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TO REQUEST THE DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES NAME ITS FACILITY LOCATED AT 1056 EHRENCLOU DRIVE IN THE CITY OF CAMDEN IN KERSHAW COUNTY IN HONOR OF CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT SERGEANT MAJOR AND MRS. THOMAS PATRICK PAYNE.
Whereas, the members of the South Carolina General Assembly, on behalf of all South Carolinians, acknowledge with deep appreciation the great sacrifice that the men and women of the United States Armed Forces make for the ideals of freedom and justice, which are so richly enjoyed in this nation; and
Whereas, Sergeant Major Thomas Patrick Payne of the United States Army stands high among the many servicemen and women so honored by their country. He is the recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, presented by President Donald Trump in a White House ceremony on September 11, 2020; and
Whereas, Sergeant Major Payne received this prestigious award, the nation's highest award for valor, for his role in an operation to free approximately seventy captives on October 22, 2015. During this mission in northern Iraq, the then-Sergeant First Class Payne led many out of the compound and went back in for one last man; and
Whereas, the mission was one of the largest hostage rescue operations in history. It was partially captured on a Kurdish soldier's helmet camera, which shows Payne in a doorway leading a stream of captives out before going back to look for other survivors; and
Whereas, Sergeant Major Payne grew up in Batesburg-Leesville and Lugoff and graduated from high school in 2002. Part of the 9/11 generation, he felt a strong sense of duty to serve his country. After high school, he enlisted in the Army as an Infantryman 11B and completed the Basic Airborne Course at Fort Benning, Georgia, in 2002 and the Ranger Indoctrination Program in early 2003; and
Whereas, he then was assigned as a rifleman to A Company, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, where he also served as a sniper and sniper team leader until November 2007, the year he was selected for assignment to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg. He has served within USASOC as a special operations team member, assistant team sergeant, team sergeant, and instructor; and
Whereas, during his military career, Sergeant Major Payne has deployed seventeen times in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn, Operation Inherent Resolve, Operation Resolute Support, and to the U.S. Africa Command area of responsibility; and
Whereas, in addition to the Medal of Honor, Sergeant Major Payne's awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with Bronze "V" device and three Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart, Defense Meritorious Service Medal with two Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, and Meritorious Service Medal with one Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, among many others; and
Whereas, in 2017, Sergeant Major Payne graduated from Norwich University with a bachelor's degree in strategic studies and defense analysis. He finds strength for his labors in the strong support of his lovely wife, Alison, and their three charming children; and
Whereas, it would be fitting and proper to recognize Sergeant Major Payne's bravery and his wife's faithful commitment to his military service by having a Department of Motor Vehicles' facility named in their honor. Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring:
That the members of the South Carolina General Assembly request the Department of Motor Vehicles name its facility located at 1056 Ehrenclou Drive in the City of Camden in Kershaw County in honor of Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Sergeant Major and Mrs. Thomas Patrick Payne.
Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be presented to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
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