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Travis W. Atkins first enlisted in the United States Army in 2000. Following a tour of duty in Iraq, he was honorably discharged from service as a Sergeant. But after attending the University of Montana, Atkins felt called to serve once again—and reenlisted in 2005. He was deployed to Iraq the following summer.
On June 1, 2007, Staff Sergeant Atkins engaged in hand-to-hand combat with a suspected insurgent. During the exchange, Atkins quickly realized the man had a suicide vest strapped to his body. Without hesitation, Atkins tackled the insurgent, using his own body to shield his fellow soldiers from the imminent explosion.
Staff Sergeant Atkins’ heroic actions, at the cost of his own life, saved the lives of three American service members. Today, President Trump commemorated the selfless sacrifice of Staff Sergeant Atkins by awarding him a posthumous Medal of Honor.
“Today the name of Staff Sergeant Travis Atkins will be etched alongside of the names of America’s bravest warriors and written forever into America’s heart,” the President said.