MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie G. Adkins (Retired), an Opelika resident, will be awarded the Medal of Honor from President Obama in a ceremony to be held on September 15th at the White House.
The Medal of Honor is awarded to Veterans for uncommon valor in the service of our nation during previous military conflicts. It is traditionally awarded within three years of the act of bravery, but upon learning about Mr. Adkins' amazing story on the battlefield, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-District 3) worked over the past year to help shepherd legislation through Congress to waive the time requirement.
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.
Drafted at age 22, Adkins was deployed to Vietnam 3 times between 1963 and 1971. He retired from the Army in 1978.
"Mr. Adkins is a true American hero who served his country in Vietnam," said Congressman Rogers. "His acts of heroism during his tour of duty earned him our nation's highest honor, which he has long deserved. I congratulate Mr. Adkins on this honor and thank him for his bravery, sacrifice and service to our nation."
In addition to the Medal of Honor, Adkins has also been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star Medal, two Bronze Star Medals, the Purple Heart with four Oak Leaf clusters, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm, the Vietnamese Croix de Guerre, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Special Forces Tab, the Master Parachutist Badge, two foreign parachutist badges and 22 service medals. [Source: SOC.mil]
Both Adkins and his wife of 59 years, Mary Adkins, will be in attendence at the White House when he his honored.