When duty called, they answered

Medal of Honor recipients James Livingston, left and Bennie Adkins flank artist Barbara Davis at an Auburn University ceremony. Alvin Benn/Special to the Advertiser(Photo: .)

Journalists are often called on to interview the rich and famous, but it was a thrill for me to meet James Livingston, Bennie Adkins and Jack Lucas.

Mention their names and youre likely to get blank stares, but they werent hesitant when duty called.

Each was awarded a Medal of Honor, Americas highest military award. For Lucas, it was World War Two. For Livingston and Adkins it was Vietnam.

Let it be known now that no one ever wins a Medal of Honor. It isnt a contest. They are recipients and prefer it that way. And, by the way, its not called the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Now that preliminaries are out of the way, lets learn a bit about Marine Maj. Gen. James Livingston and Army Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie Adkins.

The two were at Auburn University last week during a program honoring the memory of Marine Capt. Robert W. Hubbard who was killed in combat in Vietnam.

A memorial painting by artist Barbara Davis was unveiled at an occasion arranged by her husband, Alabama assistant attorney general John Davis.

Livingston, an Auburn graduate with a degree in civil engineering, was at an isolated, heavily fortified village in Vietnam on May 2, 1968. They were basically surrounded.

Aware of the situation, he quickly assumed command and led his men in an assault against enemy emplacements within the village.

The citation ho....

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