The Bayonet

Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014

Local resident to receive Medal of Honor Sept. 15

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President Barack Obama will present the Medal of Honor to Opelika, Alabama, resident and retired Army Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie G. Adkins Sept. 15 at the White House.

Adkins distinguished himself during 38 hours of close-combat fighting and 48-hours of escape and evasion against enemy forces, March 9-12, 1966. He will receive the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions while serving as an Intelligence sergeant with Detachment A-102, 5th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces at Camp A Shau, in the Republic of Vietnam.

Adkins was drafted into the Army in 1956, at the age of 22. He served in the 2nd Infantry Division until leaving to join Special Forces in 1961.

He deployed to Vietnam three times between February 1963 and December 1971.

The actions for which he will receive the Medal of Honor took place during his second tour.

After Vietnam, Adkins served approximately two years as a first sergeant for the Army Garrison Communications Command at Fort Huachuca, Arizona.

He then joined Class No. 3 of the Army Sergeants Major Academy in El Paso, Texas. After graduation, he served with Special Forces at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and then led training at Fort Sherman's Jungle School in the Panama Canal Zone. He retired from the Army in 1978.

Adkins and his wife of 59 years, Mary Adkins, currently reside in Opelika. They will both attend the Medal of Honor ceremony at the White House in September.

Please visit http://www.army.mil/medalofhonor/adkins for more information on Adkins' Medal of Honor.

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