Medal of Honor Recipients are a part of something greater. They collectively embody the values that we as a country strive to uphold—courage, bravery, and the desire and dedication to do what is right in the midst of life’s most difficult circumstances. But they are also unique. They are parents and siblings, colleagues and friends. They are ordinary people who did extraordinary things, each with their own story to tell.
Honor their sacrifice today so we may shape a better future tomorrow.
War on Terrorism (Iraq)
Thomas P. Payne
Payne was awarded the Medal of Honor in a White House ceremony on September 11, 2020, making him the most recent Recipient of the Medal of Honor. He was recognized for his actions in Iraq on October 22, 2015.
SSgt. Carter undertook a one-man mission under heavy fire in an attempt to neutralize an enemy position. Despite significant wounds and being pinned down in a field by enemy fire, he kept his wits about him and captured two enemy soldiers, gaining valuable intelligence that greatly facilitated the 1945 Allied advance on Speyer, Germany.
In 1969, a AC-47 aircraft over Vietnam was heavily damaged by a hostile mortar. The crew had been dropping magnesium flares to provide illumination for ground troops. As the plane limped through the air, wounded Airman First Class Levitow threw himself on an activated flare and dragged it to the open cargo door. He threw it out of the plane just as it exploded, saving everyone on the aircraft.
Dr. Walker served Union Troops as a contract surgeon from 1861 to 1864, despite the negative reception she often endured as a woman. Her determination to serve the wounded and sick drove her to look after civilians and Confederate soldiers as well.