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The First Medal of Honor Ever Recorded

March 4, 2002: John Chapman, an Air Force Combat Controller, along with a SEAL Team, are attempting to rescue their lost teammate. You’ll watch Chapman’s stunning and heroic actions as he saves the lives of his entire SEAL team, and another 18 members of a quick-reaction force, to earn America’s highest honor: The Medal of Honor.

Where do we get such men? More to the point, why do we still deserve such men?

CMOHS.org – Technical Sergeant CHAPMAN, JOHN A., U.S. Air Force Technical Sergeant John A. Chapman distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism as an Air Force Special Tactics Combat Controller, attached to a Navy Sea, Air, and Land (SEAL) Team conducting reconnaissance operations in Takur Ghar, Afghanistan, on March 4, 2002. During insertion, the team’s helicopter was ambushed causing a teammate to fall into an entrenched group of enemy combatants below. Sergeant Chapman and the team voluntarily reinserted onto the snow-capped mountain, into the heart of a known enemy stronghold to rescue one of their own. Without regard for his own safety, Sergeant Chapman immediately engaged, moving in the direction of the closest enemy position despite coming under heavy fire from multiple directions. He fearlessly charged an enemy bunker, up a steep incline in thigh-deep snow and into hostile fire, directly engaging the enemy. Upon reaching the bunker, Sergeant Chapman assaulted and cleared the position, killing all enemy occupants. With complete disregard for his own life, Sergeant Chapman deliberately moved from cover only 12 meters from the enemy, and exposed himself once again to attack a second bunker, from which an emplaced machine gun was firing on his team. During this assault from an exposed position directly in the line of intense fire, Sergeant Chapman was struck and injured by enemy fire. Despite severe, mortal wounds, he continued to fight relentlessly, sustaining a violent engagement with multiple enemy personnel before making the ultimate sacrifice. By his heroic actions and extraordinary valor, sacrificing his life for the lives of his teammates, Technical Sergeant Chapman upheld the highest traditions of military service and reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

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  • Hangtown Bob July 2, 2019, 1:42 PM


    Today’s Audie Murphy

    or more so……..

  • John Venlet July 2, 2019, 1:46 PM

    Where do we get such men?

    Men such as Chapman, though seemingly rare, are all around us. One could be walking down your street, or waving hello to you from their front porch. They are working on farms, or studying engineering, or taking their son to a baseball game. They do not strut, put on fronts, or whine, they act.

    More to the point, why do we still deserve such men?

    We deserve such men because the American spirit of independence is still alive and well in this country called America. Just because the majority of members of the media, universities, or other bureaucratic institutions are a bunch of wimpy fools, degrading almost everything they come in contact with, they actually are a minority. We deserve such men because we continue to need them. Let’s pray that we will not need them on our American streets to remain free.

  • JoanOfArgghh! July 2, 2019, 2:30 PM

    Oh, this is just awe-ful and heart-wrenching and yet it fills one with an unearned pride to think of such a man, the son of amazing parents, the products of our culture– and make us all want to be better people for his sake? Is America not worth saving while such men are still being created here?

  • Mary Ann July 2, 2019, 3:29 PM

    I find myself in tears and beyond humbled to find myself a countrywoman to this hero.

  • Joe July 2, 2019, 4:29 PM

    “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”
    Attributed to George Orwell

  • Missy July 2, 2019, 5:39 PM
  • Roscoe July 2, 2019, 7:33 PM

    I do not know whether I am worthy of this man’s sacrifice, but I am for damn sure going to live the best, most decent life I can to honor his sacrifice.

  • ghostsniper July 3, 2019, 4:47 AM

    John is right. They are out here. They always are. They are not flashy, they are not broadcasting. They are living. Always in wait. They know not who they are. They are living, like all of us. Until such time they are called to do. It’s always been this way.

  • Snakepit Kansas July 3, 2019, 5:27 AM

    Incredible story. This should be front page news.

  • azlibertarian July 3, 2019, 3:42 PM

    I am nearing the end of a month-long visit from my Daughter#1 and her family. Her husband…my son-in-law….is everything a father-in-law would want; a great guy, humble, quiet, strong, smart. I fully admit my bias, but they are parenting two of the best kids ever.

    And in his work life, my son-in-law is a badass. He wouldn’t want me to go into specifics, but he is one of the guys who gets to work in the worst situations ever, and he wouldn’t want to do anything else. I know where “we get such men”. They’re there, and I am proud that one of them is in my family.

  • Nori July 3, 2019, 9:53 PM

    Stunning. And yes,they are here amongst us. Normal guys. Living their normal lives until abnormality becomes the norm.
    Bless you,John Chapman.
    We owe you and those like you everything. Every thing.