Lives Lost: Alabama Medal of Honor winner downplayed heroism

May 7, 2020


Credit Associated Press

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Bennie Adkins was a Vietnam War hero who returned home to Alabama, got three college degrees and started a successful accounting firm. 

He was the first Medal of Honor recipient to die of COVID-19 and family members say he had charisma that drew in others naturally. President Barack Obama awarded Adkins the country's highest military honor in 2014.

He died on April 17 at age 86 in the same hospital where one of his sons is a surgeon. Adkins was praised for extraordinary heroism for repelling a 1966 Viet Cong attack. In recent years, he started a scholarship foundation for military veterans.