CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK)—A Clay County coal miner who’s been with the United Mine Workers of America for 80 years is getting some well-deserved recognition.

Charles Bird has been working in the mines since June 1943 when he was 18 years old.

On Thursday, the United Mine Workers of America gave him his 80-year pin.

Bird took a brief break to fight in World War II, but he returned to the job after completing his service in 1946.

“Don’t ever let your kid go into a coal mine one time,” Bird said. “He’ll be a coal miner. He can’t stay out. It’s a challenge. Your buddies at coal mines, I worked at that section for I don’t know how long. We’re just like a bunch of brothers.

Bird attributed his long career to always having high-quality medical care.