During the Medal of Honor ceremony for the late Staff Sgt. Travis W. Atkins on Wednesday, President Donald Trump invited Trevor Oliver, Atkins’ son, to say a few words before being presented the medal.
Atkins was being awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in Iraq on June 1, 2007. During a patrol and searching for possible insurgents, Atkins fought one of the suspects in hand-to-hand combat after discovering he was wearing a suicide vest.
Atkins grabbed the guy in a bear hug and slammed him into the ground. The vest exploded but Atkins positioned himself to shield his troops from the blast.
Trevor said he was thankful for everyone’s support and how this whole experience has been surreal.
“It's an absolute honor to have every single one of you here. It's something that I can't really put into words. It's something that's surreal. And I still — I still haven't fully accepted it yet,” he said. “So, just all over appreciation for his men. Everything you have said to me over the last few days has meant the world to me, and it changes my life every, every day.”
“And...I feel so close with you and to him every, every story I get to hear. And I'm just...I'm glad that you got to enjoy his love and his energy. Thank you,” he added.
Trevor Oliver, the son of the late Army Staff Sgt. Travis W. Atkins, speaks at his dad's Medal of Honor ceremony. Atkins was killed in Iraq on June 1, 2007 after he fought a suicide bomber in hand-to-hand combat and shielded his troops from the blast. pic.twitter.com/S5V3bZCXYJ— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) March 27, 2019
Here is Trevor and the rest of Staff Sgt. Atkins' family receiving the Medal of Honor on his behalf. pic.twitter.com/rQ7R8cM8If— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) March 27, 2019
“To the entire Atkins family: We can never measure the true depth of our gratitude or the full magnitude of your loss, but we can pay everlasting tribute to Staff Sergeant Travis Atkins, his truly immortal act of valor. It was indeed. Thank you,” Trump said during the ceremony.