“I was given an opportunity and sometimes that’s all you need to prove yourself.”
Sgt. Maj. Thomas “Patrick” Payne received the nation’s highest military honor for helping to rescue approx. 70 hostages from ISIS terrorists. He is the second living service member to receive the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq. He named his son Josh after his teammate, Master Sgt., Joshua Wheeler, who was killed during the operation.
The Dept. of Defense says the terrorists attacks on Sept. 11th, 2001 motivated Sgt. Payne to enlist.
- He is only the second living service member to receive the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq and reportedly the first Medal of Honor recipient in the fight against ISIS.
- Payne has deployed 17 times since joining the military in 2002. READ MORE
What Happened: The Mission:
- The October 22, 2015 mission took a week of preparation. Payne, his teammates, and Kurdish Special Forces were in charge of the mission.
- Payne and Kurdish commando entered prison by and faced intense gunfire from ISIS. Once safe, they entered facility by climbing over the wall, cutting the locks, and freeing dozens of hostages. Then they moved to a second building that was on fire. Payne and team ran into burning building, while being attacked by enemies, and cut the the locks for an additional est. 30 prisoners to be freed. Once everyone was freed, and the building was being evacuated, Payne stayed to make sure everyone was out and was the last person to exit. Forming a protective barrier around hostages, they safely made it to extraction helicopters.
- The rescue attack involved intense firefight and one US Master Sergeant, Joshua Wheeler, lost his life in gunfire. Payne named his second son Josh, in honor of Master Sergeant Joshua Wheeler.
by Jenna Lee,