Medal of Honor veteran, 86, fights for life after catching coronavirus

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A Medal of Honor veteran who survived the Vietnam War, even after sustaining 18 injuries during a 38-hour close combat battle, is fighting for his life in hospital after catching coronavirus

War hero Bennie Adkins is critically ill in hospital with respiratory failure, the Bennie Adkins Foundation announced Thursday.

‘The COVID-19 pandemic has hit home,’ the Foundation, which was set up to provide  educational scholarships to soldiers transitioning from military to civilian life, said in a Facebook post. 

‘Bennie has been hospitalized and is critically ill with COVID-19 respiratory failure.

We ask for your thoughts and prayers.’

War hero Bennie Adkins is critically ill in hospital with respiratory failure, the Bennie Adkins Foundation announced Thursday. Adkins was awarded the Medal of Honor in 2014 by Former President Barack Obama for his acts of valor during the Vietnam War

War hero Bennie Adkins is critically ill in hospital with respiratory failure, the Bennie Adkins Foundation announced Thursday. Adkins was awarded the Medal of Honor in 2014 by Former President Barack Obama for his acts of valor during the Vietnam War

Adkins was awarded the Medal of Honor in 2014 by Former President Barack Obama for his acts of valor during the Vietnam War.

The highly decorated 86-year-old served his country for more than twenty years in the US Army.

He joined the army in 1956, before serving with the Special Forces (Green Berets) for 13 years. 

During this time he was deployed to Vietnam three times.

It was this second deployment which earned him the Medal of Honor many years later. 

Adkins was involved in a gruelling 38 hours of close-combat fighting near Camp ‘A Shau’ on March 9 1966.

He joined the army in 1956, before serving with the Special Forces (Green Berets) for 13 years

He joined the army in 1956, before serving with the Special Forces (Green Berets) for 13 years

Adkins is highly decorated, having also been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Bronze Star Medal, among other awards, for his service to his country

Adkins is highly decorated, having also been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Bronze Star Medal, among other awards, for his service to his country

All the while coming under enemy fire, he rescued his fellow soldiers and led the team back through the jungles to their evacuation by helicopter on March 12.

‘When the camp was attacked by a large North Vietnamese and Viet Cong force in the early morning hours, 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,’ Adkins’ Medal of Honor Citation says. 

‘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.’  

Adkins suffered 18 injuries and killed between 135 to 175 enemy forces during the battle, keto cheese crackers according to the Army.  

After retiring from the Army in 1978 at the rank of Command Sergeant Major, Adkins returned to education and obtained a Bachelor’s degree and two Master’s degrees from Troy University. 

He then set up and ran his own accounting firm for 22 years.  

Adkins is highly decorated, having also been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Bronze Star Medal, among other awards, for his service to his country.

The shock news that he has been struck down by the deadly virus comes as the US continues to buckle under the strain of the outbreak. 

Coronavirus deaths in the US are skyrocketing, reaching 1,390 as of Friday afternoon with fears mounting that the country will soon be worse affected than Italy. 

 

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