BINGHAMTON, NY – Travelers up and down Interstate 88 may be surprised to see a new face along the roadway.
A statue of a saluting soldier wearing Vietnam-era gear now stands atop a tree stump in front of American Legion Post 1194 in Hillcrest.
The Legion had a large tree in their front yard that was dying and had to be removed, but the Sons and Auxiliary of the Legion had a good idea.
The statue was carved from the tree, sealed, and painted.
Sons Commander Mark Rinker says the Legion wanted to accurately express their appreciation for area veterans.
“Every time I do drive by, I get chills. We wanted to do it to thank all our veterans, and now I think that was a good way to thank them and appreciate what they do, what they have done for us and the community and the country,” says Rinker.
The tree itself had stood for close to 80 years in the Legion’s front yard.
The statue has already gotten lots of attention from passers by.