WASHINGTON, D.C. – (September 11, 2020) – National Medal of Honor Museum (NMOHM) President and CEO Joe Daniels and Medal of Honor recipient and Museum board member Major General Patrick Brady met with and welcomed America’s newest Medal of Honor recipient, Army Sergeant Major Thomas “Patrick” Payne tothe close-knit Medal of Honor community.
“It’s fitting that today – when we mark one of the worst days in our nation’s history – we also honor Sergeant Payne, an American hero inspired to serve by what he saw unfold on this day 19 years ago,” said Museum President and CEO Joe Daniels. “Meeting Sergeant Major Payne on the day our country gave him his due is an honor I will never forget. It’s a privilege to lead a Museum that honors these courageous Americans.”
Sergeant Major Payne has risked his own life countless times during his long Army career, but on October 22, 2015, that selflessness carried him far beyond the call of duty. His actions and bravery liberated nearly 70 people from imminent death, rescuing them from ISIS terrorists who had freshly dug graves waiting for them outside the prison compound.
Sergeant Major Payne joins other American heroes in an intimate Medal of Honor community with recipients spanning different military conflicts and branches of service. Of the more than 3,500 individuals who have received the Medal of Honor, only 69 are still living today. Major General Patrick Brady, who received the Medal of Honor in 1969 from President Nixon, was one of the first to welcome Sergeant Major Payne into a community he knows so well.
“Sergeant Major Payne represents the best of his generation of warriors. Patrick chose to serve our nation after 9/11 out of a sense of duty, to protect our country, our freedoms and our way of life. Decades and different wars may separate us, but the bond we have—wearing and guarding the Medal for those who fought alongside us—binds us together in continued service,” said Major General Brady. “I’m proud to welcome him to our community of recipients.”
To learn more about Sergeant Major Payne’s actions that earned him the Medal of Honor, visit the National Medal of Honor Museum website.