Cliff Leonard - Jacksonville, Florida
Cliff Leonard served in the United States Marine Corp from 1966-1968. Cliff has spent the past twelve years sculpting 45 life-size busts of fallen Marines and Navy Corpsmen from Florida killed in action in the Middle East, and of fellow 3rd Recon company members that were killed in Vietnam. Once he completes the remaining four Marines he will have completed all the Marines and Corpsmen from Florida that were killed in action. He is a member of the Semper Fidelis Society that supports the military community in Jacksonville, Florida as well as a life-time member of the Montford Point Marines that supports and honors the first black Americans in the Marine Corps.
Cliff researches the circumstances surrounding these killed in action (Florida Marines and Navy Corpsmen), and then reaches out to their families to offer his unique gift of a life size, uniformed bust, always without cost. While gathering pictures and personal information from the families about each of the service members, Cliff is always reminded how difficult this process is for most. When the finished bust is presented to the surviving families, whether at a formal public ceremony, a church service or quietly at Cliff’s home, there are always tears of gratitude.