As Memorial Day approaches, many of us will have the great privilege of spending time with our loved ones. As a community, it’s important to continually remind ourselves of the meaning of this day.
While scouring through the Medal of Honor Museum citations, you can’t help but feel heartbreak for the sacrifice these men and women made and the heartbreak their families must continue to endure. Simultaneously, you can’t help but feeling an overwhelming sense of pride in our nation. While not perfect, we continue to strive for it. So much so that over 1 million men and women have laid their lives down for it.
Woodrow Wilson once said,
“There is this peculiar distinction belonging to the soldier, that he goes into an enterprise out of which he himself cannot get anything at all. He is giving everything that he hath, even his life, in order that others may live, not in order that he himself may obtain gain and prosperity.”
Below is the citation for TSgt John Chapman who died March, 4th, 2002.
He leaves behind a wife and two young daughters.
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.
As always, I appreciate you all,
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