In honor of the brave men and women who serve this great country, past and present, and for the education of future generations. Every Monday we will post a full Medal of Honor citation to highlight the courage and self-sacrifice of the recipients.
TRAVIS ATKINS, S/Sgt, U.S. Army
Staff Sergeant Travis W. Atkins, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with Company D, 2d Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2d Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, on 1 June 2007. Staff Sergeant Atkins distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry at the cost of his life in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. While conducting route security in the town of Abu Sarnak, Iraq, Staff Sergeant Atkins apprehended and began to search a group of suspected insurgents. However, one insurgent resisted and engaged Staff Sergeant Atkins in hand-to-hand combat. As Staff Sergeant Atkins attempted to subdue the man, he realized the insurgent was attempting to trigger a suicide vest which he wore under his clothing. Despite Staff Sergeant Atkins’ efforts, the insurgent finally succeeded in reaching his vest. Staff Sergeant Atkins selflessly tackled the suicide bomber in a bear hug, pinning him to the ground and shielding his Soldiers from the imminent explosion. In this critical and selfless act of valor in which he was mortally wounded, Staff Sergeant Atkins saved the lives of three other Soldiers who were with him and gallantly gave his life for his country. Staff Sergeant Atkins’ undaunted courage, warrior spirit and steadfast devotion to duty reflect great credit upon himself, the 2d Brigade Combat Team, and the United States Army.