This Medal of Honor recipient just turned 82. You’ll be stunned by what he did in Vietnam.


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This article was originally published on Yellow Hammer News and is written by .

Bennie Adkins turned 82 on Feb. 1. Exactly 50 years ago, Mr. Adkins was in the jungles of Vietnam. He returned to the United States a legend among Army Rangers, and almost a half-century later was awarded the Medal of Honor for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty during the Vietnam War.i

So numerous and heroic were Adkins’ battlefield exploits that President Obama started his remarks at the White House Medal of Honor ceremony by saying that there was no way there would be enough time to describe them all. At another point he paused to simply say, “you can’t make this stuff up.”

Here’s a lightly edited transcript of the official citation, which details a portion of Adkins’ incredible story:

When Adkins’ camp was attacked by a large North Vietnamese and Viet Cong force in the early morning hours of March 9, 1966, Sergeant First Class Adkins rushed through intense enemy fire and manned a mortar position continually adjusting fire for the camp, despite incurring wounds as the mortar pit received several direct hits from enemy mortars.

Upon learning that several soldiers were wounded near the center of camp, he temporarily turned the mortar over to another soldier, ran through exploding mortar rounds and dragged several comrades to safety. As the hostile fire subsided, Adkins exposed himself to sporadic sniper fire while carrying his wounded comrades to the camp dispensary.

When Adkins and his group of defenders came under heavy small arms fire from members of the Civilian Irregular Defense Group that had defected to fight with the North Vietnamese, he maneuvered outside the camp to evacuate a seriously wounded American and draw fire all the while successfully covering the rescue.

When a resupply air drop landed outside of the camp perimeter, Adkins, again, moved outside of the camp walls to retrieve the much needed supplies.

During the early morning hours of March 10, 1966, enemy forces launched their main attack and within two hours, Adkins was the only man firing a mortar weapon. When all mortar rounds were expended, Adkins began placing effective recoilless rifle fire upon enemy positions. Despite receiving additional wounds from enemy rounds exploding on his position, Adkins fought off intense waves of attacking Viet Cong.

Adkins eliminated numerous insurgents with small arms fire after withdrawing to a communications bunker with several soldiers. Running extremely low on ammunition, he returned to the mortar pit, gathered vital ammunition and ran through intense fire back to the bunker. After being ordered to evacuate the camp, Adkins and a small group of soldiers destroyed all signal equipment and classified documents, dug their way out of the rear of the bunker, and fought their way out of the camp.

While carrying a wounded soldier to the extraction point he learned that the last helicopter had already departed. Adkins led the group while evading the enemy until they were rescued by helicopter on March 12, 1966.

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 Adkins killed between 135 and 175 of the enemy while sustaining eighteen different wounds to his body.

When that last line was read aloud, there was a collective, audible gasp throughout the assembled crowd of friends, family, press and members of the military in the East Room of the White House.

Every member of Adkins’ unit was either killed or wounded during the 48-hour ordeal detailed above. Two of the men he saved were able to attend the event. After the ceremony, Adkins’ thoughts quickly turned to the other heroes with whom he served.

“This Medal of Honor belongs to the other 16 Special Forces soldiers with me,” he said.

President Barack Obama awards the Medal of Honor to Army Command Sergeant Major Bennie G. Adkins in a ceremony at the White House Sept. 15, 2014 (Photo: Cliff Sims)

President Barack Obama awards the Medal of Honor to Army Command Sergeant Major Bennie G. Adkins in a ceremony at the White House Sept. 15, 2014 (Photo: Cliff Sims)

Medal of Honor recommendations usually must be made within two years of the act of heroism and must be presented within three years. Adkins received his some 48 years after the fact.

So why did it take so long for Adkins to be recognized?

“In 2009, Command Sergeant Major Adkins’ family contacted my office and told us that they were going to try to get this wrong righted,” U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, Adkins’ congressman, told Yellowhammer.

From that moment forward, Rogers made it his personal mission to make sure Adkins received the honor he was due.

Rogers immediately moved for there to be a review of Adkins’ records. Fortunately, all of the documentation the Army compiled after Adkins’ heroic efforts — including first-hand accounts from American soldiers who are still alive — had been preserved by the Pentagon.

According to the documentation, Adkins was nominated for the Medal of Honor shortly after the battle by his chain of command. In doing that, his commanding officer, who was in the battle with him, wrote a five-page narrative detailing what had happened. The Army then took statements from every soldier who was with him and documented all of the communications that took place during the battle.

But as the recommendation worked its way up the chain of command to the general officer level, they inexplicably decided Adkins’ actions merited the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation’s second highest military honor, rather than the Medal of Honor.

When Congressman Rogers’ office started pushing for the Army to revisit Adkins’ story, there was a treasure trove of original battlefield information still intact.

Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie G. Adkins participating in a press conference just after receiving the Medal of Honor at the White House, Sept. 15, 2014. (Photo: Staff Sgt. Bernardo Fuller)

Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie G. Adkins participating in a press conference just after receiving the Medal of Honor at the White House, Sept. 15, 2014. (Photo: Staff Sgt. Bernardo Fuller)

“You’ve got to get the documentation that supports the review,” Rogers said, explaining the process. “Then the Secretary of Defense has to review it and decide that he would like to see it recommended to the president. After that happened, we had to go back and get an exception to the law, which says that the Medal of Honor must be awarded within three years of the event. So we had to get Congress to pass a law to say this deserves an exception.”

Rogers lobbied his colleagues incessantly.

“There was a lot of resistance, surprisingly,” he said. “But one thing that really helped was that Secretary (of Defense) Hagel was asking for this. He had reviewed it and felt like it was an injustice that needed to be remedied. It finally got passed, but it took several months.”

In addition to lobbying Congress, Rogers also had to make his case to the White House, who would not normally be receptive to the requests of a Republican congressman from Alabama.

“We spent several months pestering the president’s office,” Rogers laughed. “Fortunately they did the right thing.”

“Sometimes even the most extraordinary stories can get lost in the fog of war or the passage of time,” President Obama said. “When new evidence comes to light, certain actions can be reconsidered for this honor, and it is entirely right and proper that we have done so.”

As for the reason why Adkins and other deserving soldiers were not properly honored initially upon their return, Rogers said he was not exactly sure, but believes it could have been a combination of the post-war political climate, as well as prejudice.

“There were clearly some prejudices involved when you look at who was and wasn’t recognized after Vietnam,” he said. “Some folks were of a different race, some folks were a certain religion, and some folks were from the South. So there was some of that involved. It may have been because Bennie was a southern boy. You never know.”

In late September of 2014, all of the efforts of Adkins’ family and Rogers’ office came to fruition. Four of the five living men whose lives were saved by Adkins between March 9 and March 12, 1966 joined him at the White House in a scene that had been a half-century in the making.

Adkins, who usually walks with a cane, rose unassisted and stood at attention as the President of the United States bestowed upon him his nation’s highest military honor. Adkins’ chin quivered ever so slightly as President Obama placed the medal around his neck. His wife of 60 years, Mary, beamed with pride on the front row, smiling as she wiped tears from her eyes.

Adkins snapped off a perfectly formed salute to the crowd before exiting the stage.

“This Medal of Honor belongs to the other 16 Special Forces soldiers with me,” he would later say with genuine humility.

And as the Army Chaplain led the audience in a closing prayer, Bennie G. Adkins of Opelika, Ala., stood once more to honor the One who had always been with him, from the jungles of Vietnam to the East Room of the White House and everywhere in between.


About the author:  This article was written by and was originally published on Yellow Hammer News.

