James Edward Lykins
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James Edward Lykins is a sculptor from South Charleston, West Virginia. His father was H. F. Lykins, an organic research chemist for Union Carbide, and his mother was a registered nurse named M. E. Lykins. He was interested in art from a young age, but did not like the publicity. After entering an art competition, he was offered a four-year arts scholarship to a university in Hawaii, but was too young to accept it at age 14. Three years later he joined the United States Marine Corps. He won a Purple Heart for his actions in the Vietnamese Demilitarized Zone and in Laos during the Vietnam War. He suffers Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from his experiences, and his wife Robin Lykins inspired him to take up art as a hobby again as therapy. One of his better known pieces, Green Faces/Purple Hearts, has won the first prize at the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival. He has also sculpted memorials to Chuck Yeager, Carter G. Woodson, and a memorial to the Fallen Firefighters of West Virginia.