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State of Texas
Texas Governor's Office
News Release
Monday, December 11, 2017

Governor Abbott Posthumously Awards Texas Legislative Medal Of Honor
To Master Sergeant Travis Watkins

AUSTIN - Governor Greg Abbott today posthumously awarded the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor to Master Sergeant Travis Earl Watkins of the United States Army.

"May we always remember Travis Watkins’ courage and heroism in the face of true evil," said Governor Abbott. "By posthumously presenting him with this honor, we will ensure that his legacy continues to endure and that future generations of Americans can find inspiration from his story. I have no doubt that his service to this country will continue to be a source of pride for every Texan."

The Texas Legislative Medal of Honor was presented today to Master Sergeant Travis Watkins' great grandson.

About Master Sergeant Travis Watkins:

Master Sergeant Travis Earl Watkins began his service in the Pacific during World War II where he earned a Bronze Star during the Gudalcanal Campaign. Following the war he remained in the Army and was deployed to Korea during the Korean War where his heroic service continued.

On August 31, 1950 Master Sergeant Watkins and 30 of his fellow soldiers were separated from their regiment and surrounded by enemy combatants in present-day South Korea. During the skirmish he went alone to retrieve ammunition for his regiment when he was attacked and injured by three additional enemy soldiers. Watkins killed these three combatants and recovered their weapons and ammunition and returned to his men.

Later in the battle when they were attacked again, Watkins left cover to meet the enemy soldiers head on where he was wounded but continued to fight until the attackers were killed.

Shortly after this brave act he collapsed from his wounds and was paralyzed from the waist down, yet he refused all food so that his men would have enough. He then ordered the remaining men to leave him behind and escape to American lines knowing that he would slow their escape and put their lives risk. Master Sergeant Travis Earl Watkins died shortly after their evacuation. He was 29 years old.

His leadership, bravery and sacrifice helped save the lives of many of his fellow soldiers. For his selfless act of valor in the face of overwhelming odds he was given the Congressional Medal of Honor by President Harry Truman.


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