Sgt. Maj. Thomas Payne received the Medal of Honor Friday.
President Trump awarded Payne the highest military honor for his actions during a 2015 hostage rescue mission in Iraq against ISIS. The mission would be the same mission that Master Sgt. Josh Wheeler died on. Payne rescued 70 hostages October 22 near Hawija, Iraq awaiting execution by ISIS.
Payne rushed through buildings under heavy fire, multiple suicide vests went off and he put himself at risk to cut doors open to free the hostages.
According to the Army, Payne re-entered the dangerous scene multiple times to save every single hostage. The Army wrote:
With disregard for his own safety, Payne then reentered the building two more times to ensure every hostage was out. One of those times he had to forcibly remove one of the hostages who had been too frightened to move during the chaotic scene.
– 70 rescued hostages – At least 20 dead ISIS terrorists – Repeatedly put himself in the line of fire – Multiple suicide vest explosions.