Arlington National Cemetery, VA – Green Berets, assigned to 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), assisted Soldiers of The Old Guard with rendering honors to Medal of Honor recipient, Command Sgt. Maj. (Retired) Bennie G. Adkins, at Arlington National Cemetery, 16 Dec.
Adkins died in April at the age of 86 in Opelika, AL from complications with COVID-19 after a 23-day battle against the virus.
Green Berets of The Legion, escorted CSM(R) Adkins and members of his family, from Opelika, AL to the Arlington National Cemetery. The Soldiers also assisted with the dignified transfers on and off Adkins’ honor flight to his final resting place.
“The experience was an absolute honor,” said MSG Kevin, a Green Beret with 5th SFG(A). “At 5th SFG(A), we are standing on the shoulders of giants when it comes to those in the past that have paved the way forward for this country and [The Legion]. Adkins was one of those giants. There is not much that I can say other than it was a true honor and privilege to act as a small part in escorting a warrior like him to his final resting place.”
Command Sgt. Major (R) Adkins, is considered an Army legend, surviving three combat tours in Vietnam, as a Green Beret. In September of 2014, he was finally awarded the nation’s highest award for valor, by President Obama in recognition of his actions in Vietnam 48 years earlier. During a thirty-eight-hour battle, and forty-eight hours of escape and evasion in 1966, Adkins battled against machine-gun fire, mortars, small-arms fire, grenades and more.
Adkins’ medal citation states that, “It is estimated that he killed between 135 and 175 of the enemy, while sustaining eighteen different wounds to his body.”
Following his Military service, Adkins earned a bachelor’s degree, and two master’s degrees, which inspired him to start the Bennie Adkins Foundation which continues to support transitioning Green Berets with college scholarships.
Adkins is preceded in death by his wife Mary, who passed in 2019. He is survived by a daughter, two sons, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, the foundation said in a statement.
Adkins’ legacy will live on through the work of the Bennie Adkins Foundation, the foundation stated in a Facebook post.