- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 27, 2019

President Trump will award a posthumous Medal of Honor Wednesday to Army Staff Sgt. Travis W. Atkins for his bravery in tackling an insurgent who tried to trigger a suicide vest in Iraq.

Atkins died in the 2007 blast, though his decision to give himself up saved three fellow soldiers.

Mr. Trump will deliver the medal to Atkins’ son, Trevor Oliver, in a White House ceremony.

It will be the eighth Medal of Honor that Mr. Trump has bestowed during his tenure.

The medal is awarded to those who have demonstrated conspicuous gallantry by risking their own lives, above and beyond the call of duty, while combating a U.S. enemy or fighting alongside a foreign ally.

On June 1, 2007, Atkins and fellow soldiers confronted suspected insurgents, resulting in hand-to-hand combat with one of the men.

While attempting to subdue him, Atkins realized the man was trying to detonate a bomb attached to his body, according to the White House.

Atkins tackled the insurgent, who’d reached to trigger the vest, using his body to shield other members of his team. He was 31.

Atkins was serving in Iraq as part of Company D, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division.

He first enlisted in 2000, deployed to Iraq in 2003 and was honorably discharged as a sergeant.

After attending the University of Montana, he re-enlisted in 2005 and was deployed again to Iraq in 2006.

Atkins was promoted to staff sergeant on May 1, 2007.

He is survived by his son, of Coon Rapids, Minnesota, and his parents, John and Elaine Atkins of Bozeman, Montana.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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