FORT DRUM, N.Y. (WWTI) — Fort Drum community members celebrated the heroism and sacrifice of Staff Sgt. Travis Atkins through a rededication ceremony on August 31.
The ceremony was held at Atkins Functional Fitness Facility, which is the facility that was originally dedicated to Atkins in 2013, a noncommissioned officer assigned to D Company, 2nd Battalion, 14th Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, who was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
Atkins originally enlisted in the Army in 2000, deployed to Kuwait in March of 2003, and then participated in the invasion of Iraq later as an infantry fire team leader. He was honorably discharged from the Army in December 2003, until he was called to serve once again in 2005.
Atkins was reassigned to Delta Company in the same battalion and deployed to Iraq again in August 2006 and served the country until he was killed in action on June 1 in 2007.
Command Sgt. Maj. Roberto Guadarrama, who served as Atkins’ platoon sergeant, spoke at the ceremony about the impression Atkins made on him.
“Travis was incredibly intelligent, fiercely competitive, tough, compassionate, resilient and extremely skilled. When you combine these attributes with a weapon, this makes for a well-trained, lethal Soldier. But Atkins was much more than that,” Guadarrama said. “I knew that our platoon was well-cared for, regardless of what section or squad Atkins was at, knowing that Travis always contributed to the confidence levels for everybody.”
The rededication ceremony recognized Atkins’ award upgrade to the Medal of Honor, which his son Trevor accepted during a White House ceremony in March 2019. They also placed a new bronze plaque outside the facility and a Medal of Honor display inside that pays tribute to the fallen Soldier.
Maj. Gen. Milford H. Beagle Jr., 10th Mountain Division (LI) and Fort Drum commander said that Atkins’ name on the facility and his photos inside are a constant reminder of the bravery and selfless service of a true hero.
“The rededication of this functional fitness facility is a testament to not only his life but to his service and sacrifice,” Beagle said. “Like many who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation, Staff Sgt. Atkins is a true reflection of the great things about our nation, about our Army and the families and service men and women of our Army.”