Military reflections: Remembering Matthew Adkins

Matthew Adkins

Anne Adkins, a Gold Star Mother, lost her son, Matthew, who was killed on May 3, 2007, while serving in Iraq. Today, she works with several local nonprofits, including Blue Ridge Honor Flight. The organization leads free flights for U.S. veterans to Washington to visit national war memorials.

What inspired Matthew to enlist? 

Matthew was devastated by 9/11 and wanted to enlist, but we persuaded him to wait. He initially did, but he later came home and said he was enlisting so nothing like that would ever happen to our country again.

How has his military service and death influenced who you are today? 

We are very proud of his service and dedication to his country, but losing him was the hardest thing I have ever done. I felt compelled after his death to work aiding veterans. I am now on the board of Blue Ridge Honor Flight, a member of Brothers and Sisters Like These and a committed helper at Veterans Healing Farm.

What advice would you offer other families who have lost a loved one on active duty? 

After losing your child, you may suffer from memories that depress you but would be insignificant to your child. For example, after Matthew’s death, I kept thinking about giving Matthew a swat on his bottom when he was late getting ready for day care which made me late for work. If Matthew knew this kept coming up in my mind, he would laugh and say, “I don’t even remember that.”

Focus on the happy and positive times you had with them and how wonderful they were. Be so grateful for the time you had with them. What if you had never had them?  Think how lucky you were for the time you had with your precious child. Finally, remember they are not gone from you. They live now and will forever in your heart, your mind and soul. Forever.


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One thought on “Military reflections: Remembering Matthew Adkins

  1. Grant Millin

    Thanks for you sacrifice, Matthew. It’s not always a perfect Union; but people trying to take a stand for American Liberal Democracy and something like a free world are basically what stands in the way of chaos and total destruction.

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