- NATO Kosovo Force
- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Freedom’s Sentinel
- Operation Inherent Resolve
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Operation New Dawn
- Operation Odyssey Lightning
- Operation Spartan Shield
- U.S. Africa Command Operations
- U.S. Central Command operations
- The People Behind The Sacrifice
Army Staff Sgt. Travis W. Atkins
Died June 1, 2007 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom
31, of Bozeman, Mont.; assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, N.Y.; died June 1 in Al Yusufiyah, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his unit.
Bozeman Army sergeant killed in Iraq
The Associated Press
BOZEMAN, Mont. — A 31-year-old soldier from Bozeman was killed in Iraq on June 1 after a suicide bomber detonated an explosive near a mosque in Al Yusufiyah, military officials said June 4.
Army Staff Sgt. Travis Atkins is the first soldier from Bozeman and the second from Gallatin County to die in Iraq since the war began there in 2003. He was on his second tour of duty in Iraq and oversaw a squad of 15 soldiers, said his parents, Jack and Elaine Atkins of Bozeman.
“He loved the Army. He did an excellent job,” Elaine Atkins said as she fought back tears. “He was well thought of by his subordinates and his superior officers.”
Atkins and several other U.S. soldiers were on patrol at about 11 a.m. on June 1 when they observed four suspicious Iraqi citizens, an Army incident report stated. The Iraqis tried to run away, but Atkins caught one of them and tackled him to the ground.
The Iraqi man detonated a suicide bomb attached to his vest, killing himself and Atkins, the report stated. One other Iraqi blew himself up, and the others fled.
No other soldiers were killed in the incident, said Maj. Garth Scott, the Montana National Guard’s public information officer.
Atkins attended Bozeman High School and Kemper Military School in Missouri, eventually earning his GED, his parents said. After high school, he worked as a painter, poured concrete and worked in a snowmobile shop.
He enlisted in the Army in November 2000, his parents said.
“When he joined the Army, that’s when he found his niche,” Elaine Atkins said.
He was initially sent to Iraq for 10 months in March 2003, at the start of the war in Iraq.
After that stint, Atkins left the Army, attended the University of Montana and worked in the building trades, his parents said.
He re-enlisted in December 2005 and was sent back to Iraq last summer.
Atkins had already survived two roadside bombs, said his father, a Vietnam War veteran.
Atkins had an 11-year-old son, Trevor, who lives in Minnesota, his parents said.
He is also survived by a sister, Jennifer, 28, who lives in Washington.
Family, friends remember soldier killed in Iraq
The Associated Press
After earning a GED, Army Staff Sgt. Travis W. Atkins worked as a painter, poured concrete and worked in a snowmobile shop. He enlisted in the Army in November 2000. “When he joined the Army, that’s when he found his niche,” said his mother, Elaine Atkins.
Atkins, 31, of Bozeman, Mont., was killed June 1 in Yusufiyah, Iraq, when his vehicle struck an explosive, He was assigned to Fort Drum, N.Y.
“He was an extraordinary leader who cared deeply about the soldiers in his platoon and company. His dedication was contagious and his devotion will be missed,” said Capt. Ben Ruschell.
Following his first stint in Iraq, Atkins left the Army, attended the University of Montana and worked in the building trades. He re-enlisted in December 2005 and was sent back to Iraq last summer.
“Travis was an impressive person and you knew that as soon as you met him,” said Gene Allison, who worked with Atkins father, Jack.
He also is survived by a son, Trevor Oliver, 11.
“He loved the Army. He did an excellent job,” Elaine Atkins said. “He was well thought of by his subordinates and his superior officers.”