Author

VAntagePoint Contributor

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Comments

  1. Dan Crocker    

    There should NEVER be a time limit to honor and recognize those who commit selfless acts of courage in total disregard for their own personal safety.

    1. John Rice    

      You are 100 percent right!

    2. john    

      NICE, BUT NOT ALL ARE RECOGNISED , IN VIET NAM AT 3 AM NEAR THE DOG TRACK AT TET OFFENSIVE EVERYONE i WAS IN TOWN WITH WAS KILLED BY GUNFIRE ON THE STREET, i WAS SHOT 2 TIMES, AND ENDED UP SHOOTING AN ABANDONED MACHINE GUN FOR 5 HOURS AT THE BRIDGE. MY WOUNDS WERE MINOR SO WHEN IT WAS OVER i FOUND A JEEP AND DRIVE BACK TO BIEN HOA WHERE THEY WERE UNDERSTOOD FROM TOWN, i CRASHED THE JEEP THRU THE BARBWIRE AT THE GATE AND BAILED INTO THE GUARD SHACK. THE JEEP WAS RIDDLED BUT i WAS OK. AFTER 3 HOURS IN GUARD HUT IT STOPPED, i WENT BACK TO HOOCH AND FOUND ALL THE REST OF MY CO WORKERS DEAD. LEFT ON HOSPITAL PLAANE TO TOYOKO. THEN TO OAKLAND, NO ONE EVER ASKED ME ANYTHING ABOUT IT/.

      1. Thomas Sawyer    

        Not all acts of bravery are or can be recognized. Doing so will take away the honor of receiving them. That said, this is unfortunate for you. It may not mean much coming from me, but thank you from the bottom of my heart for your sacrifice and for giving so much to serve and protect our country. Too many acts such as yours go unrecognized. It’s an injustice. Sir. Thank you for your service!

        1. Sp4 judkins    

          What a [redacted] 5 hrs in a bunker firing 50 or 60 that much ammo or no resupply and no barrel change. No bridge near the race track . You call other troops co workers ,you can’t spell and a liar
          Your one of those stolen valor they write about guard shack guard hut. At least use a dictionary for your lies and misspelling

          Editor’s note: Portions of this comments were redacted by Vantage Point staff per VA’s social media policy.

      2. Ben Thomas    

        John the “Vietnam Vet”

        Your “co-workers”????? Since when has the military ever used that term??? What unit were you with?

    3. judith hansen    

      I know these were such acts of personal bravery. BUT it breaks my heart to read the number of Vietnamese killed.
      It was their country. We were the invaders. It was wrong.
      Iraq was wrong and yet so many good and innocent Americans also died.
      We have GOT to stop our killing outside our country and secure our boarders, make sure that Americans are safe with good lives here and know the domino theory that we believed in caused so much destruction to not only us, but also to Vietnamese and Cambodian human beings.
      The killing is not to be celebrated.

      1. JustSayNo    

        I am not sure where you see killing is being “celebrated,” and, of course, it should not be. Yes, we must stop killing outside our country (anywhere) unless we are truly up against an obvious national security threat. Killing must never be celebrated. Those who advocate war based on contrived or false information must be prosecuted. Of course this would mean several presidents, including the current one, would have to be prosecuted, plus legions of their water carriers, staff members and confidants, PLUS any number of military and political actors. Ideally such prosecutions should take place, but they never will take place. The world is chock full of war criminals. Few are ever brought to justice.

        1. Carrie    

          I am a veteran and come from a family of 5 children of whom 3 are veterans. There is never a celebration of taking a life. When you enter you take a vow to uphold the Constitution first and the president(Commander in Chief), second. When orders are issued to see battle you go there and do what you can to survive until you are safe again. I thoroughly believe everyone should serve at least 2 years so they have their head on straight for what it takes to live in FREEDOM and the sacrifices that are made by not only individuals but families as well. Our Patriotism has been lost somewhere along the way. Whatever a person believes our soldiers are someone’s child and we need to remember that. My 17 year old daughter decided to go into the Air Force because she has always wanted to help people. She says if anything ever happens to her she has the best uniform on. That is Patriotism and the fight and the belief that no matter what you are doing th right thing for your country. Keep our military in your prayers!

        2. P. T. Spence    

          KILLING is not celebrated, it’s the acts of OUR FINE military personnel that is being celebrated. Vietnam era soldiers were NEVER given their proper welcome home, they were spit upon, hated and still kept their cool as they returned from a ‘WAR’ that never should have been fought in the first place. They came and attempted to win a ‘WAR’ that, like Korea, was NOT allowed to be fought! There should never be a ‘Time Limit’ placed on our American Hero’s whether or not it was a just War. God bless all of them and remember 1 thing; NO VETERANS NO U.S.A.!

        3. Larry Nighswander    

          To just say no. I’m a Viet Nam veteran and if you can’t use your real name to post a comment on this, it really shows how much courage you don’t have. It’s easy to criticize when you weren’t there and experience what I did. That is your right to do so and I would fight anyone who would try to take away your rights, however maybe you should consider what you are going to say before you say it.

      2. Informed Voter    

        Well, you were obviously not ever in combat. While others can feel sorry for the dead on the perceived enemy side, it is a whole lot different when those who died for other side are trying to kill you!

      3. Douglas Garst    

        It is sad that you was never in a “life or death” situation such as Sergeant First Class Adkins, now Command Sergeant Major Adkins. What in the heck did you expect Adkins to do, stand-up and surrender? If you want to blame someone for the killing then blame President Johnson and Congress at the time that entered American Fighting Forces into Vietnam. At the time Adkins was “fighting for his life and the lives of his unit”, so knock off the sympathy for the Vietnamese that was trying to kill Americans. Again, it is to bad that you was not in Adkins boots at the time.

      4. Bike Mann    

        So when the time arrives to present & finally honor the living (as the majority of Med.of Hon. winners are usually long last dead) we should wait for a pres. who had past military service to present it!!?? Honor the person! If matters not who gives it.

      5. Patrick Miola    

        How about the villages that the VC and NVA wiped out because the villagers wanted to remain neutral, be left alone and tend to their fields? Atrocities were committed by both sides. But you don’t seem to have anything to say about what Charlie did. I served in 69 and 70 and I seen what they where capable of. Maybe you should see for your self. You would never be the same.

      6. Reed Webber    

        I celebrate killing the enemy every day! You see, no matter what YOUR beliefs are, those that want to killing Americans WILL! Don’t you dare think that they won’t! I have seen kids that were barely a teenager, willingly strap explosives on themselves just to killing the “Infidels”! Don’t be stupid, celebrating killing is because I AM alive. Not those trying to harm me. No, they are cold and in the ground. I have been in Iraq AND Afghanistan. I received a Purple Heart as well as an Army Commendation Medal for Valor. We were needed in Iraq and Afghanistan!

        The CMoH is not awarded to “celebrate killing,” it’s award d to recognize the living.

      7. Alonzo Jacobs    

        As a ’69-70 Nam Vet with 1st Marine Div, 1st Tanks Bn I can personally attest that IF the ARVN soldiers stood up and did the JOB they should’ve done for THEIR country maybe not as many Vietnamese and American GI lives would have been lost. The ARVN were subject to corruption that was rife in their ranks from top to bottom. They were more concerned with goods from the “BIG PX” that the US represented to them than they were with procuring their Liberty that “supposedly many of them wanted”. Sure there were some brave ARVNs, mostly in the elite, highly motivated ARVN units. But during “Vietnamization” of the war, many ARVNs showed that their true colors were “(redacted) chicken (redacted)” as they were, scared and would drop their weapons, uniforms and loyalty and “di-di ed” to the other side.
        When Kuwait was invaded, most of the Kuwaiti men were seen streaming away from the battle in their Benzs and BMWs coz they knew “the “Amelicans” yes, the Amelicans were coming. So the GI gets taken for granted, US Aid and Assistance gets abused and wasted as again those we’re willing to help do not take the brunt of the battle on, instead they’ll drop or abandon their US provided weapons and leave us on their battlefields.
        Shame on us for trusting many of those we’re sent to HELP!

