Tech. Sgt. Chapman honored with Medal of Honor

Local News

A fallen hero with ties to our area is honored with the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Technical Sergeant John Chapman was killed in action in 2002 in Afghanistan. His widow, from Windber, accepted the honor on his behalf.  

“John gave his life for his fellow warriors,” said President Trump.

Chapman is the second man to receive the nation’s highest award for military valor for heroism in that battle.

With a smile on her face and a heart full of pride, Valerie Nessel accepted the medal of honor from President Trump. The award recognizes the ultimate sacrifice made by her husband, Air Force Tech. Sgt. John Chapman.

Chapman was killed during a combat mission in 2002. He was serving alongside an elite group of Navy Seals in Afghanistan when the crew came under attack. His family describes Chapman as a humble man who dedicated his life to helping others.
 
“He was such a genuine good hearted person,” said widow, Valerie Nessel.

“He always put others before himself he felt that was the right thing to do,” said Terry Chapman, Chapman’s mother.

John Chapman is the first U.S. Air Force airman to receive the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War. Military officials reviewed hours of classified video that proved to them and President Trump, that Chapman’s heroic actions deserved the nation’s highest honor for valor.

Retired Colonel Ken Rodriguez  says drone footage captured the mountainside battle. During the attack, Chapman was wounded and presumed dead. Defense leaders say after American troops retreated, the airman regained consciousness and for nearly an hour, single-handedly defended his teammates and our country.

With this medal, America honors a friend, a family man and fallen hero.

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