Bennie Adkins, who earned the Medal of Honor in 2014 for his service in Vietnam, died today of COVID-19 complications, according to a post on the Bennie Adkins Foundation Facebook page.
“We are deeply saddened to notify you that after a courageous battle with COVID-19, Command Sergeant Major Bennie G. Adkins departed this life today, with beloved family at his bedside,” the Facebook post says.
Adkins was 86 years old and a resident of Opelika.
The post goes on to describe Adkins’ military career, including being awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
“A native of Waurika, Oklahoma, Adkins served more than 20 years in the U.S. Army, over 13 of those years spent as a Green Beret in 7th, 3rd, 6th and 5th Special Forces Groups. He deployed to Vietnam three times, his heroic efforts in one 1966 battle later recognized in 2014 with the awarding of the Congressional Medal of Honor,” the post states.
During the Vietnam War, Adkins ran through enemy fire as he rescued injured comrades in 1966.
After the Battle of Camp A Shau, Adkins and fellow troops fled into the jungle to evacuate but were pursued by North Vietnamese soldiers, according to a previous article from The Plainsman. Then, a tiger came to their rescue.
Sign up for our newsletter
Get The Plainsman straight to your inbox.
“We were in the jungle, and the North Vietnamese soldiers that had us surrounded were more afraid of the tiger than us, so they backed off and gave us room to get away,” Adkins told The Plainsman in April 2019.
The Bennie Adkins Foundation raises money to support special forces units as they reenter civilian life. Adkins raised money for the Foundation by traveling around the country giving lectures about his career. He also donates his share of profits from his book sales.
He is preceded in death by his wife, Mary Adkins, and is survived by daughter Mary Ann Adkins Blake (David), sons Michael Adkins (Christine) and W. Keith Adkins (Jaime), as well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Do you like this story? The Plainsman doesn't accept money from tuition or student fees, and we don't charge a subscription fee. But you can donate to support The Plainsman.Support The Plainsman