| CraigDailyPress.com

Bust of Vietnam War hero William E. Adams comes home

John Zimmerman can tell a couple of funny stories about his friend, the late Maj. William E. Adams.

Like when they decided to put seat belts in their cars. This was back in the time – about 1961 – before cars came standard with seat belts, and the two felt they should have them for safety reasons.

Well, they wanted to install two seat belts, one for the passenger and driver. They wanted the passenger seat belt in the middle of the then-bench style seats. The reason, Zimmerman said, was so that their sweethearts could be closer to them.

They spent a Saturday afternoon installing the seat belts.

"So we had two pair of seat belts in each car. The wives had to go do something in one car, so we piled into the other car. And Bill slid in next to me, and off we went," Zimmerman said, gesturing with his hands about how close the two friends had to sit. "But we had our seat belts on."

Or, here's another fun fact: The Air Force veteran Zimmerman and his wife, Dorris, introduced Adams to his future wife, Sandra, by way of a blind date. It was a party at the Zimmerman's house, and that is where Bill and Sandra met.

"I'm not sure either of them wanted to go on a blind date," Zimmerman joked. "But I think it turned out all right."

The name Maj. William E. Adams is well-known in the Craig area.

The Moffat County portion of Colorado Highway 13 is named after him. The local veterans telehealth clinic also bears his name.

Now, a bronze bust of the Congressional Medal of Honor winner is back home in Craig. Adams was awarded the medal posthumously for his service in Vietnam, after his death in May 1971. (For more information, see box.)

His bust had been at the Wentworth Military Academy, where Adams attended from 1954-1960. The academy is closing so arrangements were made to bring the bust here. Dave Adams, a friend of Maj. Adams from their time at the academy, drove the bust from Missouri to Craig.

A short celebration honored the arrival of the Bust Wednesday to Veterans Hall in Craig.

“I think it’s very good that we have this place here for it. To think of it as Bill’s home, especially since the school that put it together is closing down. We’re very fortunate that the VFW here has been active in trying to keep Bill’s memory alive with the highway and the health center,” said Sandra Adams, the wife of the late Maj. Adams. “So it seems very appropriate to have it here.”

Adams’ bust will stay at Veterans Hall, for the time being. The plan will be for the bust to be in the health clinic until it moves to a new location; the bust will go hand-in-hand with Adams’ plaque already in the clinic, said U.S. Army veteran Larry Nue.