Ray “Bubba” Sorensen, 34, the artist who launched the Freedom Rock Tour, chats with a local resident Tuesday at the site of Sac City’s new Freedom Rock, which should be complete next week. Sorensen laid a rough sketch on the rock that rainy morning before he started painting in the afternoon.
Ray “Bubba” Sorensen, 34, the artist who launched the Freedom Rock Tour, chats with a local resident Tuesday at the site of Sac City’s new Freedom Rock, which should be complete next week. Sorensen laid a rough sketch on the rock that rainy morning before he started painting in the afternoon.
September 25, 2013



Sac City

Six brothers, all of them military veterans from Sac County, will silhouette the top of a towering boulder on Main Street.

There will be a U.S. Army medic. A "tunnel rat" from Vietnam.

And on the back, a wounded soldier flanked by Navajo Code Talkers. His rescuers.

These are the true-life scenes that Ray "Bubba" Sorensen II, a Greenfield artist, will brush onto a massive rock in the heart of Sac City in the next week or so.

He started the project in the Tuesday morning rain, and it will be the 13th Freedom Rock he has painted in Iowa.

The first Freedom Rock, which is north of Greenfield, he repaints each year for Memorial Day. It has become a scenic attraction for military veterans and patriotic folk and is spreading to other counties.

Sorensen said he hopes to paint at least one in each county. City or county leaders in most western Iowa counties have commissioned one of Sorensen's rocks. In Carroll County, Manning is slated to get one next year.

Cities and counties apply for Sorensen's work by obtaining a boulder and land to set it. They pay a total of $5,000, his minimum commission for a mural.

And then Sorensen arrives with his wagon of paints, his vitamin energy drinks and brushes.

He chats with a steady stream of residents - many are veterans - who are curious or want to tell their story.

Some bring the ashes of fellow veterans to mix with the paint.

Then Sorensen, with his paint-blotted jeans, gets to work.