Throughout history, the eagle has symbolized strength and courage.
It’s been called “the king of the skies” and in mythology it was often a messenger for the gods.
And now the eagle is also becoming a symbol of gratitude.
Military veterans on the Western Slope are handcrafting canes decorated with the head of an eagle for fellow veterans.
Gary Gratton leans over a lathe. He’s sanding a piece of basswood shaped like an eagle’s head.
Gratton retired from the Marines as an officer. He spent some of his career fighting in Vietnam.
"I’ve spent 27 years serving my country," he says. "Now I want to serve my community."
Gratton volunteers at the Warrior Resource Center in Montrose.
There he helps coordinate the Eagle Head Cane Program.