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Michael D. Atkins


Airman's Medal

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Awarded for actions during the Peace Time Awards

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting the Airman's Medal to Senior Airman Michael D. Atkins, United States Air Force, for heroism involving voluntary risk of life at King Abdul Aziz Air Base, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on 25 June 1996. On that date, a powerful terrorist bomb blast destroyed the building housing Airman Atkins and slammed him to the floor. He reoriented himself in the darkness, escaped the devastated building, questioned bystanders, and determined people were trapped inside. Despite profuse bleeding from a severed artery on his head, painful shrapnel lodged in his legs, and numerous lacerations, he immediately leaped into action and reentered the building to assist survivors. Undaunted by the perils of the crumbling structure and the threat of further explosions, Airman Atkins showed absolutely no concern for his own personal safety as he repeatedly risked his own life to lead six badly wounded and disoriented airmen to safety. Suffering from the effects of blood loss, Airman Atkins maintained his composure and rendered lifesaving medical treatment to blast victims for several hours until he finally succumbed to his own injuries and was evacuated to a hospital. His personal courage and decisive actions in the face of danger saved multiple lives and contributed significantly to the successful medical treatment and transport of over 200 wounded Americans. The exemplary courage and heroism displayed by Airman Atkins reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: 25-Jun-96

Service: Air Force

Rank: Senior Airman