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President Donald Trump presents Medal of Honour to Sgt. Maj. Thomas Payne

CA, 12 Sep 2020
U.S. President Donald Trump presented the Medal of Honour to Sergeant Major Thomas Payne on Friday for his role in a daring 2015 mission to rescue dozens of hostages who were set to be executed by Islamic State militants in Iraq.

Trump picked the 19th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks to honor Sgt. Maj. Payne, who negotiated a barrage of enemy gunfire and repeatedly entered a burning building in a harrowing effort that saved nearly 70 hostages.

“It was one of the largest and most daring rescue missions in American history,” Trump said at the ceremony.

“You embody the righteous glory of American valor.”

President Trump also addressed Master Sgt. Joshua L. Wheeler, who was killed during the mission. “Our nation endures because fearless warriors like Josh are willing to lay down their lives for our freedom,” Trump said.

Sgt. Maj. Payne has received numerous awards and decorations, including the Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.

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