Trump Awards Medal of Honor to CT Airman Killed Trying to Save Teammate in Afghanistan
President Donald Trump commemorated the heroic actions of an Air Force airman who lost his life fighting Al Qaeda terrorists on a snowy Afghan mountain in hopes of rescuing a fellow American airman.
Trump awarded Technical Sgt. John Chapman with the Congressional Medal of Honor in front of a packed East Room of the White House.
.@POTUS on Sgt. Chapman: Our nation is rich with blessings, but our greatest blessings of all are the patriots...who, like John, carry our freedom on their shoulders, march into the face of evil, & fight to their very last breath so that we can live in freedom and safety & peace pic.twitter.com/C5J5qJ6g4M
— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 22, 2018
Chapman was killed trying to rescue Petty Officer First Class Neil Roberts, who had fallen into enemy territory after their plane came under attack from rocket-propelled grenades.
After the plane crash landed, according to the Air Force Times, Chapman and his team engaged the enemy and at one point Chapman exposed his position to directly attack a pair of enemy bunkers.
Chapman was struck and seriously wounded, but as drone footage showed, he continued to fight for about 70 minutes until he perished.
Trump said Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) were also in attendance at the White House ceremony.
Chapman's wife, Valerie, grew up in Windber, Pa. and the young man later moved to the town, which lies only a few miles from the site of the crash site of doomed September 11, 2001 Flight 93 in Somerset County.
Chapman, who the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette called an "adopted son" of Windber, chose to risk his life in Afghanistan after that tragic attack and was later buried in the small coal town.
Jennifer Griffin reported that Chapman is the first Air Force airman awarded the medal of honor since the Vietnam War.
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