Presentation of the Colors………………………………….Marine Corps League, Det. 688
Reading of Medal of Honor Citation………Lt. Col (Ret., Army) Richard D. Liebert, MVMA
Remarks………………………Michael Winters, Pres. MT Veterans Memorial Association
Boots and Rifle Ceremony and Taps………………………Marine Corps League, Det 688
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, March 3, 1863, has awarded in the name of Congress the Medal of Honor to
Staff Sergeant Travis W. Atkins, United States Army
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:
Staff Sergeant Travis W. Atkins distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty on 1 June 2007, while serving in the position of Squad Leader with Company D, 2d Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2d Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. While manning a static observation post in the town of Abu Samak, Iraq, Staff Sergeant Atkins was notified that four suspicious individuals, walking in two pairs, were crossing an intersection not far from his position. Staff Sergeant Atkins immediately moved his squad to interdict the individuals. One of the individuals began behaving erratically, prompting Staff Sergeant Atkins to disembark from his patrol vehicle and approach to conduct a search. Both individuals responded belligerently toward Staff Sergeant Atkins, who then engaged the individual he had intended to search in hand-to-hand combat. Staff Sergeant Atkins tried to wrestle the insurgent’s arms behind his back. When he noticed the insurgent was reaching for something under his clothes, Staff Sergeant Atkins immediately wrapped him in a bear hug and threw him to the ground, away from his fellow soldiers. Staff Sergeant Atkins maintained his hold on the insurgent, placing his body on top of him, further sheltering his patrol. With Staff Sergeant Atkins on top of him, the insurgent detonated a bomb strapped to his body, killing Staff Sergeant Atkins. Staff Sergeant Atkins acted with complete disregard for his own safety. In this critical and selfless act of valor, Staff Sergeant Atkins saved the lives of the 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 are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the 2d Brigade Combat Team, and the United States Army.
Travis W. Atkins was born on Dec. 9, 1975, in Great Falls, Montana. He moved with his parents, Jack and Elaine, to Bozeman, Montana, in 1981. Growing up, Atkins was an avid outdoorsman. He loved to hunt, fish, snowmobile and camp.
Prior to enlisting, Atkins worked for concrete and painting contractors, and as a small-engine mechanic, but his athletic nature and desire to serve ultimately led him to the U.S. Army.
Atkins enlisted on Nov. 9, 2000, and attended basic infantry training at Fort Benning, Georgia. He was assigned to Alpha Company, 3rd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and deployed with the 101st to Kuwait in early March 2003. Atkins participated in the invasion of Iraq later that month as an infantry fire team leader. Atkins was honorably discharged from the Army in December 2003.
Back home, Atkins attended the University of Montana in Missoula and worked as a painting and concrete contractor. Two years later, Atkins once again answered the call to serve. He reenlisted in the U.S. Army in December 2005 and was reassigned to Delta Company in the same battalion and deployed to Iraq again in August 2006. He was killed in action on June 1, 2007. On 27 March 2019, President Donald J. Trump awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor to SSG Atkin’s son Trevor Oliver and family at the White House.
Atkins’ Army awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Cross, the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal with four Bronze Service Stars, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Valorous Unit Award with one Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, the Meritorious Unit Commendation, the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Air Assault Badge.
For further information about the engraving installation and the MVM, please contact Michael Winters, 799-0179, firstname.lastname@example.org, 454-9070, www.montanaveteransmemorial.org,
With special remembrance of the 100th Anniversary of Armistice/Veterans Day when World War I ended on 11 November 1918. We encourage the community churches, worship halls, schools and fire stations to ring the Bells of Peace precisely at 11AM on Sunday, 11 November 2018. Information on Bells of Peace available below.
The program outline is posted below; the ceremony will be held at the Montana Veterans Memorial with seating available. If inclement weather disrupts, the ceremony will be at the Centene Stadium lobby as done before if we have heavy ice, snow, and/or moisture.