      8. Jody    

        You are an Animal – just like all humans. Killing each other isn’t a good thing BUT , it is part of All our natural being. Take a break from the ‘Bleeding Heart Society ‘ and realize (possably with a good long effort ) that you really “Don’t have a Clue about that time period or How The World Was and Still Is and Will Always Be”!
        KNOWLEDGE alone WILL GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR BUTT!

    4. David J    

      It is outrageous that politics would play a role whether someone as heroic as Bennie Adkins would have to wait almost a half a century to be noted for his bravery. As stated by others, there should never be a time limit on the recognition of such heroic acts. In a war where the entire country was against the establishment in our political system there were those brave men and women who answered the call and gave sacrifice. This country needs to reevaluate the entire Veteran system. and under circumstances ever let private enterprise become a part of this. every day shou ld be Veterans Days!

      1. Carrie    

        I agree! Burn a green light every day for a Veteran. I see them around my neighborhood we can see them but they don’t know who we are. It’s the recognition that is comforting.

    5. David Dunlap    

      God bless him! no excuse for waiting that long, none whatsoever! But at least he was finally honored while alive!!!

    6. Lloyd King    

      My comment focuses on the man of honor, unlimited courage, tenacious loyalty, and a completely self sacrificing nature. He humbly refused to call attention to himself. He did what he did for God, country, and comrades! He is the rarest of individuals and is more that deserving of our nation’s highest honor!

    7. Dennis Coffman    

      I am glad that someone took the time to make this happen. CSM Adkins highly deserved this honor but I am also proud that he acknowledged his comrades as well. And also something that this article mentions is that CSM Adkins rose to acknowledge that fact that it was God that protected him not only through that time but all of his life. No one should glorify killing and I think CSM Adkins would agree. He did what he did for others and not for himself. He followed in the footsteps of the One who he trusts. Jesus Christ gave His all for others. That is what a good soldier does as well. We have wars because we have an enemy who is out to get all he can before his time comes. Understand that the greatest war is the spiritual battle that goes on that no one sees. I believe that CSM Adkins understands that as well. I am proud to be a veteran of Viet Nam and a retired CSM as well. I thank God for our military and men like CSM Adkins who were and are willing to pay the ultimate price just as did another One for us over 2000 years ago.

    8. Paul Ingebretson    

      Well done to step up and right a wrong……. and he looked so proud good job

  2. channing l kimbrough    

    That sure was a touching story. I always stand in the bright FL sun and wonder looking at areas that remind me of that country and think about how anyone can even live there let alone have fought in combat.

  3. JOe    

    having obummer present it pretty much sours the whole deal.

    1. mark    

      you are and arse hole…………….. freaking racist pig… president Obama is the commander in chief. George[redacted] bush and [redacted] cheney would of been a sour note…….. both started a war for their own amusement.. and over 4000 of our military has been killed because of these two and Rumsfeld…….. all are real pigs that were in charge of this nation and should be bought up for war crimes…..and given a hanging by a cour matial………….and you stating against the president. [redacted]

      Note: Portions of this comment have been edited by the Vantage Point staff per the VA Social Media Policy

      1. ROBERT EMBRY    

        mark, you had better hope we don’t meet!
        congratulations atkins. i’m proud of you and my other service brothers!

      2. William Wells    

        What a unmilitary dumbass you are.

    2. Orlando Solis    

      Your silly comment should have been kept to yourself.

    3. John McKenzie    

      How little of you to state that. rRgardless of who holds the office, the POTUS is the Commander in Chief.

      President Obama is proud to present this award to the service members to whom it is being awarded.

    4. Barack Bee    

      You made this story sour for me.
      There is a time to speak and a time to keep your pie hole closed.

    5. Darrell Brown    

      You’re a DISRESPECTFUL [redacted]!!! This is NOT the proper stage to spew your vile opinion and detract from the story itself. Try doing something positive in your life/career, EARN an award as prestigious as the MOH and you won’t give a damn who presents it to you…that is unless – nevermind, you wouldn’t understand.

      Darrell L. Brown
      MSgt. USMC (Ret)
      Combat Veteran

      Note: A portion of this comment was redacted per the VA social media policy.

    6. Bryan Bevill    

      “having obummer present——-” Get a grip on yourself. You need to appreciate the good in the world without finding a need to politicalize your opinion.

    7. Gordo    

      Joe, you are a disgusting, illiterate fool.

      1. Joseph Quinn    

        Thank you CSM Adkins. You are indeed a truly heroic Soldier. I am glad you finally received this high honor. Your comment that your medal belonged to all those that served with you that day admirably reflects on your humility in service as well as those soldier’s great bravery and sacrifices in battle. I salute you sir. You are a great American Hero. JOSEPH D QUINN, LTC U.S. Army (ret)

    8. Dennis Evans    

      Precisely!! Honors like this should NEVER be presented by Non military serving politicians.

      1. Dennis Evans    

        There is another American Hero awaiting Medal of Honor recognition. For, approximately 46 years, Sgt. Ed Eaton’s actions in Vietnam, in April 1969, have gone unrecognized. His story was told on the history channel years ago, his commanding officer, then Capt. Mike Perkins, turned in paperwork back when it happened and his recommendation just disappeared. It is a MAJOR embarrassment for a country to not honor it’s Heroes! Why should anyone have to be subjected to the ignorance of our government? It would be the honorable thing to do by getting the MOH to Ed Eaton, BEFORE he dies. If it ever happens, it would be the greatest opportunity for one of the lives Ed saved to present the Award to him, the, now retired, Maj Mike Perkins. Come on America, can we help our gov’t to recognize a, so far, living Hero?

        1. Bike Mann    

          So when the time arrives to present & finally honor the living (as the majority of Med.of Hon. winners are usually long last dead) we should wait for a pres. who had past military service to present it!!?? Honor the person! If matters not who gives it.

    9. the MARTIAN    

      u sir have a big mouth and should be deleted
      U have comments that takes away from this solemn event, shame on your mouth ! ! !

    10. Richard Heneghan    

      Such a sorry attitude. I am so story for you.

    11. Thomas Sawyer    

      FYI. According the Article II, Section 2, Clause I of the Constitution of the USA, the President is the Commander in Chief. If you can’t respect the man, respect the position. I’m tired of the disrespect so many people in our Nation have for toward the Commander in Chief position. Disrespecting the position is like stomping on Old Glory. Shame on you, shame on us.

  4. timothy hooey    

    Good for you! there are more story’s out there and many will never be found.
    I wish you the best,GOD BLESS

    HOOT””71-72

    1. USN75-98    

      You are a Box of Rocks… This President has done more for us Vets .. Please do your homework before you open your mouth…
      GW Bush wanted to end VA care. He gave Walter Reed To Halliburton.. And that really screwed up our Combat Troops, Then De Funded The Va..
      This Republican Ted Cruz In his Budget wants to take Milterey Retirement away and End disability payments to the Troops…
      President Obama Tried to end the Disabled Veterns Tax .This one Kills me. I am Retired 20 plus active Duty and Rated 40% And I do not receive a full Retirement because I was hurt, and collect VA Rated Disability. .. The President tried to change the law only to be shut down by the Republicans in congress saying If we do this we will have to make cuts in VA and other programs. So more the corporations can get more welfare..

