We mourn the loss and celebrate the life of Bennie G. Adkins, a beloved father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, who departed us on April 17, 2020. He is preceded in death by his wife, Mary Adkins, sons Dennis Adkins and Wayne Adkins, and survived by daughter, Mary Ann Adkins Blake (David), and sons Michael Adkins (Christine) and W. Keith Adkins (Jaime), brothers Gerrol Adkins (June) and Jim Adkins (Katie), as well as, many grandchildren and great grandchildren, extended family, and family friend Janice.
A native of Waurika, Oklahoma, and longtime resident of Opelika, Alabama, Bennie 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. His Medal of Honor citation in part reads:
“During the thirty-eight hour battle and forty-eight hours of escape and evasion, fighting with mortars, machine guns, recoilless rifles, small arms, and hand grenades, it was estimated that Sergeant First Class Adkins killed between 135 and 175 of the enemy while sustaining eighteen different wounds to his body.”
“Sergeant First Class Adkins’ extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, Detachment A-102, 5th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces and the United States Army.”
Following retirement in 1978 at the rank of Command Sergeant Major, he went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree and two Master’s degrees from Troy University, later building an accounting firm in Auburn, which he headed for 22 years until the time of his retirement.
In 2017, he established The Bennie Adkins Foundation, with the mission of providing educational scholarships to Special Forces soldiers. Honoring Command Sergeant Major Adkins’ commitment to service, education, and to his Special Forces brethren, his eponymous foundation aims “to reward deserving soldiers who have demonstrated the courage, sacrifice, and patriotism inherent in the Special Forces, and aid them as they continue trying to improve themselves through education.”
Funeral arrangements/memorial service will be determined at a later date. Final internment will be in Arlington National Cemetery with Mary. In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully asks for consideration of a donation made toward his legacy through www.bennieadkinsfoundation.org.
Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home and Crematory.
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