Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Vinson B Adkinson III

Harper, Kansas

August 31, 2010

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
26 Army SSG

173rd Brigade Support Battalion, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team

Bamberg, Germany

 Killed in Logar province, Afghanistan, when enemy forces attacked their vehicle with an improvised explosive device.

From The Duncan Banner duncanbanner.com 09/12/10:

September 12, 2010
Native Son

David Laughlin The Duncan Banner The Duncan Banner Sun Sep 12, 2010, 08:00 AM CDT

DUNCAN — “I told them I didn’t want them here,” Vinson B. Adkinson Jr. said of the two military officials who he greeted on his porch Aug. 31. Without being told, Adkinson knew why they were there. He was told that Staff Sergeant Vinson “Trinity” B. Adkinson III, his son, lost his life while serving his fifth tour-of-duty for the United States Army.

Adkinson Jr. had seen his son three months earlier while he was stateside for some rest and relaxation.

“We spent some time together a few months ago. We had a bonfire and went to the zoo,” Adkinson Jr. said. “The last time I talked to him he was in Dallas about to head back over.”

Interest in the armed forces was stoked early for the young Adkinson III. His father recalled the first toys Adkinson III played with were “G.I. Joes.”

“He played army outside, he trick or treated as an armyman,” Adkinson Jr. said. “Me and him spent a lot of time outside in the woods. He was born to be a soldier.”

When Adkinson III graduated from high school, he sought his fathers advice on what to do next with his life. Adkinson Jr. presented him with the idea of driving trucks. He told his son that he could get his truck drivers license by joining the Army. Adkinson III needed no further instruction, he heeded his father’s advise and enlisted. “I taught him to be Army from an early age,” Adkinson Jr. said.

Adkinson III’s first tour was in Iraq, his father said.

“The truck he was driving got hit with an IED (improvised explosive device),” Adkinson Jr. said. “He lost some brothers. But, he volunteered to go back. He didn’t want to drive a truck, he drove on top of the Humvee with a .50 caliber.”

Adkinson III served two more tours in Iraq and two in Afghanistan. He served five tours overseas.

During Adkinson III’s fifth tour-of-duty, his second in Afghanistan, he lost his life when an IED exploded near his unit. Three other soldiers lost their lives in the attack: Sgt. Raymond C. Alcraz Jr., Spc. James A. Page, and Spc. Matthew E. George.

Sgt. David Shearouse, 24 of Georgia, was given the task of escorting Adkinson III’s remains home. Shearouse served with Adkinson III.

“He always wanted to take point, he wanted to be the leader,” he said of his fallen comrade. “Everybody wanted to be like him. He was a good man. I lost my friend, my brother and my hero.”

Although Adkinson Jr. is facing unexplainable anguish, he finds strength in knowing his son’s eternal home.

“I wasn’t afraid, I wasn’t expecting it,” Adkinson Jr. said. “He stands with God now and is walking on the streets of Gold.”

A full military honor burial will be at 1 p.m. Monday at the Fort Sill National Cemetery in Elgin. His funeral will be at 10 a.m. Monday at the Ray of Hope Church, which is south of Duncan on U.S. Highway 81. The Patriot Guard Riders will escort the procession.

A viewing will be from 3 to 6 p.m. today at Grantham’s Funeral Home. Anyone wishing to send condolences to the family can send them to PO Box 159 Comanche, Oklahoma, 73529.

September 11, 2010
Vinson Bryon Adkinson III

Anonymous The Duncan Banner The Duncan Banner Sat Sep 11, 2010, 06:01 PM CDT

DUNCAN — Dec. 13, 1983 — Aug. 31, 2010

SSgt. Vinson Bryon Adkinson, III, 26 of Colorado Springs, Colo., died in action on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2010, while serving with the United States Army in Afghanistan.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 13, at Ray of Hope Church, Duncan, with CH (CPT) Scott Dennis officiating, assisted by the Rev. Dow Pannell.

Interment will be at 1 p.m. at Fort Sill National Cemetery, Elgin, under the direction of Don Grantham Funeral Home.

The family will receive friends today at the funeral home from 3 to 6 p.m.

He was born Tuesday, Dec. 13, 1983, in Harper, Kan.

