Tester Bill Honoring Bozeman Hero Travis Atkins Unanimously Passes Senate, Heads to President’s Desk

Tester introduced bill in 2019 renaming Atkins’ hometown VA clinic in Bozeman, in his honor and pushed to secure the new veterans facility that will bear his name

U.S. Senator Jon Tester’s bipartisan bill renaming the Bozeman Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) community-based clinic after fallen Montana hero, U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Travis Atkins, unanimously passed the Senate yesterday and is heading to the President’s desk to become law.

“This is a great day for the Atkins family and the entire Bozeman community,” said Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “Staff Sergeant Atkins is an American hero who served our nation bravely and paid the ultimate sacrifice for his selfless actions on the battlefield. Naming the Travis W. Atkins Department of Veterans Affairs Clinic in his honor will ensure his legacy lives on for years to come, and I couldn’t be prouder to have worked alongside folks in the community and at the VA to help make this day a reality.”

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.

Atkins was killed in action June 1, 2007, saving the lives of three fellow American soldiers from an insurgent suicide bomb in Iraq. Last year, Tester joined Staff Sergeant Travis Atkins’ family at the White House where President Trump awarded Atkins with the Medal of Honor—the country’s highest military honor-for his service, bravery, and sacrifice. In conjunction with the ceremony, Tester introduced bipartisan legislation along with Senator Steve Daines and Congressman Greg Gianforte to rename the VA clinic in Atkins’ hometown of Bozeman in his honor.

Earlier this year, Tester announced that he secured a new 12,000 square foot veterans clinic for Bozeman. The clinic—which is twice the size of the existing facility and will bear Atkins’ name—will offer Primary Care, Behavioral Health, Laboratory, and Telehealth services to veterans. The project is expected to be completed by summer 2021.