      1. allan scott    

        you need to go back and check your facts. for one, just why is it that under obie not one single va higher up has been fired over the waiting list scandal?

    2. Marty KEEF    

      Respect is EARNED, not commanded, nor granted. A Commander in Chief who demonstrates his contempt and lack of leadership and understanding of military service, is worthy of NONE. The political process for awarding higher medals is guaranteed to miss many deserving awards, and ignore others. As a Special Forces Officer, with Viet Nam service, I can tell you that every man in the group performed above and beyond routinely. We never expected, or desired rewards of any kind. However, SFC (now CSM) Bennie Adkins did his duty, FAR above and beyond his responsibilties, and the shame is that it took so long for the Regular Army Command structure to do THEIR duty. Congratulations, CSM Adkins. Well DONE.

  5. Steven W. Busby    

    You are truly a man I wish I could have had the pleasure to meet. I’m going though some severe cancer treatments and your courage and strength will be added to things I think about when I’m feeling low. Along with God, my family and your spirit I will continue to fight hard to win this battle. You deserve the Medal of Honor and so much more for your service to this great country of ours. Steven Busby, U.S. Army Ret

    7MP3

    1. Aleta Wilson    

      God Bless you Sir, and Thank you for your Service
      Aleta Wilson
      Veterans Widow

  6. Marilyn Everett    

    After reading all this it is clear this wonderful Veteran earned his medal without a doubt! What an outstanding and brave warrior he was while fighting for our country. I just reflect on the dates given how comfortable and happy I was here In America enjoying the freedom not even thinking of what was taking place in Vietnam with the warriors fighting for us. God Bless Mr. Atkins and others in his company that fought along side of him. I am, so, thankful to know that there is still good in our country when people like Mr. Atkins get his due reward in being recognized with such great honor for his giving of himself for his great service to our country.

  7. Jeffrey T. Bergey    

    Thank-you for your service Command Sergeant Major! You are truly an example of bravery and humility. It gives me the “God bumps” reading this and I would have been honored to serve along side of you! “Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless-Service, Honor, Integrity, Personal Courage” Hooah!!!

  8. Jon Paton    

    CSM Adkins thank you for your service!

    Was that Alabama Mike Rogers or Michigan Mike Rogers?

    1. randy sivley    

      Alabama, ROLL TIDE, Mike Rodgers. Good job Honorable Sir.

    2. Ned Kelley    

      Congratulations CSM Adkins! Well deserved (and much overdue) recognition for your bravery and heroism!

      I like the “God bumps” Mr Bergey. It is better that goose bumps 🙂

      Ned H. Kelley JR
      MSG; U.S. Army (Retired)

    3. Melanie Clark    

      Read the article. Alabama.

    4. Barbara Brennan    

      I was wondering if it was the Mike Rogers from my great state of Michigan as well.

  9. Calvin Gotts    

    I had the pleasure of meeting this person CSM Atkins last year in Oct. at our NCO reunion at Ft.
    Benning in the Infanty museum, located just out side the gate to the Post. He was our guest speaker. I had shaken his hand, telling him what a great person he was and thank him for his service to our country.

  10. condell clements    

    The delay in awarding deserved honors is because of politics, there can never be anyone who deserves recognition more than someone or anyone who is not o political animal.

  11. Clifton R. Billings    

    “Well done, good and faithful servant!”-Matthew 25:21 Thank you!

  12. Moshe Golden    

    This needs to become a movie while he is still alive.

    1. DCMcConn    

      I believe there was one made in the late 60’s or early 70’s. The Seige of Firebase Gloria?

  13. Dave Parr    

    Being a Vietnam Era Corpsman, it makes me proud to see such an injustice righted. May we never forget these heros.

  14. John Bolthouse    

    And CSM Adkins never complained. A true Badass. I salute you.

  15. John Sepulveda    

    Sir I to, stand in line to Salute you Mr.Atkins. I’m a viet vet; of three combat tours of nom. 1966 – 1970
    Petty officer 3rd class.

  16. Wayne Carlson    

    Wow. Duty, Honor, Country to the nth degree1 CONGRATULATIONS!

  17. James R. Holt Jr.    

    It seems to me like CSM Adkins stood in hell more than once why wasn’t he awarded oak leave clusters for each act of conspicuous gallantry above and beyond the call of duty?

  18. John Sepulveda    

    I to stand in line, to salute you Sir Adkins.Congrades on your just deserved awards. Former viet Vet, three combat tours.
    Petty Officer 3rd Class 1966 – 1970

  19. Cornelius Donnely    

    As was stated in previous comments , there are far more like CSM Adkins who had a lesser award ad their names will never be heard !!

    Many of the rear area reviewers had their own career
    Goals and aspirations in mind and it affected the level of awards as well as the amount of awards !!
    The unsung heroes are still waiting . Many Privates and Corporals who faced the first wave and protected their buddies has as much right tonthrvhighedt awards ! Instead that received a commendation medal and it was pinned on their chest in the morgue before shipped home !!

  20. David Knight    

    My hero! Thank you for your service and bravery.
    David, USAF Ret

  21. godsbiker    

    Over 250 Medals Of Honor awarded in Vietnam, less than 15 in Afghanistan/Iran.

    You tell me where the Heroes were.

    1. DCMcConn    

      Are you implying Afghan and IRAQ Vets weren’t as brave?

  22. Barbara Milloy    

    I am so happy to read this article and learn of the heroic efforts of Command Sergeant Major Adkins during the Vietnam War. I am only sorry to see that it has taken all of these years to be recognized. Our veterans from the Vietnam war were not treated very well when they came home by our government , and its citizens. It is rewarding to see that Mr. Adkins has been acknowledged for his extraordinary courage in serving his country, saving his men, and fighting the enemy while sustaining many injuries. Congratulations.
    Mrs. Lee Milloy

  23. Bob Lynn Sr.    

    I was there in ’68-’69 but thankfully never had to experience what this man and his group did. Much respect to all!

  24. marc mercury    

    Yes thank you for your service and for you defending others. I was there in 68 69. PhuBai Bai.. thank God the One that was with you through it all was the One who is still with me today namely Jesus Christ. His death was many times over in fact it was for the whole world. Sincerely M Mercury.

  25. Paul T. Campos    

    I have a feeling, that if the President was to call Bennie and tell him that he has another job for him, Bennie would report to Washington, without saying anything, Bennie would pickup his orders and leave. I served in the Marine Corp 1966-1968, I was in Vietnam 1966-1967, I too was wounded, but even with all that we went through, all Bennie has to do is call me or pick me up and you won’t see us til the job is done. God bless you Bennie.

  26. Robert Angle    

    No human no authority except God would I let that fake president near me.

    1. Scott R. Newfer, J.D.    

      Your misguided belief concerning the status of the POTUS is irrelevant to his righting the wrong done to CSM Adkins. He is our Commander in Chief and President whether you like him or not, and I agree with actions even though I’m not a member of his party. Sir, get over your hatred of the man and respect his position. Veterans know that you may not have have confidence in the man wearing the uniform, but you still respected his rank.

      Sargent (Cold War, forward deployed on the IGB 1984-1988, recalled for Gulf War I, but not deployed).

