OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) - A decorated Vietnam War veteran in Opelika was honored with a special gift Saturday, for his service to our country.
Surrounded by his community, 81-year-old Retired Command Sgt. Major Bennie Adkins was presented with a bronze statue for his service in the Vietnam War.
The statue depicts his time during the Vietnam War in March 1966.
"It was just 49 years ago. I was a special forces soldier that was assigned to Vietnam. It was second tour of Vietnam at that time period," Bennie Adkins said.
Adkins helped save several soldiers from capture during that time. At one point, he too was missing in action for three days.
Friends, family and Opelika City Officials came together to share this special moment with Adkins. Some say the statue represents the belated recognition for his service.
"The city of Opelika has been so supportive of my father, were very proud of him, always have been. We're glad that he's finally getting some recognition for not only himself but for the other soldiers that he served with," Keith Adkins said.
The statue is the vision of a artist, who does work with the History channel. After he heard the story of Bennie Adkins, he created the statute in a matter of weeks to tell the story of Adkins' Vietnam experience.
Adkins says he's humbled it's not only about him.
"The honor should to my family and the other 16 highly trained special forces soldiers that were in battle with me and five that paid the ultimate price," Bennie Adkins said.
"People complain about sports heroes and role models. I could never understand why they have to do that. I'm so lucky all I had to do was look up at the dinner table to see my two role models," Keith Adkins stated.
Adkins was also presented the Congressional Medal of Honor by President Obama in September.
The History Channel documented the experience between the artist of the statue and Bennie Adkins. It will be shown on the show, Monument Guys in April.