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Alabama Medal of Honor recipient Bennie Adkins, 86, hospitalized with coronavirus

Army Command Sergeant Major Bennie G. Adkins accepts the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama on Sept. 15, 2014.

MEREDITH TIBBETTS/STARS AND STRIPES

By LEADA GORE | Alabama Media Group | Published: March 27, 2020

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Tribune News Service) — Alabama Medal of Honor recipient and war hero Bennie Adkins is hospitalized with coronavirus.

Adkins’ family told the Opelika-Auburn News the 86-year old is in critical condition at East Alabama Medical Center with a diagnoses of COVID-19.

Adkins’ son, Keith, said his father had recently traveled and came back ill and was admitted to the hospital in his hometown of Opelika. He was recovering but then took a turn for the worse and was readmitted.

"We're very appreciative of the prayers and support from people, frankly, from around the country. We're hopeful for the best, but realistic as well," Keith Adkins told the newspaper. "We're very grateful for the doctors and staff and everyone at EAMC for the job they're doing."

The Bennie Adkins Foundation asked for people’s prayers.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has hit home. Bennie has been hospitalized and is critically ill with COVID-19 respiratory failure,” the Foundation said in a Facebook post. “We ask for your thoughts and prayers.”

Adkins received the Medal of Honor in 2014, almost 50 years after his heroic actions in the jungles of Vietnam. He received the nation’s highest military honor for valor during 48-hours of close-combat fighting against enemy forces near Camp A Shau, Vietman on March 9-12, 1966. The Medal of Honor proclamation recognized Adkins for “fighting with mortars, machine guns, recoilless rifles, small arms, and hand grenades” killing between 135 and 175 enemy soldiers while sustaining 18 different wounds.

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