Air Force Sgt. John Chapman’s heroic final moments, Medal of Honor to follow.

| August 10, 2018 | 24 Comments

The U.S. Air Force on Thursday released an aerial video that shows highlights of Tech Sgt. John Chapman’s heroics during hand-to-hand combat on an Afghanistan peak before he was killed by Al Qaeda militants.

Chapman, 36, a native of Windsor Locks, Conn., could be seen on March 4, 2002, charging the enemy on Takur Ghar, a 10,000-foot mountain, Task & Purpose reported. Chapman joined Navy SEALs in an effort to recover a wounded comrade who had fallen from the aircraft after it was hit with a rocket-propelled grenade.  Chapman “charged into enemy fire through harrowing conditions,” seized a bunker and killed its occupants, the White House said.

Britt K. Slabinski, a retired member of SEAL Team 6, who received the Medal of Honor in May for his heroics during the same 14-hour battle, believed Chapman was dead, and moved the team — including someone with a serious leg injury — off the battlefield, the New York Times reported.

Chapman regained consciousness and fought for an hour after being gunned down but managed to kill two more enemies, reports said.

Slabinski, who completed 15 combat tours, told the New York Times in 2016 that he was “95 percent certain” that Chapman was killed and was skeptical of the video’s accuracy and analyses. He told officials that Chapman’s actions helped save his team that day.

Slabinski retired from the Navy in 2014 after more than 25 years of service. He said following the ceremony that the medal “belongs to so many others” and named the teammates “who followed me without hesitation.” Slabinski said the medal also belongs to seven Americans who died on the mountaintop.

“They gave all for us. This honor is truly theirs. They are the true heroes,” he said in a statement delivered on the White House driveway.

But Deborah Lee James, who worked under President Obama as the Air Force secretary, said Slabinski deserves his medal and his contributions shouldn’t be underestimated.

“Nobody thinks that he did anything other than his absolute best on the worst day of his life,” James said of Slabinski, according to the Washington Post. “He thought he was dead, and he was responsible for four or five others that he was trying to save.”

President Trump will award the Medal of Honor posthumously to Chapman’s family on Aug. 22 — 16 years after he died. He will be the first airman to receive the award since the Vietnam War.

James had recommended Chapman for the award, but she said it stalled.

“I believe the SEALs want to honor John Chapman,” James told the paper. “What some don’t want is they don’t want it linked to him getting back up and fighting back on.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Fox News Report

The Fog of War is a shitty thing to have to live with.  Brave men doing their best in the midst of chaos.

 

Category: Military issues

Comments (24)

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  1. ChipNASA says:

    That’s a tough read.
    Thinking the guy’s dead and then later on, he fires back up and kicks some more ass.
    Ow.

    • Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

      Yeah that was my thought as well…that’s a hard thing to consider…that you left a guy who wasn’t dead and the poor fucker had to fight some more without any chance of getting out alive.

      That shit is nightmare stuff right there.

  2. FatCircles0311 says:

    That is a glorious Don Shipley like do right there. What a war dog.

  3. Mr. Sharkman says:

    About time.

    Save us some seats in the Great Hall, Chapman.

  4. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    I will never believe that anyone knowingly left him behind and American war dead have been left behind in every conflict where the circumstances of the fight required it. It wasn’t enough that Chapman fought it out alone, out gunned and out numbered, until he could fight no more; he took the fight to the enemy. Incredible.

  5. AW1Ed says:

    The Fog of War is a shitty thing to have to live with. Brave men doing their best in the midst of chaos.

    And then come the Second Guessers, aka “The Men Who Were Not There” and their “What if…” games.

    • Graybeard says:

      I suspect the “What if…” games of those who were there will be enough of a Hell.

      I certainly will not be second guessing anyone.

      “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

      https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/manvotional-the-man-in-the-arena-by-theodore-roosevelt/

  6. USMCMSgt (Ret) says:

    It’s reported that when USMC Commandant General Paul X. Kelley visited wounded Marines in the hospital after the 1983 Beirut bombing, he said, “Lord, where do we get such men?”

    General Kelley’s sentiments were as true then as they are in TSgt Chapmans’ case today.

