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  • Report: Army Ranger to receive Medal of Honor for saving dozens of prisoners held by ISIS

    Report: Army Ranger to receive Medal of Honor for saving dozens of prisoners held by ISIS

    An Army Ranger who helped save 70 hostages during a 2015 raid on an Islamic State group prison compound in Iraq has been approved to receive the Medal of Honor, The Associated Press reported on Wednesday. Sgt. Maj. Thomas “Patrick” Payne, will receive the nation’s most prestigious military decoration in a White House ceremony on Sept. 11, the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.

    H/T: Task & Purpose

    More from the AP report:

    “Time was of the essence,” Payne said, according to a news release obtained by the AP and not yet made public. “There were freshly dug graves. If we didn’t action this raid, then the hostages were likely to be executed.”

    ISIS fighters continued to exchange gunfire with the commandos as they entered the building. Payne moved to open another fortified door. According to the press release, he managed to cut the first lock, but due to the heavy smoke from the fire, he had to hand off the bolt cutters to an Iraqi counterpart and retreat out of the building for fresh air.

    After some time, the Iraqi partner also came out for fresh air. Payne grabbed the bolt cutters and re-entered the building to cut off the last lock. Once the door was kicked opened, both American and Kurdish commandos escorted about 30 more hostages out of the burning building that was about to collapse and under enemy gunfire.

    Payne reentered the building two more times to ensure every hostage was freed. One of those times he had to forcibly remove one of the hostages who had been too frightened to move during the chaotic scene, said Payne in the press release.

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