First USAF Airman Receives Congressional Medal Since Vietnam War

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Yesterday, President Trump presented the Medal of Honor to a fallen hero, Technical Sergeant John A. Chapman of the United States Air Force, who died serving in Afghanistan 16 years ago. Sergeant Chapman is the first member of the U.S. Air Force to receive the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War.

On March 4, 2002, on Takur Ghar mountain in Afghanistan, Sergeant Chapman’s aircraft came under heavy enemy fire and was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. One teammate was ejected from the aircraft, and the crippled helicopter crash landed in the valley below. Sergeant Chapman and the remaining joint special operations team members voluntarily returned to the snow-capped mountain—into the heart of a known enemy stronghold—in an attempt to rescue their stranded teammate.

Sergeant Chapman charged into enemy fire through harrowing conditions, seized an enemy bunker, and killed its enemy occupants. Despite severe wounds, he continued to fight relentlessly, sustaining a violent engagement with multiple enemy personnel before paying the ultimate sacrifice. Sergeant Chapman’s heroic actions, at the cost of his life, are credited with saving the lives of his teammates.

“Our nation is rich with blessings,” President Trump said yesterday. “But our greatest blessings of all are the patriots like John.”

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