  27. Peter Garland    

    Will you people never learn? To call a man “humble” is condescending in the extreme. It is insulting. The writer of this article is probably not even a combat veteran. Whoever you are, please learn the difference between modest and humble. I hope this hero is not humble, that would seem like an oxymoron. In our society we consider modesty a manly virtue. Humility if for slaves.

  28. Frank D Cramer    

    The reading of this story stirs the imagination and emotions as once again we are reminded how truly blessed we are as a nation to have the courageous men and women of our US Armed Forces protecting ourselves and our families. Acts of heroism as demonstrated by the Command Sergeant Major are why this country will always lead the way for those that are less fortunate around the world, and with very little thanks in return other than those bestowed ourselves by a grateful nation. God has truly blessed us with citizens like that of CSM ADKINS. Army all the way!

  29. Gary Brucoleri    

    CSM Adkins You are a true American hero. GOD BLESS YOU.

  30. Terrence O'Culligan    

    Thank you Representative Rogers for doing the right thing. The gutless people who denied this self-sacrificing man the Honor he so truly deserved should be ashamed of themselves. My tours would have been much harder had not CMS Adkins – another Southern boy – not stood so tall. Our nation will forever be in your debt.

  31. Sheridan Peterson    

    I’m a world War II Marine Corps veteran but I was also USAID Refugee Adviser in the Vietnam Mekong Delta. I know first hand that the Vietnam War is genocide. We killed three and a half million Vietnamese – poor peasants living in thatched huts with hardly enough to eat. I saw time and time again these poor impoverished people burned alive by napalm and most horribly white phosphorus that goes right to the bone. You can’t begin to imagine the agony this inflicts. Carpet bombing by B-52 with tons and tons of bombs destroying vast forests forever. And the deadly dioxin Agent Orange. Horribly deformed infants are being born that this very moment 40 years after we left. And what are we doing about it? Nothing. Every American should hang their head in shame. Why in the hell were we their? Why?

    1. DCMcConn    

      This isn’t the place for this type of comment. Stick to the story, honor the man and then shut it..

    2. Elisabeth Denaro    

      Sheridan. I don’t know what you were smoking in Vietnam but I had men from my family that served tours – two of them, Berets – served 3 tours- and your ridicules statement that all they encountered were innocent villagers is beyond belief. Our men didn’t sustain their wounds from sticks and stones! The horrific memories they live with to this day were not from watching scary movies.
      My question is this – Why, after all these years, are you still trying to debase our troops?? They were AMERICANS who heard the call of their government, answered it and did what was asked of them. They fought a culture that was every bit – or more-so – as devious, ruthless, and vicious as the Demons in the Middle East we are dealing with today. How dare you! How dare you speak so derogatorily about our men and women that have had to live with the memories of that Hell Hole for decades! Save your condemnation for the Presidents Kennedy and Johnson who got us into that war, not the patriots that gave up a job and family when sent there. Save your compassion for the men and women that you, and others, were able to hide behind when the going got tough. You went there too, remember,.. but THEY were the ones responsible for protecting YOUR ass. You need to go get a life.

  32. Tom Reilly    

    I hold a Bronze Star, two Purple Hearts, a Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Good Conduct medal. etc. from Vietnam. Some stories are so true that no one could possibly make them up, and yours is one of them, sir!! Still, I’ve come to believe that so many medals are earned but not received, at least initially as in your case. Maybe what finally counts is that in those moments when you’re all alone, YOU will always know what YOU did, medal or no medal. Maybe the real medals will always finally be the medals that you wear inside.–Tom Reilly

  33. James Duszynski    

    Welcome home brother and a JOB WELL DONE.

  34. Gabriel J Evan    

    I spent five extra says in Vietnam because the records were not kept right. When I processed out to return to the United States, a Second Lieutenant escorted me through the process all the way to the plane leaving Vietnam and stood at the stairs of the plane we got on to make sure I stayed in the plane.

  35. Ray Funderburk    

    Adkins, I was ambushed in Vietnam and it was my RANGER training that saved my life and the seven men with me. I remember standing in the Hand-to-Hand combat pit, dripping sweat and wiping saw dust out of my eyes as a tall sergeant on a platform said the following:

    “Men, if you ever get ambushed in combat, you might as well attack the enemy–cause YOU ARE PROBABLY GOING TO DIE, ANYWAY!

    Those words rang in my ears the day of the TET Offensive as we drove through a small village and got blasted by RPGs and snipers on the roof tops. I had my trusty M-79 grenade launcher and pouch of grenades, so I climbed up on a nearby roof top and got on the same level as the snipers. I would pop up, lob a grenade into a nearby window and drop back down as bullets splattered all around me. It wasn’t long until there were no more snipers.

    I climbed down off the roof and checked my men. We had several wounded, but the worst was my lieutenant who had taken a round in his hand and traveled all the way up his arm and exited out his back. He was losing blood and we couldn’t stop it.

    I looked up and saw a med-evac helicopter nearby and got on the emergency freq and called the pilot to come down and pick up my wounded. The pilot refused. “It’s too hot down there–too much firing.”

    I told the pilot…”I’ve got a 50 cal and if you don’t come down here and pick up my wounded, I will blow your ass out of the sky and we’ll all be here together.”

    “You’re serious, aren’t you?” he replied.

    “Damn straight, over.”

    He landed and we got our wounded out.

    I was wounded twice that day, but my men were wounded much worse, so I stayed and controlled the rest of the men.

    I got the Silver Star and two Purple Hearts. Also, my commanding general (I won’t mention his name) told me later he was putting me in for the Medal of Honor. Well, that never happened, but every time I see those men I saved (we gather every two years for a reunion) I know I got more than the MOH–I got to send my men back home to live the rest of their lives. That was my reward.

    Good job, Adkins.

    Sincerely,

    Raymond Funderburk
    LTC, U.S. Army
    Airborne Ranger

    1. KennyW    

      Thanks for your service and sacrifice!!

  36. ROY E. TOMS JR.    

    TRULY A GREAT TRIBUTE TO A MAN THAT DESERVE IT. ALL THOSE THAT FOUGHT IN THE “VIETNAM “THING” SHOULD BE HONORED FOR THEIR UNTOLD EXPERIENCES. ME… JUST DRAFTED, VIETNAM 66/67, 196TH LT.INF. 4/31 CO D “RECON” SGT. SMOT, JUST FILED MY LAST APPEAL WITH THE VA IN WASH. DC,… JUST A VA PAPER ERROR… BY THE VA… AND AS THEY JUST SAID “THANKS’ FOR YOUR SERVICE AND MAKE SURE YOU INCLUDE A CHECK FOR “$50 TO PROCESS YOUR FINAL APPEAL; “ONE THAT YOU WILL NEVER WIN”…. IT WAS JUST OUR ERROR…SORRRRRY… FOR SERVING YOUR COUNTRY####

  37. William Harold, Keen    

    Jealousy is what kept him from receiving this in a timely manner.

    NONE of the higher ranks could imagine themselves doing what he did so they denied his award.

    I am SO SORRY that he had to get it from the lowest class POTUS in US history. The POTUS should NEVER put his hands on a Medal of Honor! At least the Glory of the Medal will cleanse it of the filth of his hands.

  38. LYNN E. DICKERSON MSGT. (RET)    

    This is the type of person that has help make America great!!!… In spite of having to deal with sour notes and prejudices that people have brought into the mix of things. Keep moving with GOD, CSM Adkins.

