Staff Sergeant Travis W. Atkins
Medal of Honor Recipient
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Staff Sgt. Travis W. Atkins was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor 27 March 2019 at the White House in Washington, D.C. Atkins’s son, Trevor Oliver, accepted the award from President Donald Trump on his father’s behalf.
Atkins received the award for his actions on 1 June 2007, while assigned to 10th Mountain Division in Abu Samak, Iraq. During a route security mission, Atkins’s squad stopped two suspected insurgents. Atkins and his platoon medic dismounted to search the pair, who were acting suspiciously, and one of the insurgents began resisting the search. As Atkins wrestled with the man, he realized the insurgent was wearing an explosive vest. The insurgent reached for the detonator, and Atkins, recognizing the danger, threw him to the ground and covered the man with his own body to shield his fellow soldiers from the impending blast. Atkins lost his life when the vest exploded.
In his remarks, Trump lauded Atkins for his bravery: “In his final moments on Earth, Travis did not run. He didn’t know what it was to run. He did not hesitate. He rose to the highest calling. He laid down his life to save the lives of his fellow warriors.”
“Your father’s courage and sacrifice will live for all time,” Trump continued, speaking directly to Oliver. “And every time we see our stars and stripes waving in the sky, we will thank our great Travis and we will think of every American hero who gave their last breath to defend our liberty, and our homeland, and our people, and our great American flag.”
Atkins was inducted into the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes the following day. He was also honored during a 2013 ceremony at Fort Drum, New York, during which the installation renamed its state-of-the-art fitness facility the Atkins Functional Fitness Facility in recognition of his heroism.
You can read more about this brave American soldier on the Army’s Medal of Honor website at https://www.army.mil/medalofhonor/atkins/?utm_source=st&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=mohshurer .
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