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Charles Adkins honored on 101

Andy Ouriel • Mar 6, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Army Sgt. 1st Class Charles Adkins lived a selfless life, culminating with his death in combat during war.

But the 1993 Margaretta High School graduate desired something a bit astray from his typical noble character.

About three years after dying in Afghanistan, family members and friends fulfilled Adkins’ final wish while also ensuring others remember his ultimate sacrifice.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Tuesday authorized legislation to rename a portion of Ohio 101 the “Sfc. Charles L. Adkins Memorial Highway.” It will apply to a stretch of Ohio 101 from Margaretta Township to Sandusky.

State crews should install signs paying homage to his legacy within a few months.    Friends and family members traveled to Columbus Tuesday to meet with Kasich for an official commemoration.

“This is just one way that I’m helping to keep his memory alive,” said Adkins’ father, Charles E. Adkins, of Milan Township. “The biggest fear of a solider is being forgotten. I promised my son that he would not be forgotten”

A 16-year Army veteran, Adkins served two tours in Iraq before being deployed to Afghanistan in late 2010.

He was among 10 people killed by a suicide bomber who, dressed as an Afghan solider, detonated a bomb under his uniform. At 36, Adkins, a Tennessee resident, died on April 16, 2011.

Adkins married his high school sweetheart, Sarah Lane Adkins, another graduate of Margaretta High School. The two had five children together.

The sacrifice Adkins made inspired legislators to preserve his legacy.

State Rep. Chris Redfern, D-Catawba Island, spearheaded a bill to rename the highway. Redfern piggybacked off previouswork initiated by his predecessor, former state Rep. Dennis Murray Jr., D-Sandusky.

“Fallen soldiers need to be recognized, and a marker on a highway frankly doesn’t seem enough,” Redfern said. “It is a modest tribute to the service of those who asked nothing more from us than asking, ‘How can I serve?’”

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