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Honoring the Navy's Elite Warriors
Clark Nexsen Helps Retired Navy SEAL Honor the Fallen

By Andrew Soto, LASN


The Navy SEAL monument at the Virginia Beach Boardwalk features articulated stone walls capped in granite that encompass a statue of the "Naked Warrior." Sand from more than 100 beaches surround the base. Historical panels are laser etched with images and text that tell the story of the Navy SEALs. Clark Nexsen provided the design and construction of the monument pro bono.

When Rick Woolard, a retired Navy SEAL captain living in Virginia Beach, Va., noticed there was no monument to honor his fallen brothers, he formulated a vision. His enthusiasm gained momentum after the city of Virginia Beach contributed land at the boardwalk.

Once land was secured, Clark Nexsen, a multidisciplinary firm specializing in architecture and engineering design for higher education, federal, industrial, and transportation clients, was brought on board the project on a pro bono basis. The firm provided design services, construction management, and coordination services to construct the monument encompassing the 'Naked Warrior' statue. The monument showcases Navy SEAL history from 1942 to the present era.


Stone, concrete pavers, 88,000 pounds of granite, lighting, metal fabrication, surveying, design, and construction were either partially or fully donated. A 6,000-pound slab bearing the names of over 850 private donors and companies anchors the design.

The project took one year to complete from conception to completion. The most difficult challenge was completing the project in an extremely tight timeline to meet the 75th anniversary of the birth of the Navy SEALs, while dealing with rain delays and the opening of tourist season along the very popular Virginia Beach Boardwalk. The monument was dedicated on July 20, 2017. Rick Woolard's vision and close collaboration with the Navy SEAL Museum, Clark Nexsen's design team, and the city of Virginia Beach, reshaped the Virginia Beach Boardwalk to honor the Navy's warrior elite.

"Clark Nexsen transformed an overgrown, outdated site into a meaningful and engaging tribute," said Woolard.

As seen in LASN magazine, October 2017, Stewardship.

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August 26, 2019, 1:26 am PDT

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