Project grad’s likeness to grace Iraq was memorial

Staff Report 

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FT. BENNING, Ga. — A bronze statue modeled after a Shepherd soldier featured on the cover of TIME magazine will be erected at Fort Benning, Ga. park near the bases’ new museum. 

Staff Sgt. Cody Hoefer, whose parents Bill and Dawn Hoefer live in Shepherd, was the imposing figure wielding an M-16 rifle for a TIME cover story March 15, 2004. It was headlined “Looking for a way out,” a special report about “Iraq, one year later.”

Now, Sgt. Hoefer’s likeness will be immortalized in a monument to honor the Army’s 22nd Infantry.

The cover boy soldier is currently in Iraq, serving his fourth tour of duty. His sister, Tillie, told the YCN she is proud of her brother, who last visited the Billings area over the Fourth of July in 2009.

Funds are still needed to complete the monument, even though the statue of Hoefer is completed.

The photo of Hoefer was taken by a freelance photographer while Hoefer was on guard duty. TIME magazine later picked up the photo and selected it for a cover spread.

Hoefer did not pose for the photo, said his mother, Dawn. “Cody doesn’t pose for photos,” she told the YCN in 2004. “He’ll hide if he sees one coming. He was working and he couldn’t get out of this one.”

Those who want to contribute to the memorial fund may send checks to the 22nd Infantry Regiment Society, attention Martin Oelkaus, Independence, Mo., 64055-8258. Contributors should mark on their check, “for the memorial.”