“Trinity” as known to his family and friends, married Veronica Marie Stewart on June 17, 2005, at Independence, Kan.

He was 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; a brother, Jacob Aaron Adkinson of Stillwater; a sister, Mary Kay Adkinson of Wichita, Kan.; his paternal grandmother, Mary Ellen Adkinson of Duncan; maternal grandmother, Sharon Kay Morgan of Wichita, Kan. 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.

Online condolences may be made to the family at: www.granthamfuneralhomes.com.
From Tulsa World tulsaworld.com 09/14/10:

Family, friends attend funeral of fallen soldier

by: TONI HOPPER The Duncan Banner
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
9/14/2010 6:30:12 AM

DUNCAN - Emotion was etched on the face of Vinson B. Adkinson Jr. as he rang the traveling Liberty Bell for his son, Army Staff Sgt. Vinson "Trinity" B. Adkinson III, at Ray of Hope Church on Monday, as the soldier's sister, Mary Kay, stood by and cried.

The elder Adkinson faltered and leaned on the flatbed of the trailer that carries the bell. 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.

Thirteen days after the younger Adkinson, 26, was killed when a bomb blew up near his unit Aug. 31 in Afghanistan, his family and friends gathered at the church south of Duncan to pay their respects.

Adkinson grew up in Stephens County but moved to Kansas, where he graduated from high school.

Many began arriving more than an hour before the funeral Monday. Nearly 200 Patriot Guard riders from throughout Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas came to the church to serve as guardians and support 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 who has been killed in action.

Adkinson, an Army Ranger with the Bamburg, Germany,-based 173rd Brigade Support Battalion, was serving his fifth tour of duty. He served three tours in Iraq and two in Afghanistan.

Saturday, his father said that his son was born to be in the military.

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 Adkinson said after she saw her grandson earlier this year. She said that he insisted he needed to return to Afghanistan to help people there have some kind of peace in their own lives, just as Americans expect.

In addition to family and friends attending the Monday service, more people - many who didn't know Adkinson - lined a nearby road with signs of red, white and blue. Cars and pickups were painted with "RIP Sgt. Adkinson" and "Support Our Troops."

After the funeral, Adkinson's family watched as the military escort brought his flag-draped casket out of the church to a white hearse.

Red, white and blue balloons were released as the rear door closed.

Adkinson was buried at Fort Sill National Cemetery in Elgin.

Original Print Headline: Bell sounds tribute to fallen Army Ranger

Grandmother: He wanted to go back to Afghanistan to bring peace to people

The Associated Press

DUNCAN, Okla. — An Oklahoma soldier who died while serving in Afghanistan was buried Sept. 13 after a funeral service in Duncan.

The Duncan Banner reported that the private service for Staff Sgt. Vinson B. Adkinson III, 26, at Ray of Hope Church south of Duncan was only open to family and friends. Outside the church, supporters — including members of the Patriot Guard Riders on their motorcycles — roamed the grounds, and others lined nearby roads with red, white and blue signs.

Adkinson’s father, Vinson Adkinson Jr., and the soldier’s sister, Mary Kay, each rang a traveling replica of the Liberty Bell in the soldier’s honor.

Adkinson, an Army Ranger with the Bamburg, Germany-based 173rd Brigade Support Battalion, and three other soldiers died when an improvised explosive device blew up near their unit Aug. 31. The Army said he enlisted in 2003 and was assigned as a heavy vehicle operator.

He grew up in the tiny community of Empire City, Stephens County, but moved to Kansas, where he graduated from high school. The Army listed his hometown as Harper, Kan.

He was buried at Fort Sill National Cemetery.

Adkinson had served three tours of duty in Iraq and was in his second tour of duty in Afghanistan. On Sept. 11, his father said Adkinson was born to be in the military. Adkinson’s grandmother, Mary Adkinson, said she didn’t want him to serve another tour of duty in Afghanistan.

“I begged him not to go back,” she said after seeing her grandson earlier this year. She said he told her he needed to return to Afghanistan so that the people of that nation could have peace in their lives.

After the funeral, a military escort brought Adkinson’s flag-draped casket out of the church and placed it in a white hearse. As the hearse’s rear door closed, red, white and blue balloons were released.

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