Medal of Honor Recipients

The Medal of Honor is the United States of America’s highest military honor, bestowed for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty. These veterans and servicemembers’ actions bring veterans and servicemembers into the forefront of the national consciousness, and we are thankful for them and their service.

Sergeant Matthew Williams, United States Army

Sergeant Matthew Williams of the United States Army received the Medal of Honor on October 30th, 2019, after rescuing members of his assault element that were under attack in the Shok Valley of the Nuristan Province of Afghanistan. A member of the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force, Sgt. Williams and his assault team went under heavy enemy fire while on mission in the mountainside of the valley on April 6, 2008. The lead portion of the team sustained several casualties and became pinned down. Sergeant Williams braved intense fire to lead a counterattack up the valley, where alongside local national commandos, he fought up the terraced mountainside to rescue the besieged members of the team. He then provided buddy-aid to move the injured Team Sergeant down to a collection point, putting himself in the line of enemy fire. Sergeant Williams directed suppressive fire and exposed himself to firefight in order to reestablish critical satellite radio communications. He then assisted with moving the other injured members down the vertical mountainside to the same collection point where he led Afghan commandos in another counterattack lasting for several hours. Sergeant Williams again then exposed himself to heavy enemy fire in order to carry and load casualties into the helicopter. His actions enabled the patrol to evacuate wounded and dead comrades without further casualties. Sergeant Williams’ complete disregard for his own safety and his concern for the safety of his teammates ensured the survival of four critically wounded soldiers and prevented the team from being overrun by the enemy. His actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service.

Staff Sergeant David Bellavia, United States Army

Staff Sergeant David Bellavia of the United States Army was awarded the Medal of Honor on June 25, 2019. Staff Sergeant Bellavia distinguished him and went beyond the call of duty on November 10, 2004, while serving as a squad leader in support of Operation Phantom Fury  in Fallujah, Iraq. Acting on instinct to save the members of his platoon from an imminent threat, Staff Sergeant Bellavia ultimately cleared an entire enemy-filled house, destroyed four insurgents, and badly wounded a fifth. Hi bravery, complete disregard for his own safety, and unselfish and courageous actions reflect great credit upon himself and the 1st Infantry Division of the U.S. Army. 

Staff Sergeant Travis Atkins, United States Army

Staff Sergeant Travis Atkins of the United States Army was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with Company D, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, on June 1, 2077. Staff Sergeant selflessly pinned a suicide bomber to the ground, shielding his fellow soldiers from the explosion while gallantly giving his life for his country. His undaunted courage, warrior spirit and steadfast devotion to duty saved the lives of three soldiers and reflects great credit upon Staff Sergeant Atkins, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, and the United States Army.