“We stand in awe of your heroic daring and gallant deeds. You truly went above and beyond the call of duty to earn our nation’s highest military honor.”
In a time when the country is consumed by election news, left-wing riots, and the continuing effects of the coronavirus pandemic, it is easy to forget that there are so many other important things happening in the world around us.
On Friday, President Trump awarded Sgt. Major Thomas Payne with the Medal of Honor for his role in a daring mission to successfully rescue 75 hostages from ISIS.
Payne represents the best among us and deserves this recognition.
Marisa Schultz reports at FOX News:
Trump awards Medal of Honor to military hero who freed more than 75 hostages in Iraq
President Trump presented the Medal of Honor Friday to U.S. Army Sgt. Major Thomas “Patrick” Payne for his heroics in a 2015 daring raid that rescued 75 ISIS hostages from a prison in northern Iraq, with Trump praising him as “one of the bravest men anywhere in the world.”
Trump hailed Payne’s gallant and selfless efforts that led to 20 ISIS terrorists killed and saving the lives of the 75 captives.
“Today he joins the immortal company of our most revered American heroes,” Trump said in the White House ceremony. “Pat, you personify the motto: ‘Rangers lead the way.'”
According to Matthew Cox of Military.com, Payne is the first living member of Delta Force to receive this award:
Sgt. Maj. Thomas Payne Will Be 1st Living Delta Force Member to Receive Medal of Honor
Seconds after U.S. military helicopters landed on their objective, Army commandos knew their mission to rescue 70 Islamic State-held hostages was off to a chaotic start.
“Ramp drops; it’s complete brown-out, part of the compound was already in a pretty intense firefight,” Sgt. Maj. Thomas “Patrick” Payne recalled in a video interview released by the Army this month.
Then-Sgt. 1st Class Payne was the assistant team leader of a group of operators attached to 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta, which joined Kurdish commandos on a Oct. 22, 2015, nighttime raid to liberate Iraqi hostages from the ISIS prison compound in the northern town of Hawija.
Fierce close-quarters fighting during the raid claimed the life of Payne’s teammate, Master Sgt. Joshua Wheeler, before the hostages were freed. For his actions that day, Payne will become the first living Delta Force member to receive the Medal of Honor, multiple sources confirmed to Military.com. Army officials have identified Payne as a Ranger, but they have not publicly confirmed his affiliation with the elite and highly secretive Delta Force.
Here’s a short video of the award being bestowed:
If you have the time, I recommend watching the entire event below.
Here is an excerpt of President Trump’s remarks, via The White House:
In October of 2015, on his 14th deployment, Pat was part of a team assigned to plan and conduct an operation to rescue over 70 Kurdish prisoners being held by ISIS barbarians in Iraq. The team soon received horrifying intelligence that the terrorists were planning to massacre their captives and bury them in freshly dug graves. Pat and his teammates raced into action.
After midnight, on October 22, Pat boarded a helicopter and departed on a mission to free the hostages from two buildings guarded by dozens of ruthless and bloodthirsty ISIS terrorists. He was in command of a team clearing one of the compounds. As soon as the ramp to his helicopter went down, Pat rushed into a blistering hail of gunfire. Pat and his team swiftly overpowered the enemy, secured the building, and freed 38 of the hostages.
Then Pat received word that the rest of the assault team was facing harsh resistance in another complex. Pat turned to one of his fellow soldiers and said, “Let’s get into the fight right now. Let’s get into the fight.” He saw that the other building was on fire and he knew more of the hostages were still trapped inside. He and his team climbed up ladders to the roof and opened up fire on the enemy. Multiple ISIS fighters detonated suicide vests, ripping a portion of the building into pieces.
But Pat and his fellow Rangers fought through the fire, the bullets, and the deadly blasts…
Pat, you embody the righteous glory of American valor. We stand in awe of your heroic daring and gallant deeds. You truly went above and beyond the call of duty to earn our nation’s highest military honor.
Watch it all below:
This man is a real hero who should make us all proud to be Americans.
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