  7. HMC Ret says:

    “I held SGT Chapman in my arms as he breathed his last” coming from a fat poser in 3 – 2 – 1 … BOOM! Maybe from that 400 pounder earlier in the week. No, that wouldn’t work. No way a chopper could lift off with him aboard. He could serve on an aircraft carrier as ballast.

    • Wilted Willy says:

      I’m sure the posers will jump on this like a fat girl on a donut! May they all rot in hell!
      May God bless your soul SGT Chapman. My prayers go out to you and your family

  8. MCPO NYC USN Ret. says:

    I was at Slab’s MoH ceremony at the WH and at Pentagon Hall of Heroes proceedings the following day. I met many of the men who were on that mission (SEALs, AF PJ’s & CAC’s, RANGERS, Night Stalkers), Chappy’s wife Valerie and many friends and supporters. Nothing makes it easier … the gut-wrenching hurt, sorrow and sacrifice of the seven who died on that mountain. And no one should condemn anyone if they were not there themselves or did not have to make the instant tough decisions of the day. My son had the honor to escort Valerie to the Hall of Heroes proceedings.

    Tech Sgt. John Chapman, USAF our nation’s next Medal of Honor recipient. Well done Chappy, well done.

    • HMC Ret says:

      ” And no one should condemn anyone if they were not there themselves or did not have to make the instant tough decisions of the day.”

      Roger that.

      • RM3(SS) says:

        It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming

    • Mason says:

      Amen, Master Chief. I refuse to believe they intentionally left him behind. It’s not in the character of such men to do so. Hell, they were on that mountain to rescue one of their own!

    • AW1Ed says:

      If he were to receive this award in person, I have no doubt his words would be, “This isn’t my medal. It’s for the real heroes who didn’t make it back. I wear it for them.”

  9. Ex-PH2 says:

    …but no one has added up the numbers he took with him….

    See you on the other side, SGT Chapman.

  10. Mason says:

    I saw this video yesterday. It’s incredible for a few reasons to me.

    First, that it even exists! MoH recipients often say that they wear the medal to honor the hundreds, if not thousands, of men whose actions were as much or more valorous than theirs, but whose actions weren’t witnessed or reported. To have detailed video of the before, during, and after battle actions is just amazing. Think about the flag raising on Iwo. It had to be done a second time to document it.

    Second, the actions of TSgt Chapman are well deserving of the MoH. Even before he goes down, he’s running up the hill and charging bunkers.

    Third, once he comes to, Chapman then continues to press the fight to the enemy. Even looks like he was helping cover the approach of the relief chopper. No telling how many lives he saved that day.

    The will that man had to fight is the stuff of legend and an inspiration. I’m humbled to have served in the same branch as a man like TSgt Chapman.

  11. Denise Williams says:

    Sgt. Chapman did a remarkable thing which neither he nor any of the others would or could hesitate to do … he fought with all he had. I hope and pray the hole in his family’s hearts is filled with pride and awe of the man he was, and that brings them some measure of peace.

    God, I hate and love these stories, this one more than most. I am in awe of what Sgt. Chapman, and all those did on that mountain top. It literally brings me to tears of overwhelming gratitude that I get to live in a place that produces such men. And my heart hurts so much, it feels like I’ve been punched in the chest at the thought…the fear, that Slabinski is living with as VOV said “that nightmare stuff”.

    Something I think you all should know, and I pray to all the Gods, Saints and Sinners someone has told Slabinski..told and made him believe, as I want all of you to believe…as the family of a fallen, our continuing prayer is that you know we do not blame you. We do not hold you responsible. We hold you in our hearts and pray you find a way to accept that we don’t blame you.

    Crap. I hate and love these stories.

  12. De says:

    Of course the NY Times would find a way to spin it negatively.

  13. LD says:

    Several really good first hand accounts of the mission. I recently read, “The men, the mission and me”. Highly recommend from the account of a Delta CC who helped prosecute this very mission.

  14. 5th/77thFA says:

    The clanging of his big brass ones alerted the rag heads in the bunker that he was coming. “Never stand and take a charge” BZ Chappie. Saw the blurb on the National News and some of the spin there of. Some folks just don’t understand that you have to take the fight to the enemy, and if you weren’t there, just STFU.

  15. Sparks says:

    Well done Sergeant Chapman. Damned well done Sir. You gave your all.

  16. Inbred Redneck says:

    He deserves to go to a higher place than I ever will. Salute!

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