|Birth: ||Dec. 18, 1983|
|Death: ||Aug. 31, 2010, Afghanistan|
SSgt. Vinson Bryon Adkinson, III, 26 of Colorado Springs, Colorado, died in action on Tuesday, August 31, 2010, while serving with the United States Army in Afghanistan.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Monday, Sept. 13th at Ray of Hope Church, south of Duncan, Okla., with CH (CPT) Scott Dennis officiating, assisted by the Rev. Dow Pannell. Interment will be at 1:00 p.m. at Fort Sill National Cemetery, Elgin, Okla., under the direction of Don Grantham Funeral Home.
The family will receive friends Sunday at the funeral home from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.
He born Tuesday, December 13, 1983 in Harper, Kansas. He married Veronica Marie Stewart on June 17, 2005 at Independence, Kansas.
Vinson was currently a Ranger in the 173rd Airborne Division with the United States Army. He had served three tours in Iraq and was serving his second tour in Afghanistan. He began his military career with the 82nd Airborne Division followed by serving with the Honor Guard of the 4th Infantry Division.
Survivors include his wife, Veronica, of the home, his father, Vinson Bryon Adkinson Jr., of Comanche, Okla., a brother, Jacob Aaron Adkinson of Stillwater, Okla., a sister, Mary Kay Adkinson of Wichita, Kansas, his paternal grandmother, Mary Ellen Adkinson of Duncan and maternal grandmother, Sharon Kay Morgan of Wichita, Kansas and many other family members.
He was preceded in death by his grandfathers, Vinson Bryon Adkinson Sr. and Robert Allen Morgan Sr.
The United States Army will serve as pallbearers and honor guard.
Empire soldier killed in Afghanistan
Kevin Kerr The Duncan Banner
EMPIRE — Empire native and Army Ranger, Vinson Bryon "Trinity" Adkinson III was killed Tuesday in Afghanistan by an improvised explosive device (IED) that exploded near his unit, killing him and four additional soldiers.
Adkinson, who was also known by "Trinity" because he was the third Vinson in his family, was the "guy everyone loved," according to his younger brother Jacob. Many of his friends knew him by his nickname "T-Bird" while he was in school at Empire. He left Empire when he was a junior and moved to Kansas to live with his aunt before he graduated in 2003. He immediately entered into the military, according to his close friend Chase Hutto.
"He went straight in," Hutto said. "He was dedicated to it, but he would always look me up when he was back in the area."
Vinson was a Staff Sgt. E6 Army Ranger, and part of the 173rd Airborne Division, based out of Hamburg, Germany. He served five tours, three in Iraq and was serving his second tour in Afghanistan, and was going on his eighth year overseas. But Jacob said Vinson's time spent in the military was just where he wanted to be.
"He was every bit of a soldier," Jacob said. "It sounds like that thing you always hear, but he lived his life to serve his country. He loved every bit of it."
Jacob said that his brother was very proud of everything he got to do with the military and was very thankful for the experiences he had while in the Army.
"He got to see and do things that he never thought he would do and he appreciated it," Jacob said. "He loved his friends and his battle buddies. The Army was his family, his home."
Jacob said he talked to his brother almost daily and when he was stateside, he would look up Jacob to spend time with him. He said Vinson was the classic big brother while they grew up, and that they had their fair share of spats.
"But that stuff turned me into a man. He was my best friend and I knew him inside and out," Jacob said. "And he's really the main reason I joined the military."
Vinson is survived by his father, Vinson Bryon Adkinson II; his sister, Mary Kay Adkinson; his brother, Jacob; and his grandmother, Mary Ellen Adkinson.
It is unknown exactly when Vinson will be brought home, but Hutto said there are plans to have a memorial service locally and that Jacob is working to have him buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.
September 13, 2010
Hometown hero laid to rest
Toni Hopper The Duncan Banner The Duncan Banner Mon Sep 13, 2010, 04:02 PM CDT
DUNCAN — Emotion was etched on the face of Vinson B. Adkinson Jr. as he rang the traveling Liberty Bell for his son, Staff Sgt. Vinson "Trinity" B. Adkinson III, at Ray of Hope Church early today, as the soldier's sister, Mary Kay, stood by and cried.
Adkinson faltered and leaned on the flatbed of the trailer that carries the bell, before drawing upon unknown reserves to face the remainder of his day. Mary Kay then took her turn. Shortly before the two took their places at the Liberty Bell, Adkinson's words to his daughter filled the quiet air.
"We're going to ring the bell three times, three times," he repeated several times.
Thirteen days after SSgt. Adkinson, 26, was killed in the line of duty on Aug. 31, 2010, in Afghanistan, his family and friends gathered at the church south of Duncan to pay their proper respects. Many of those attending began arriving more than an hour before the funeral, which was scheduled to start at 10 a.m. Even earlier, nearly 200 Patriot Guard Riders, from throughout Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas had arrived at the church to serve as guardians and give their support to the family. Don "Pappy" Papin, State Captain for Oklahoma Patriot Guard Riders, said the organization always has members at funerals of military personnel, but even more show up when it is one that has been killed in action.
Most importantly, they were there to honor the life of a fallen soldier.
Adkinson III was serving his fifth tour of duty, in the 173rd Airborne Division, based out of Hamburg, Germany. He served three tours in Iraq and two in Afghanistan.
Saturday, his father said that his son was born to be in the military. Even Adkinson's grandmother, Mary Adkinson, who raised him, said she realized years ago that "her little man" was meant to be a soldier.
"I begged him not to go back," Mary said after she saw Adkinson III, earlier this year. She said that he insisted he needed to return to Afghanistan to help the natives there have some kind of peace in their own lives, just as Americans expect.
The funeral was private, open only to family and friends, but outside the church, many supporters, along with the Patriot Guard riders, roamed the grounds. On Ridley Road, more people lined the road with signs of red, white and blue, and acknowledgement of Adkinson and his family. Cars and pickups were painted with "RIP Sgt. Adkinson" and "Support Our Troops."
On the road there were also Oklahomans who didn't know Adkinson, but were there upon a request.
"My niece's husband, Josh Bacon, is in Afghanistan, and he asked us to be here. He knows his brother, Jacob," said Elizabeth Hughes of Oklahoma City, who came with her children and her niece, Leah.
After the funeral, Adkinson's family watched as the military escort brought his flag-draped casket out of the church to the white hearse. Red, white and blue balloons were released as the rear door closed. In the distance, the roar of the Patriot Guard Rider's motorcycles drowned out the silence, signaling that it was time to take Adkinson to the Fort Sill National Cemetery in Elgin where he was finally laid to rest.
— Toni Hopper is a reporter for The Duncan Banner
Fort Sill National Cemetery
Created by: Oklahoma Grave Walkers
Record added: Sep 01, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 58063890