President Trump presents Sergeant Major Thomas Payne with Medal of Honor

President Donald Trump awards the Medal of Honor to Army Sgt. Maj. Thomas P. Payne in the East Room of the White House on Friday, Sept. 11, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 2:35 PM PT – Friday, September 11, 2020

On Friday, President Trump presented Army Sergeant Major Thomas Payne with the Congressional Medal of Honor. During a special ceremony at the White House, the President bestowed the honor on Payne for his heroic efforts fighting ISIS.

The soldier risked his life to rescue more than 70 Iraqi hostages, who were being held by the Islamic State, from a burning building during a 2015 mission.

“Pat ran back into the burning building that was collapsing two more times,” stated President Trump. “…It was one of the largest and most daring rescue missions in American history.”

President Donald Trump awards the Medal of Honor to Army Sgt. Maj. Thomas P. Payne in the East Room of the White House, Friday, Sept. 11, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The 36-year-old returned to the Army after recovering from a grenade blast, which shattered one of his knees in 2010.

Payne had tried to enlist with the Marine Corps after 9/11 when he was 17, but his mother didn’t sign his waiver. On the 19th anniversary of the attack, President Trump bestowed the country’s highest military honor on Payne and said, “You inspire us all.”

“You embody the righteous glory of American valor,” added the President. “We stand in awe of your heroic, daring and gallant deeds.”

READ MORE: Army Soldier To Receive Medal Of Honor For Saving Dozens Of ISIS Hostages