TROY alumnus and Vietnam veteran Bennie Adkins receives the Medal of Honor during a 2014 ceremony.
Troy University alumnus and Medal of Honor recipient Bennie G. Adkins will sign copies of his book “A Tiger Among Us: A Story of Valor in Vietnam’s A Shau Valley” at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29 at Troy University.
Held in conjunction with the University’s annual Military Appreciation football game, the book signing with take place at the Barnes & Noble University Bookstore on the Troy Campus. In addition, Adkins will take part in the coin toss before TROY’s game against Coastal Carolina at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m.
“As Troy University pays special tribute to Vietnam veterans during our Military Appreciation game on Saturday, we are proud to welcome back a true hero in Bennie Adkins,” said Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr. “His actions demonstrated courage beyond measure and saved many lives, earning him the Medal of Honor. We are proud to have him as a member of the TROY family and we are pleased he will be with us to participate in the day’s activities.”
The book, written with author Katie Lamar Jackson, shares the harrowing account of the vicious four-day battle in Vietnam’s A Shau Valley during which Adkins overcame wounds and impossible odds to help get other survivors to safety.
At that time, then-Sgt. 1st Class Adkins was serving as an intelligence sergeant with Detachment A-102, 5th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces. When the camp was overcome by enemy forces, Adkins displayed extraordinary courage and bravery as he rallied survivors and helped the wounded.
Adkins’ heroic actions were honored on Sept. 15, 2014, when President Obama presented him with the Medal of Honor. In 2017, the retired command sergeant major created the Bennie Adkins Foundation, which provides scholarships to Special Forces transitioning to civilian life.
Adkins holds three degrees from TROY. He earned his bachelor’s degree from then-Troy State University Montgomery in 1979. He earned his master’s degree in education in 1982, and then, a second master’s degree in management in 1988.
The day will include several other events designed to celebrate the country’s military men and women, as well as the University’s commitment to serving military students, which dates back to the 1950s. This year’s event will pay special tribute to veterans of the Vietnam War.
A representative from each branch of the military will walk with the football team through Tailgate Terrace for Trojan Walk, beginning at 12:15 p.m.
An enlistment ceremony will be held on the field prior to the game. Leading up to kickoff, TROY’s Sound of the South Marching Band will perform The National Anthem, while a large American Flag will cover the full length of the football field and the Trojan Warrior Spirit C-130 Hercules from the 908th Airlift Wing from Maxwell Air Force Base will perform a flyover.
At halftime, active duty service members and veterans will be invited to take part in the Walk of Heroes, processing across the field as the Sound of the South plays their respective service songs. Vietnam veterans will lead their respective branches of service across the field. Also during the Walk of Heroes, tribute will be paid to the Alabama Industries for the Blind, who annually produces between 400,000 and 500,000 neck ties as well as other mission-critical gear for the military.