Nearly $20K raised for sidewalk connecting Freedom Rock to jet

T-R FILE PHOTO - Pictured is the Phantom F-4 jet on the grounds of the local American Legion Post 46.

Ice and snow covers the ground now, but once consistently warm weather arrives, contractors will begin installing a sidewalk connecting the local Freedom Rock to the iconic Phantom F-4 jet.

More than two years of planning, coordination and fundraising by local American Legion Post 46 member Kevin Huseboe of Marshalltown and team will make the project a reality.

On Friday, Huseboe said he and fellow American Legion Riders have raised nearly $20,000 to construct a nine-foot wide sidewalk, and installing lights and benches.

“We are grateful for the contributions received from the business community and individuals,” Huseboe said. “We have 19 of the 20 benches sold.”

Huseboe, a U.S. Army veteran, cited local businesses JBS and Mechdyne as making significant contributions. Joining them was the American Legion Auxiliary. The popular tourist destinations are on Legion grounds in the 1300 block of S. 6th Street.

“Weather permitting, the project will be complete by Memorial Day, 2019,” Huseboe said. “The length is 495-feet. Rick Weitzell of Le Grand has been selected as contractor.”

The sidewalk will be handicapped accessible and Huseboe said contributions of approximately $5,000 are necessary to finalize the project while having a reserve fund for maintenance.

Huseboe said the need to install a sidewalk grew from many comments made by residents and visitors.

“For example, residents from the Iowa Veterans Home visiting the Freedom Rock can not take their wheelchairs over the grass to the F-4 jet.”

American Legion Commander Randy Kessler said he is excited about the project and how it will enhance both attractions.

“This will be a good-looking project,” he said.

The Freedom Rock was dedicated on July 4, 2016.

Fellow veteran Ron Estabrook worked at fundraising more than two years before the project was complete.

“Freedom is Never Free” is the rock’s theme.

“The Freedom Rock is one of the top visitor destinations in Marshalltown,” local Convention & Visitors Bureau Director Val Ruff said. “It is a must-see attraction whether visitors are here for a bus tour, a meeting or convention, or just traveling around the state to see other Freedom Rocks. We are proud to have the Freedom Rock and the surrounding enhancements. We hear many positive comments on the scenic location coupled with American Legion Golf course, Post 46 and F-4 Phantom Fighter Jet.”

For more information, contact Huseboe at 641-751-8954. To make a donation, send a check to

American Legion Riders Memorial Sidewalk, 1301 S. Sixth St., Marshalltown, Iowa 50158.