Patrick Payne was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his selfless actions towards liberating 75 hostages who were trapped in a fire during a rescue mission in Iraq.
The South Carolina youth who was inspired by patriotism and zeal to defend the United States had decided to join the Army. He later joined the elite ranks of the legendary Army Rangers.
Patrick Payne and his Co-Rangers battled through the fire and the bullets. He went to the front door and realized that the captives were held behind a metal door safeguarded by two very heavy padlocks. The building which was on fire had partly collapsed.
He went through flame and smoke and bullets holding a pair of bolts cutters, he had successfully cut one of the locks when the heat forced him to leave the building for some air.
After he caught his breath, he ran back in and tried to slice the final lock to release the rest of the hostages. Pat received orders to evacuate the building as it began to collapse, but he failed to do so.
He didn’t want to leave anyone behind, so he ran back into the building which was on fire two more times. He saved so many hostages and ensured he was the last man to leave.
Payne is assigned to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command and he received the greatest award from the President on September 11, 2020.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on October 22, 2015.
His heroism and selfless actions were key to liberating 75 hostages during a contested rescue mission that resulted in 20 enemies killed in action.The Congressional Medal of Honor citation