About The Project

Rick Hutcheson

A little about me first I think. I was in the Army, Vietnam 1970, was wounded and declared disabled.
I was involved with many things is the community. When the first JC Chapter started I was there. When we had the Centennial I was there helping set it up and worked hard on  making it a success. I have been a member of the Grimes Lions Club, The Chamber of Commerce, and the American Legion. And served on many other committees and worked events for the community For many years I was involved in the Funtastic Days celebration,  I was on the ground floor of getting Grimes their first ambulance. I served as a EMT on that for about 18 years. I also was on the Fire Department for 23 years, 13 of those I was the Fire Chief. As I recall the budget for my last year there was $27,000, but we were volunteers and worked with what we had or made our own equipment by any means possible..

During this time I tried to live life as normal. In 1972 I built a grocery store, that in 1980 became a Casey’s store. I also built and ice cream shop and another building that later became a laundry mat.
Then in about 1994 I built the strip mall, where UTS trucking is located. Later I bought the house on the property behind that building. In 2015 I tore the house down and put in an additional parking lot for the building.

In trying to get the alley paved next to my property, and new parking area, I attended a city council meeting. They denied my request to pave the alley even though it is the last alley in the Governor’s District that is not paved. Many of the other paved alleys are used way less than this one. But at that meeting I was told by the Council that I never did anything to beautify the city. That was part of the reason to deny my alley paving request. I doubt many of the council members have done as much for the city as I have in the last 65 years I have lived here. But they consider themselves to be special because they are the council and spend taxpayers money on what they want.

Then at an American Legion meeting it was discussed about getting a painted Freedom Rock in Grimes. Was informed Freedom Rock is copyrighted so this will be called Memorial Rock. My mother was pushing hard for this to take place in Grimes. I volunteered to try to find the rock. The question about where to put the rock came up, we discussed about different places on city property to put the rock. There was also discussion to make the rock area a Veteran Memorial type of site. Well during the time of planning the solider with cross controversy came up in Knoxville, Iowa. ( Because the cross was on city property, there was a complaint and it may have to be removed. After my problems with the city council before, I decided that the city should not be involved in this project. So on the property I just put in the parking lot I had a lot of open grass green space area. I made the decision to make the memorial site on my private property. Doing this there can be nobody taking down a cross or any other memorial that is on the site. I think I started this mind set around the middle of August 2015 and have been plowing ahead since then.

So this project is being done on behalf of the American Legion and all of the veterans. My goal is to honor all those who served.

Listed below are those who took part in completing this project:

Rick Hutcheson Designed the layout and drew up/found the cutouts for the memorial.
Rick and Squire Hutcheson Found the rock to be the centerpiece of the memorial.
Melvin Marsh, Grimes Iowa Donated, hauled, and placed the rock into the memorial site.
Chris Hawk
802 Williams Street
Des Moines, IA 50317
The contractor hired to install the concrete pad
Nebix Handyman Services
235 N. 1st Street
Carlisle, Iowa 50047
This is the landscaping company that we hired to do the site leveling and place the bark around the perimeter of the memorial
Jim Uthe Donated his time and equipment to till in the landscaped areas that we reseeded.

Canoyer Garden Center
Grimes, Iowa

This is where we purchased the Lilac and Spirea to go along the South side of the Memorial.
Alan Newman The painter that we hired to paint the Memorial Rock.

Darin Belger
Vannausdle Electric
Ankeny, Iowa

This was the electrician hired to put in the lighting of the Memorial. Darin donated his labor for the installation of the lighting.
Des Moines Steel Works They donated the steel for the project.
Lasse Boerre Donated cutting out the silhouettes and welding the parts together. Then delivered the cutouts to the powder coater.
Sprayer Specialties
Grimes, IA
They donated the time and materials to do the black powder coating on the project.
Tony Forneris
Denny Bacon
Tim Schumacher
Ben Vance, (A soldier in uniform that stopped by and we put to work.)
Squire Hutcheson
Marie Hutcheson
Rick Hutcheson
This the crew that I put together to help install all the signs. We did this in one afternoon, about four hours.
Vickie and Jimmy Cook
Sandy Forneris
Denny Bacon
Squire and Rick Hutcheson
The landscaping crew that helped put the final touches on the project.
Created in Johnston Where we purchased the benches for the memorial.
UTS Transportation They are furnishing the electricty to light the Memorial through 2019 when they moved.
Foundation Chiropractic Starting October 2020 ,they are furnishing the electricty to light the Memorial.
Kness Signs Donated the signs for the Memorial.
Engage Landscaping - Michael Forret Refreshed the landscaping in 2019 to the river rock, ornamental grasses, and gray brick edging.


To learn more about the origin of the Freedom rock:

Another city having problems finding memorial site: