Police officer goes above and beyond duty for father of fallen soldier

SSG Vinson Adkinson III

One of the most amazing Memorial Day stories of this year happened within an unsuspecting place, the confines of a jail in Teller County, Colorado.

As Deputy Liest, a retired first sergeant with the 4th Infantry Division, was making his rounds –checking each jail cell – he noticed one inmate had tears in his eyes.  Liest asked the inmate –who was only in jail for a misdemeanor –if everything was okay.

The inmate explained that Memorial Day is a tough time for him.  Another inmate informed him that Liest served in the military and the crying inmate asked if he could hug him, according to the report given to U. S Army W.T.F! moments.

After Deputy Liest allowed the inmate to render him a salute and give him a hug, the inmate broke down and told him he lost his son to an IED during the war a few years ago.

He told Liest he had fallen on hard times after losing his son, living in a tent in the mountains when he was arrested. The inmate told the Deputy he feared his son’s burial flag and awards would be stolen while he was incarcerated.

Deputy Liest offered to help the grieving father of one our nation’s bravest, asking for the inmate to map out where his camp was.

After his shift was over he drove up into the mountains, using a pencil drawn map on Teller County Sheriff’s Offices stationary, finding his tent and his son’s belongings.

(Facebook/U.S Army W.T.! moments)
(Facebook/U.S Army W.T.! moments)

The inmate, Vinson Adkinson Jr. was the proud father of SSG Vinson Adkinson III, a soldier who served three tours in Iraq and two in Afghanistan.

SSG Adkinson died August 31, 2010 while on his fifth deployment –second to Afghanistan- when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device. His fellow soldiers, Sgt. Raymond C. Alcaraz, Spc. Matthew E. George and Spc. James A. Page also lost their lives.

Adkinson was buried at the Fort Sill National Cemetery on September 13th, 2010.

“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,” according to the Associated Press.

“RIP SSG Vinson Adkinson, 173rd Brigade Support Battalion, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team although I didn’t know you, I love you very much Brother,” said 1SG (Ret.) Steve Liest.

Deputy Liest is currently working with his supervisor to present Vinson Adkinson Jr. his son’s flag and awards, as well as keeping them secure until he is released from jail, according to U.S Army W.T.F! moments.

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