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President Trump to award Medal of Honor to Bozeman soldier killed in combat

Posted at 7:25 PM, Mar 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-12 21:25:58-04

Staff Sergeant Travis W. Atkins of Bozeman will be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor on March 27, according to a White House press release.

President Donald J. Trump will award the Medal of Honor to Atkins for conspicuous gallantry, the press release said. Atkins’ son, Trevor Oliver, and family will join the president at the White House to accept the award.

On June 1, 2007, 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 said in the press release that “Staff Sergeant Atkins’ heroic actions, at the cost of his life, saved the lives of three of his teammates.”

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. He moved with his parents, Jack and Elaine, to Bozeman, in 1981.