Oklahoma Vietnam Veteran To Receive Medal Of Honor
A Vietnam veteran with Oklahoma roots will receive the Medal of Honor later this month.
Bennie Gene Adkins grew up in Waurika, has lots of family in Weleetka, and a brother in Broken Arrow.
Command Sergeant Major Bennie G. Adkins says he's humbled and grateful.
Although he lost many of his fellow soldiers in battle, he hasn't lost his funny bone.
Adkins laughed as he told the stories of his army career that began in 1956, when he was just 22 years old.
He was deployed to Vietnam three times between 1963-71.
His most dangerous missions were during his second tour of duty, when he killed more than 135 enemies during a 38-hour battle, then hid in the jungle for two days.
That's after he rescued other soldiers who were wounded.
He said a mixture of good Army training, his battalion members and luck all worked in his favor, which is how he lived to tell the stories of how he cheated death.
"All at once all we could eyes going around us. Well, a tiger stalked us that night,” he said. “We were all bloody and in the jungle the tiger stalked us. But the North Vietnamese soldiers were more afraid of the tiger than they were us, so they backed off some and we were gone.”
He received 18 different wounds during his battle and has received the Purple Heart and many other medals.
Adkins and his wife of 59 years, Mary, will attend the Medal of Honor ceremony at the White House on Sept. 15.