President Trump awards posthumous Medal of Honor to Montana soldier

Posted at 5:58 PM, Mar 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-27 19:58:08-04

President Donald Trump awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Travis Atkins of Bozeman Wednesday.

“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,” President Trump said.

On June 1, 2007, Staff Sergeant Atkins, while serving in Iraq, engaged a suspected insurgent in hand-to-hand combat. He realized the man was trying to detonate a bomb strapped to his body and then tackled the insurgent, using his body to shield other soldiers from the explosion.

The White House stated in a March 12th press release that “Staff Sergeant Atkins’ heroic actions, at the cost of his life, saved the lives of three of his teammates.”

Staff Sergeant Atkins first deployed to Iraq in 2003 and was later honorably discharged as a Sergeant. He attended the University of Montana, re-enlisted in the Army in 2005, and returned to Iraq in 2006, attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant on May 1, 2007.

Atkins was born on Dec. 9, 1975, in Great Falls, Montana. He moved with his parents, Jack and Elaine, to Bozeman, Montana, in 1981.

Staff Sergeant Atkins is survived by his son, Trevor Oliver, of Coon Rapids, Minnesota, and his parents, John and Elaine Atkins of Bozeman.

Click here to read the full transcript of President Trump’s presentation.