  39. Bill Kandravi    

    Salute and only if Obama understood the terror that faces us all know would he be capable of letting our troops rid this World of the EVIL RADICAL ISLAMIC TERROR WHO HE PROTECTS. All wars have collateral damage but Obama lets that come to our HOMELAND, BACKWARDS OF WHAT ANY LEADER WOULD EVER DO. Obama can’t stop his old neighbors in Chicago from terrorizing and on a record murder spree of 2 murders a day since his election. Let the Medal of Honor Hero’s show Obama how to be a leader not a looser to terror, he has that down pretty good, ask the 4 killed from Obama and Hilary,s lapse of experience if they forgive the WHITE HOUSE. YOU CAN’T THEY ARE DEAD REMEMBER. SALUTE TO ALL USA MILITARY. Stop hindering the efforts of our Military current and Vets. Salute to all MEDAL HOLDERS as I am sure they would say it was the entire MILITARY WHO DESERVE HONOR!

    1. DCMcConn    

      What has this got to do with the story? Do you do that when talking to people face to face?

  40. Carl Pittman    

    A well deserved honor, Command Sgt. Major Adkins.
    B Co. 4th Med Bn, 4th Inf Div. RVN 1969-70

  41. Walt Boyd    

    Thanks for sharing your reflection Ms Everett. My sentiments exactly.

  42. Thomas Corbett, USMC    

    EVERY HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT SHOULD REQUIRED TO READ & DISCUSS THIS STORY OF COURAGE.

  43. Leon Suchorski    

    A we all knew back then, it was not only the civilians that were against us, but again we see that our own brass was against us.

  44. Michael Eakin    

    In a time of worshiping HEROES that are basketball players or Football players or Actors it is refreshing to show America what a real HERO is. It is time to let our youth know the difference between a HERO and a celebrity. May God bless you Command Sgt. Major.

  45. Troy Bieber    

    Dan Crocker, you are a [redacted]. It is taken out of context you idiot meaning he HAD to do it that way. Maybe you should serve instead of acting tough behind your keyboard. It might make you a person instead of a jerk to others who have fought to keep you safe at night.

    Note: A portion of this comment was redacted per the VA social media policy.

  46. Kathleen Coupland    

    Words can’t even express the feelings after reading this article. God Bless America and God Bless Mr. Adkins! Support our Troops; pray.

  47. Joseph Dominic Sanzo III    

    This excellent on Mr Bennie G. Adkins of Opelika, Ala. Thanks for the good work done, Joseph Dominic Sanzo III USN HAL3 Binnh Thuy, S. Vietnam Veteran too.

  48. Conrad Szablewski    

    THANK YOU Sergeant First Class Adkins !

    This is what America used to made of now we are down to Hillary Clinton !

  49. Louis Green    

    This is a true war hero and they don’t make like that anymore. Thanks Sir.

    1. JOHN J GARZI    

      YES, THEY DO………..

  50. KennyW    

    Well deserved! Thanks for your service, courage, bravery, and leadership! You make us all proud to have served and be Americans!

    Notice the lack of political rhetoric! Not the proper place or time!

  51. Robert Alcorn    

    VA.GOV IS ONE BIG JOKE……..VA.GOV LOOKS OUT FOR NUMBER ONE……THE SO CALLED GOVERNMENT OF OUR DISFUNCTIONAL COUNTRY……VETERANS ARE OUT THERE ON THEIR OWN

    1. Robert j polk    

      I have never had a problem with the Detroit VA. I have been taken care of very well. l served 39 months in Vietnam.

  52. Don Dagnan    

    If it were not for people like him. There would be no freedom for people like you. Don Dagnan – US Navy Seabee

  53. Joe Mercantile    

    thank you for defending our lives and liberties.

  54. Samuel Lee Jackson    

    We, need to be careful how judge people no- matter their race or gender, peace is what all people want people of all nations, we do not want war to hurt anyone but there are those that dictate violence for their selfish desires, that cause lives to be taken from us and these criminals are responsible for their deaths the blood is on there hands not ours. Color is not the issue the issue is greed and ignorance of those with the orthority to cause others to suffer for their selfish gains. And they call us stupid because we do not scream about everything they do, God is watching and they do have an appointment with him, so they will be judged, just like the ruler that kissed on Lazarus. Can I get a Amen!!!!!!

  55. Rick Murray    

    While I was in at the time I was never a hero. But I knew many whose stories will likely never be told. One friend whose family requested years ago not to spread his story for some reason, (matters not the reason but that the request be honored,) lost a foot after stepping on a mine, fell but continued to spread cover fire so his platoon could escape a company of NVM they happened across while on patrol. Mike’s body was recovered with over 50 rounds in it. All the rest escaped with only minor wounds. As far as I know Mike never received any more than a Purple Heart.

    Congratulations SGT Adkins! I am happy this medal was finally awarded and you received you proper due. There are so few who would do the same as you. It is soldiers like you that make me a very proud Veteran.

  56. Capt C.J.Swan USMCR    

    It is painful to read between the lines of comments on this brave hero’s ordeal.This country has a terrible racial overview.If you can’t say something positive keep your thoughts to yourself.

  57. Robert T Murphy Jr    

    Shame on all the political and “poor me” comments. The article was about CSM Adklns and the hell he went through. Thank you CSM Adkins and welcome home!

  58. Bill    

    Thank you for your bravery, sacrifices and exemplary service, CSM Adkins. –Lighting a candle for all who served or are serving and for those who didn’t make it home from Vietnam. May we never forget….
    BillW, USAF 72-78

  59. Carl D. Holstein    

    Words cannot describe the respect I have for Bennie Adkins; being a Vietnam Vet (infantry) I could only hope that if I had been put in that position that I would have reacted as SGT Adkins did; he is indeed a HERO of the highest caliber.

    Salute

    Dan Holstein

  60. William V Braniff    

    On October 10th, 1968, 1st Platoon of Alpha Company 2/12th Infantry, 25thID, was ambushed north of Trang Bang. One man was KIA instantly, his partner on flank security, SP 4 Gene Handrahan was seriously wounded and separatd from the Platoon. The platoon came under heavy attack from hidden VC positions. Handrahan through out the day was calling for help. It was believed later the VC were using him as bait, unknown to Handrahan. During the ensuing battle three men of the squad at separate times went to try and bring back Handrahn. All three were killed, including the squad leader. One of those men, PFC Michael Randall, who was the squad machine gunner, went to get Handrahan. On his first attempt he was wounded and his machine gun which he carried and fired into the enemy postion, was damaged from VC fire. He returned tyo his squad retrieved another weapon and again went to get Handrahan. On his second attempt, while wounded, Randall got the endemy machine gun and ambush position, but another VC MG position unknown to the men of first squad, opened fire. Randall was killed. Hisautopsy report stated he had been shot four times and bayonetted I think it was three of four time. All three of those men received DSC’s. I feel it was an injustice for Randall not to get the MOH. During that ambush five men were KIA and Hanbdrahan was and is MIA.

    Bill Braniff. former squad leader 1st Platoon.

  61. John Speckine    

    This note isn’t about me, but I thought a little background would be appropriate.

    My name is John Speckine. I’m a Disabled Vet, a former USAF SSgt injured training, we found out later, to set up mobile communications stations for Desert Storm. I’ve never been in combat and part of me feels like I let down myself and my country because of it — we were in a war and I was the right age (30), so I should have been there, injuries be damned. I couldn’t go in part because I was immediately rated by the VA as disabled. I’ve volunteered on multiple occasions since 2003 to go to either Iraq or Afghanistan. However, now being in my mid-50s and rated as “unemployable” by the VA, it’s not going to happen (although I can still shoot straight and would be happy to go if anyone can pull some strings).

