear the echoes of Marines and sailors who have come through the Combat Center and dedicated their lives to the service,” Warfield said. “John F. Kennedy said ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. What that means is that we are in service to our country, whether you’re a United States Marine or a citizen.”
D’Augustino expressed his gratitude to everyone who made the event possible, and said that the whole experience felt very surreal to him.
“Donating this sculpture is a dream come true for me, and knowing that it has been placed in this building makes me happy because this piece is in good hands,” D’Augustino said. “I’d like to thank everyone who made this moment possible and everyone on base who participated to make this happen.”