Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Technical Sergeant John. A. Chapman. John served in the Air Force from 1985 to 2002.
John A. Chapman joined the Air Force in 1985 as an information systems operator. He later volunteered to be a Combat Controller where he was given the duty to solve a variety of air and ground conflicts and crises. John was an expert in reconnaissance operations, air traffic control, and terminal attack control operations. He served with the 1721st Combat Control Squadron at Pope Air Force Base and a three-year tour in Okinawa, Japan. He was an experienced static line and military free-fall jumper, combat diver, and earned jumpmaster and dive supervisor qualifications and was chosen for a special duty assignment at the 24th Special Tactics Squadron. There, he trained personnel for their roles as special tactics operators.
On March 4, 2002, John sustained critical injuries in the Battle of Takur Ghar when his joint special operations reconnaissance team was ambushed. After a controlled crash landing of the helicopter he was on board, he charged uphill into enemy terrain in an attempt to rescue a stranded teammate. While trying to take an enemy bunker he was severely wounded but continued to fight. Despite severe, mortal wounds, he continued to fight relentlessly, sustaining a violent engagement with multiple enemy personnel before making the ultimate sacrifice.
He was a devoted husband to his wife, Valerie, and father to two daughters.
On August 22, 2018, the President of the United States awarded Technical Sergeant John A. Chapman the Medal of Honor in recognition of conspicuous gallantry. In accordance with Air Force policy, Medal of Honor recipients are promoted one grade, John will be posthumously promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant on September 1, 2018.
We honor his service.
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