    I was a little too young for Vietnam, but I remember it. I remember the Evening News showing the day’s statistics: Killed, Wounded and Missing. I remember my uncle Jim Anderson, my mother’s baby brother, leaving for the war and how upset she was. And I remember when she got a phone call one night and screamed – my uncle was in Seattle. He was home, but he’d wanted to surprise her so he never told her he was leaving Vietnam. She was happy, of course, but she was also ready to wring his neck. 🙂

    But mostly, I remember my cousin Dick Beatty. Cousin Dick is the reason for this note.

    Dick fought in Vietnam in the late-60s. I don’t have a clear recollection — I never even met him until his wedding after he came home (he lived in Nebraska and I lived in Michigan) — but I believe he was there in 1968/69. Here’s what I DO know:

    Dick is the hero of the family. As far as we’re concerned, he should have been awarded the MOH for his actions in Vietnam and this story of Command Sergeant Major Adkins has kind of lighted a fire in me to see if we can get this done.

    As the story was related to me by my father, Dick’s unit was ambushed on a patrol and he had his legs shot out from under him (doctors told him he would never walk again), but even with these severe wounds, Dick did what I now call a “Forrest Gump”. Dick couldn’t walk and he certainly couldn’t run, so he CRAWLED, under fire, back into the jungle several times to drag out wounded soldiers.

    That was the action that I believe should have been awarded the MOH. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, if I remember right (I’m writing this spur of the moment and have a LOT of research to do on the whole thing before I approach the government about the MOH).

    But here’s the final part of the story that tells you something about the kind of man Dick is:

    Dick is the nicest, most laid-back and soft-spoken guy you’d ever want to meet. You’d never guess he’d be the kind of guy who would crawl into a jungle to save other soldiers while under enemy fire.

    When Dick got married, he was still on crutches from his wounds. He stood at the altar during the ceremony on those crutches and then, after he kissed his new wife, he hobbled over to his mother (my father’s oldest sister), handed her the crutches, and walked carefully out of the church with his bride. My father said there wasn’t a dry eye in the place, including his.

    When I was stationed in Omaha with the USAF, I visited Dick on several occasions. He asked if I’d like to go pheasant hunting with him. So much for never walking again.

    Dick did himself, and the family, proud. Helluva guy.

    1. Megan Moloney    

      Thank you for sharing your cousin’s story with us. If you have photos of him you’d like to share, we would be honored to consider him for our Veteran of the Day feature. This article describes what would help us put it together. https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/24415/nominate-a-veteran-for-veteranoftheday/

  62. Grafton Matthews    

    Thank You Command Sergeant Major Bennie G. Adkins for your service to the country. I was also in Viet-Nam from 1970 to 1972. Your story is truly incredible and your Medal of Honor is greatly deserving and I salute you.

    Now, I am upset about the racist comments that are being bestowed upon President Obama. I am not ignorant of the fact that some people in this country can not accept an African-American President, knowing the history of Black/White relationship in America. President Obama is Commander-In-Chief, and if some ignorant, racist, individual can not accept that fact, at least have some respect for the position of President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces.

  63. Peter Humphries    

    “Tomb of the Unknowns” says it All! So, be Quit and respectful!!!

  64. Mike Williams    

    The older I get the more confused I become by the act of war. — U.S.M.C., Quang Tri.

    Human beings put in perilous situations tend to struggle for their lives and the lives of those they know. It is human nature to destroy those we perceive as threats.

    Sometimes I suspect folks like 1st Sgt. Bennie Adkins is a hero. Sometimes I suspect the young Vietnamese girl who stepped in front of me as an NVA aimed his weapon was a hero. Maybe both were in the moment.

    The pain of war continues to be born I suspect because we readily share what we consider the heroic exploits, however rarely share our inconsolable tears, our life long neurosis or the ways we are unable to love. Yet, war is all of the above, the heroic and the painful. Maybe when we give medals we should also discuss the pain for a more realistic understanding of the reality.

    When I look back at Viet Nam I am unable to see what justified the pain and loss suffered. In the end, at the last moment of my life will I look back and say, “It was worth it.” Unfortunately, in that moment of ultimate realizations none of us will be able to share the answer. If there is a God I pray to be saved from that which I do not know!

  65. wilbert jennings    

    Makes me proud as a Nam vet of this man and so glad he lived long enough to be recognized as the man he is. It is unfortunate that it took 50 years before the country he served acknowledged his duty to his fellow man..

  66. chris ogden    

    I saute you Sgt. Major Adkins. Whatever time it took to properly honor you it is done.Anyone of us who has served knows the machinations of the military move slowly.

    Chris Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club 65-68

  67. Lloyd Abbott Gray, Jr.    

    First: Let me congratulate CSM Adkins for his exemplary service, his passion for the rest of those who with him whenever the “Bottom Fell Out”, for his outstanding Bravery and Resiliency in the face of certain death and most of all for his finally being properly recognized by his Country, for whom he almost “Gave His All” while fighting for it!

    Secondly: Let me commiserate, as well as thank, all of us who were veterans of the Vietnam Conflict (and by the way: it was only a “Conflict” if you weren’t “In Country”, living in the Jungle, ducking real bullets, while doing your best to stay alive, follow orders and fight for the “Good Ole U.S, of A”) May God Bless all of y’all as well as every “Service Member” who Proudly fulfilled their duties by following whatever orders they were given, in support of our Nation, and all Americans everywhere! I ask that all of the “Veterans” in this second group be recognized is some way, or another, for their Honorable Duty within their individual Branch of Service from 1959 through 1973 which was the period until the Paris Peace Accords were signed in February, 1973. We had all U.S. troops out of Vietnam by April, 1973!

    Third; I would like to bring up the fact that by direct orders from the POTUS, the Military Chiefs of Staff, the Pentagon Officials right on down to the individual Field Commanders, there were “Sanctioned Missions” during which many military members were either killed, or wounded (some so severely it left them permanently disabled) and even so, NO ONE has ever been allowed to notate, document, or even speak of them in any way! EVER! This was, and is, a travesty! There are absolutely NO Legible Records, anywhere, reflecting these brave Americans as having been through “Hell” while following their orders. Even now, Fifty Years later, no recognition has been forthcoming so that a real number of these “Heroes” could at least get a decent VA rating! Oh yes, many of them did, if they were extremely fortunate enough, get something from the VA but very little. Not to mention there was little, if anything, from a “Grateful Nation” or from their “Branch of Service” which allowed them to give up everything. NO! NOT EVERY FAMILY received what should have been given to them! For that, I am truly sorry and I weep with you! Personally; I lost a good number of “Military Brothers and Sisters”, “True Friends” and “Family Members” during this “WAR”! As did many of y’all! Lets also not forget to mention; the numbers of “Military Brothers and Sisters”, “True Friends” and “Family Members” who have been maimed and, or, dismembered, because they gave all they could to complete those “Need to Know”, “Confidential”, “Classified”, “Secrete” or just “Extremely Hazardous Duty” missions! Many of which were only identified by a “Code Name or Number” and were subsequently redacted so thoroughly that everything after the date, and up to the last period on the order, reflected only black marks on the paper! Therefore, for all intent and purposes, they never existed! What happened to those people, because they followed direct orders, was not deserved let alone compensated for! DEATH, SERIOUS WOUNDS, PERMANENT DISABILITIES and especially PTSD are a reality and should be taken care of by the Government and the American People! May God forgive all of you who think it not so! There is practically no way someone in this day and time could be able to say they had no idea this truly did happened! There are still Americans Military Members who painfully suffer, to this very day, and I pray God’s Blessing be upon each and every one of them! Know this: God has never turned a “Blind Eye” to those whom he blessed while they fought for righteousness and a “Free” way of “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” for all! So then, why should the United States Government be allowed to do so? I shall not directly identify specific incidents or missions, nor shall I name specific names of those who issued the orders, and, or, those who carried out those hazardous duty orders! It’s way too late for that! Let’s just give our aide, help, love and prayers to all those who truly deserve it, before they die without it! We owe them that much don’t we!
    Reverend L. Gray, U.S. Army Retired

    1. tyrone jones    

      hey gray jr. i went back for the evacuation of siagon in 1975 and there were troops there. i was one of them. please clarify. i love these statements and their spelling.

