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An Army Hero


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James Freeman

March 12, 2019

The White House announced today that on March 27 President Donald Trump will present to the family of a fallen soldier the nation’s highest award for valor in combat. The White House notes:

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Staff Sergeant Travis W. Atkins will receive the Medal of Honor posthumously for his actions of June 1, 2007, in support of IRAQI FREEDOM. While serving in Iraq with Company D, 2d Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2d Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Staff Sergeant Atkins engaged in hand-to hand combat with a suspected insurgent. As he attempted to subdue the man, Staff Sergeant Atkins realized the insurgent was attempting to detonate a bomb strapped to his body. When he noticed the insurgent was about to trigger the suicide vest, Staff Sergeant Atkins tackled him, selflessly using his own body to shield his fellow soldiers from the imminent explosion. Staff Sergeant Atkins’ heroic actions, at the cost of his life, saved the lives of three of his teammates.

In 2015 the Washington Post reported that the native of Bozeman, Montana “had already been in and out of the Army and done a combat tour in Iraq when the draw of service pulled him to join again in 2005.” The following year he was once again deployed to one of the most violent parts of the country. The Post reported:

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“He was an absolutely brilliant noncommissioned officer,” said Atkins’s former company commander, who asked not to be named because of the nature of his current job, recalling the foul-mouthed soldier with the shaved head. “There are some men who just know they need to be wearing stripes, down in the dirt with the guys, and he was one of them.”

(Snip)

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