A military hero died in York County this week. She never served in combat, but three of her sons did, including one who died in 1968 in Vietnam.
Mildred Adams died Tuesday night at age 88 after an illness, her family said. But her life, her love for America and the sacrifice of her family for this country will always be remembered.
One of her sons, Jesse (also known as Lewis), enlisted in the Army and was killed in Vietnam. Mildred Adams never wavered in her devotion to America. In 2013, Mildred Adams talked about the pride she and her family had when they thought of Jessie’s sacrifice for America.
“Jesse died so young, but we as a family were always so proud of Jesse’s service,” Adams told The Herald. “We still are.”
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After Jesse was killed, two of his brothers, Willie and David Adams, served tours in the Marines and the Army.
Lt. Willie Adams, a longtime York County Sheriff’s Office deputy, said his mother’s patriotism never wavered. Troy Adams, the son of Jesse Adams, was born in 1968 while his father was in Vietnam. Troy never met his father.
“My grandmother Mildred was the one who made sure I knew who my father was and that I knew ‘Lewis’ died fighting for his country,” Troy Adams said.
For much of the past two decades until she was too frail to attend, Mildred Adams would go, on Memorial Day weekend, to the York County Veterans Council ceremony for military troops killed in action. At that annual ceremony in the Lakeview Memory Gardens in York, a special seat was always reserved for Mildred Adams. Mothers of troops killed in action are called “Gold Star Mothers.”
Every year the crowd of hundreds would stop the ceremony, stand, and give her an ovation. She proudly represented all of york County, South Carolina, and America, as a Gold Star Mother for almost 50 years.
There are no monuments to the parents of troops who die for America. But maybe there should be.
And if names are listed on the monument, Mildred Adams should be somewhere near the top.