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Freedom Rock unveiled at South Sioux City's Freedom Park

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Freedom Rock, Freedom Park

Images depicting Siouxland military veterans Jarvis Offutt, Warren Brown, Bud Day and Bobbi Doorenbos are shown on one side of the new Freedom Rock at Siouxland Freedom Park in South Sioux City.

SOUTH SIOUX CITY -- Nebraska’s first Freedom Rock was unveiled Thursday.

The painted boulder, which features a mural that honors fallen service members, veterans, and active military members, is now available for viewing at Siouxland Freedom Park, along the riverfront in South Sioux City.

“With the Medal of Honor Highway dedication early this year and the Interpretive Center nearing completion, this rock continues to reach out to past generations of trailblazers to honor them and more importantly for old guys like me to say thank you for inspiring me to do something larger than myself," said Siouxland Freedom Park board member Marty Hogan. "To the civilian population, it’s about teaching the next generation sacrifice and freedom is not free. It is about letting them know others cared about their future and took action."

Siouxland Freedom Park commissioned Iowa artist Ray “Bubba” Sorensen II, who started painting the first Freedom Rock in 1999. He has since completed 111 Freedom Rocks in 12 states. All 99 counties in Iowa have a Freedom Rock.

Profits made from the Remembrance Runs, held from 2010 – 2019 helped fund the new Siouxland Freedom Rock. Plans are in the works for a gazebo or another type of structure to house the rock. There will also be a brick garden dedicated to Siouxland military members.

Pictured on the northeast side of the Freedom Rock are:

-- 1st Lt. Jarvis Offutt first native of Omaha to become a casualty in World War I. Offutt died of injuries sustained when his SE-5 fighter crashed during a training flight near Valheureux, France in 1918.

-- 1st Lt. Warren Brown was the only pilot from the Sioux City-based Air National Guard unit to die in combat in Vietnam. Brown was killed June 14, 1968 when his aircraft was hit by ground fire in the Ashau Valley. The 185th Tactical Fighter Group was mobilized on Jan. 26, 1968 and returned to Sioux City on May 14, 1969.

-- Brigadier Gen. Bud Day, a Sioux City native who was a World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War veteran. On Aug. 26, 1967, Day's plane was shot down during a mission over North Vietnam. Badly injured, he was  captured. He later escaped, only to be captured again and placed in the infamous Hanoi Hilton, and held for 67 months as a prisoner of war. He was awarded the Medal of Honor and Air Force Cross. As of 2016, he was the only person to be awarded both.

-- Brigadier Gen. (Ret) Bobbi Doorenbos of Carroll, Iowa. Her father, Rodney Doorenbos, flew with the 185th. Following in his footsteps, she flew with the 185th FW and was the first female combat pilot in Iowa flying combat missions during Operation Southern Watch in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.

Pictured on the southwest side of the Freedom Rock are:

-- Frank and Carl Anderson. The Sioux City natives were U.S. Army soldiers who were killed in action in France during World War I and were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. 

-- Sgt. Frank E. Anderson, aka Frank E. Andrea, who received the Distinguished Service Cross. He joined the Army in 1905 and served in the Philippines until his discharge in 1910. He then rejoined the Pennsylvania National Guard in 1916 and participated in the Mexico border action before going to France in 1918. After the 6th Pennsylvania Infantry was federalized, he was attached to, Co G, 2nd Battalion, 111th Infantry, 28th Division. 

-- Cpl. Carl R Anderson. He joined the Iowa National Guard Council Bluffs in 1917 the day after World War I was declared. He was attached to company L, 168th infantry, 84th Brigade, 42nd Division (Rainbow Division). He was deployed to France in October 1917. He died the first day of battle at St. Mihiel, Sept. 12, 1918. He was given three citations for exceptional bravery. He also was posthumously recommended for the Distinguished Service Medal.

-- Sgt. First Class John Raymond Rice, a U.S. Army soldier who was killed in action on Sept. 6, 1950 during the Korean War in the Battle of Tabu-dong. Rice, a Winnebago tribe member whose Ho-Chunk name was Walking in Blue Sky, was denied burial in a Sioux City, Iowa cemetery because he was a Native American. Drawing national attention, President Harry Truman ordered his remains to be interred in Arlington National Cemetery. Rice was awarded the Bronze Star for heroism during the New Guinea campaign.

-- Fred Lennon, a Sioux City Bishop Heelan High School graduate who joined the U.S. Army and served as a combat engineer with DET A -312, 5th Special Forces Group. He arrived in Vietnam on Jan. 20, 1966, based in Binh Duoug Province. He was killed in action on Oct. 17, 1966, and is buried in Calvary Cemetery in Sioux City.

-- Sgt. Richard Joseph Boeshart, a Sioux City native who served with Company C, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam. The 1965 Bishop Heelan graduate was killed in action on Dec. 15, 1967. Richard is buried at Saint Annes Cemetery, Dixon County, Neb.

-- Army Spc. David Lee Rice, a 2001 East High graduate who served two tours of duty in Iraq with the 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, based in Fort Riley, Kan. He died April 26, 2005, in Balad, Iraq from injuries sustained in Muqdadiyah, Iraq. 

-- John Duoangdara, a South Sioux City High School graduate who was assigned to the Naval Special Warfare unit, where he served as a dog handler in support of Navy SEAL Team Six. Duoangdara and his military dog, Bart, were both on a Chinook helicopter that was shot down on Aug. 6, 2011.

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