  68. JOHN J GARZI    

    “HERO” – A MYTHOLOGICAL OR LEGENDARY FIGURE OF DIVINE DECENT ENDOWED WITH GREAT STRENGTH AND ABILITY, A WARRIOR, A MAN OR WOMEN ADMIRED FOR HIS OR HER ACHIEVEMENTS AND NOBLE QUALITIES, ONE WHO SHOW GREAT COURAGE. THEY ARE KNOWN TO COME IN ALL SIZES, SHAPES AND COLORS.THANK GOD FOR THE BLOOD OF HERO’S ….!

  69. Donald T. McCullough    

    Congratulations Brother Adkins, There is no other honor greater than to lay down your life for the life of another. God was with you! I was at Tan Son Nuht Air Base and Bien Hoa, probably misspelled both of those, from March 1966 until July 1966. Air Force Prime Beef in support of Red Horse. Welcome home brother. Donald T. McCullough

  70. James C, Arthur    

    God Bless you and many daps to you Tops.

  71. Iosefa Tufele    

    “The Soldier above all others pray for peace, for it is the Soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.” ~~~General of the Army Douglas MacArthur
    With great honor, I salute CSM Bernie G. Adkins, SGT Alvin C. York, 2LT Audie Murphy… –– Hooah!!!
    I salute ALL Veterans and their family members. I salute ALL those who are still serving in the Armed Forces of these United States & their family members, AND I salute ALL those who offered their blood, sweat and guts to win freedom and the protection for this country from when the “shot heard around the world” was fired on 19 April 1975 to the present battles of our military.
    I have served over 30 years in the US Army & now retired. The color of my skin is not the same as President Obama’s. Anyone who is the President of the United States is my Commander in Chief. Anyone who has served or is serving in the Military of United States of America is my sister or brother – in spite of who you are –– Black, Brown, Red, Yellow or White. If I have offended you because of the color of my skin or because of my ethnic background, I want to ask you for your forgiveness and don’t forget that GOD loves you , too. I don’t have to like you, but I have to love you. Let us all pray for peace & continue to love one another – in spite of who you are.
    “You have to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was.” ~ ~ ~ Abraham Lincoln
    “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” ~~~Mohandma Gandhi
    Respectfully,
    Iosefa Tufele
    SFC, U.S. Army (Retired)
    A Soldier from American Samoa

  72. richard stefani    

    I met him at my Vietnam reunion at Fort Benning he is holding my wifes hand in a group picture

  73. MARJORY MUZIK HOLDREN    

    Is there a way to find a commendation letter that was given to a soldier? My dad received a letter of commendation ( it was on a piece of paper similar to tissue paper. I dont know the dates of when the incident occurred or when the commendation was received.

  74. Timothy D Milkie    

    CSM Adkins is in the true sense of the word a hero. During my 22 year military career I had the Honor to meet three MOH recipients one while serving as a Combat engineer with the 101st Airborne from 65-67. CSM Huff was a Korean war veteran when he recieved his Medal. I met my next recipient while a member of the of the 64th Aggressor Squadron USAF in 1974.We were at Eglin AFB Fla. and the Vice Wing Commander was Col. Bud Day a VN MOH recipient and a Ssurviving POW. I was the Maint. NCOIC of that unit and we were performing Air Combat Tng to the 33rdTFW. I had the honor to have the Col.spent some time with myself and our flight line personnel off and on for the week we were there. I met the third recipinet after retiring from the Air Force when a friend of mine and others decided to build a monument to the military people from the county we were in to everyone who died in the line of duty from WW1 on. We named it after Gen.Mabry a WW11 recipient. We had numreous meetings with him during that time. The thing about these men and it seems CSM Adkins, is they all seemed modest and reflected on the others they served with as that being there honor to have been with them. I feel that these men conduct themselves to reflect all the men and women that wear the uniform of every branch of our military in a honorable manner. There are many that are not recognized for many awards due them and we should try to correct that, but at the same time each of us that served know what we did for our country. Those that served in combat or stood the post in country or far away countrys all are brothers in arms.

    MSG Timothy D Milkie USAF RET.

    1. Robert Alcorn    

      I have a similar commendation letter (tissue paper). It became a part of my official DD-214 files so you should be able to request a copy through the VA

  75. Thomas E. Carpenter    

    God bless CSM Adkins and the members of his unit, they answered the call! Some paid with their lives while defending themselves and accomplishing their mission. They all are watchmen on the wall and to experience what they went through you have to answer the call. All watchmen don’t die in combat, all watchmen don’t get to engage the enemy directly, all watchmen don’t get to receive a mental but, all watchmen do hear and answer the call. Every now and then we get a chance to lift up a live one to honor them all. The ones that heard and answered the call. So, if you don’t agree that’s ok just remember, you are free today, because, of the watchmen that heard and answered the call!

  76. Lance    

    A true American Hero!!!

  77. Neal B> Dowling, SR    

    RE: CMS Adkins–what a story, God Bless him and all the other American heroes! After reading all the varied responses to this article, it makes me wonder.Having spent a year in “Frozen Chosen” (1952-53), I can appreciate the feelings of iritation–after VietNam, vets were spit upon–after Korea, no one cared enough to spit–yet-looking back 67 years later, my time in our Army were among the most memorable of my life–nothing so big as being a “hero” but just being involved–doing your job as well as you could is memorable.The people you served with, the Koreans you helped, etc-Korea was the coldest place I’ve ever been–worse than upstate New York! In reading all the responses to the CMS Adkins story–the “political” statements, the support for all the other vets you never knew, all the vitriol for your favorite gripe, it makes you wonder how America still leads the world–even if we’re not sure where we’re leading it–it still makes me feel good—they call–WE GO!–that’s what America does—-EVERY TIME!
    GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!

  78. Sheryl Hall    

    Amen! God bless each and every one of you who,and those who have, picked the honorable way of living and fighting for our country! Whether here or abroad.

  79. Taalibdin Shabazz    

    I do appreciate him being awarded the M.O.H from the President of the United States of America; but we have a big problem,

    I to fought in Viet Nam, and I left as a private E-1 and after a few years after getting out I was awarded the status of E-4,

    but the problem is I don’t have the papers sent to me we that fact, and I was giving an article 15, by a major who was racist,

    and I know this, because I heard him say while I was waitng to be called for the hearing “I heard the major say from the thin

    wall of the tent saying to somebody else in the tent where is the nigger who he was giving the hearing to” so when I heard

    that I knew I didn’t have chance. My e-mail is tdshabazz@netzero .com> will you fine the papers stating I.m e-4 and give

    me the back pay due, I’m a 100% disable combat vet with the 101st 1/327 infantry right a wrong.

  80. Taalibdin Shabazz    

    I left the service as pvt-1, but some years later after leaving the army I got a letter stating I was e-4 I don’t know where that

    letter is. Will you send the letter, and whatever back pay I.m due. I was an infantry combat vet, and 100% disable please make this right along with all the wrongs, and there is plenty. It is shameful he waited so long for justice.

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