Tester Joins Trump to Honor Life and Sacrifice of Montana Hero Travis Atkins at Medal of Honor Ceremony
Senator introduces bill to rename Atkins’ hometown VA clinic in his honor
(U.S. Senate) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester today joined the family of fallen Montana hero and U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Travis Atkins at the White House as President Trump posthumously awarded him the Medal of Honor.
Atkins was killed in action June 1, 2007, saving the lives of three fellow American soldiers from an insurgent suicide bomb in Iraq. Today President Donald Trump awarded Atkins with the Medal of Honor-the country’s highest military honor-for his service, bravery, and sacrifice. In conjunction with today’s ceremony, Tester introduced bipartisan legislation to rename the VA clinic in Atkins’ hometown of Bozeman in his honor.
“Staff Sergeant Travis Atkins is an American hero, and represents the very best of our state,” said Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “Our nation is forever grateful for his courageous and selfless actions on the battlefield, where he paid the ultimate sacrifice to save the lives of his fellow soldiers. Awarding him the Medal of Honor will ensure his bravery and sacrifice are never forgotten.”
Tester joined Atkins’ parents John and Elaine Atkins and son Trevor Oliver for the ceremony.
Tester’s bill will rename the Bozeman VA community-based clinic as the Travis W. Atkins Department of Veterans Affairs Clinic.
A Bozeman native, Atkins enlisted in the Army in November 2000. He deployed to Iraq in 2003 and was subsequently honorably discharged as a Sergeant. He reenlisted in the Army in 2005 after attending the University of Montana. He deployed a second time in 2006 and was promoted to Staff Sergeant May 1, 2007.
During route clearance on June 1, 2007, Atkins spotted two suspicious men attempting to cross the road in an area with reported nearby insurgents. Atkins and his fellow soldiers yelled at the pair, who began acting erratically. A fight broke out between Atkins and one of the men, and Atkins realized the man was attempting to trigger a bomb strapped to his body. As the man detonated the bomb, Atkins pinned him to the ground, shielding three of his fellow soldiers who were just feet away.
More information about today’s ceremony can be found online HERE.