By Linda Osborne
On May 28, 2018, a memorial service was organized by Buford Dunlap at the Ida Missionary Baptist Church in Bentree, WV, in memory of Albert B. Adkins. Adkins was killed in action in Fontana, Italy on April 22, 1945 during World War II. He was the son of Dana “Mullins” Adkins and Andy Adkins.
The Clay VFW supported and helped with the service. Several VFM members were in attendance and played Taps in honor of the fallen soldiers. Sgt Adkins’ sisters, Gladys Walker and Linda Osborne, read the letter sent to his parents at the time of his death, which included information on the battle he participated in.
The beautiful ceremony was viewed by many as the young people and relatives lined the hill to the cemetery, passing a wreath to the final resting place on his grave. A small American flag was also placed on every soldier’s grave in the cemetery.
Brooklyn Faith Nelson, Adkins’ great-great niece and Broadway star of both Matilda and Frozen, sang the National Anthem at the ceremony.
Many family members were in attendance for the service including nieces Carolyn Baker, Kelli Samples, and Shirley Hughes; nephews Tony Adkins, David Adkins, and John Osborne; great-nieces Tara Nelson, Crystal Schoolcraft, and Gracen Samples; great-nephews Ely and Ganon Osborne; great-great nieces Brooklyn Nelson and Lacey Nelson, and great-great nephew Isaac Schoolcraft.
Staff St. Albert Benton Adkins left behind his parents, daughter, Brenda, and her mother, Katherine. Also remaining were brothers Wilbert, Gilbert, and Eddie; and sisters Lucille, Pearl, and Gladys. His sister Linda was born one month after his death.
Many other Clay County soldiers lost their lives in wars. Their names are on the monument at the Clay County Courthouse. As we celebrate our freedom this fourth of July, remember, “We are free because of the brave.”