STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Trump awards posthumous Medal of Honor to airman John Chapman

Amid a White House reeling from Tuesday's bombshell courtroom dramas of Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen, Pre...

Posted: Aug 23, 2018 6:39 AM
Updated: Aug 23, 2018 6:39 AM

Amid a White House reeling from Tuesday's bombshell courtroom dramas of Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump turned his attention to his role as commander in chief Wednesday afternoon, presenting the Medal of Honor to Tech. Sgt. John Chapman.

Chapman, a member of the US Air Force, received the Medal of Honor posthumously for "extraordinary heroism" in March 2002 during the Battle of Takur Ghar in Afghanistan, per the Air Force official website.

Armed forces

Awards and prizes

Donald Trump

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government organizations - US

Military

Military honors

Political Figures - US

US Air Force

US Department of Defense

US federal departments and agencies

US federal government

White House

Trump called Chapman a "great warrior" as he told attendees about the airman's efforts in the battle.

After his aircraft came under enemy fire, a teammate was ejected and the helicopter crash-landed, Chapman and his team members returned to Takur Ghar mountain to rescue their teammate.

At 10,000 feet, Chapman "charged into enemy fire through harrowing conditions, seized an enemy bunker and killed its enemy occupants. He then moved from cover to engage a machine gun firing on his team from a second bunker. While engaging this position, he was severely wounded by enemy gunfire. Despite severe wounds, he continued to fight relentlessly, sustaining a violent engagement with multiple enemy personnel before paying the ultimate sacrifice," according to a statement from the White House.

"As John fired on the second bunker he was shot and fell to the ground and lost consciousness," Trump said, noting that once Chapman regained consciousness, he continued to fight.

"He really fought. Good genes, you have good genes," he said as Chapman's family looked on.

The President continued, "In his final act of supreme courage, John gave his life for his fellow warriors."

Trump said Chapman's actions that day helped save the lives more than 20 American service members, many of whom were in attendance in the East Room of the White House on Wednesday, including Master Chief Special Warfare Operator Britt Slabinski, who had received the Medal of Honor in May.

Chapman is the first airman to receive the Medal of Honor for actions conducted since the Vietnam War, according to the Air Force.

"Airmen live their lives based on the core values of integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do," Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson said in a statement.

She continued, "It was these values that Tech. Sgt. Chapman demonstrated in combat alongside his joint partners during decisive and defining moments on a hill in Afghanistan more than 14 years ago. He will forever serve as an example of what it means to be an Airman for us all."

His widow, Valerie Nessel, accepted the honor on his behalf on Wednesday, the 26th anniversary of their marriage. She received a raucous standing ovation.

Chapman "would want to recognize the other men that lost their lives," his wife told the Air Force. "Even though he did something he was awarded the Medal of Honor for, he would not want the other guys to be forgotten -- that they were part of the team together. I think he would say that his Medal of Honor was not just for him, but for all of the guys who were lost."

West Lafayette
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 80°
Kokomo
Few Clouds
74° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 74°
Rensselaer
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 73°
Fowler
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 73°
Williamsport
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 76°
Crawfordsville
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 73°
Frankfort
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 73°
Delphi
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 75°
Monticello
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 75°
Logansport
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 75°
Fantastic Friday Weather, Warmer and Wet Weekend Ahead.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 71015

Reported Deaths: 3013
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15322723
Lake7343274
Elkhart471380
Allen3725160
St. Joseph330179
Hamilton2610104
Vanderburgh184213
Hendricks1814106
Cass17669
Johnson1694118
Porter123839
Clark114846
Tippecanoe114611
Madison89565
LaPorte86930
Howard85565
Kosciusko82712
Marshall75822
Bartholomew75447
Floyd74045
Monroe70830
Delaware68052
Dubois65812
Boone65346
Noble64529
Hancock63838
Jackson5625
LaGrange55410
Warrick55330
Vigo54310
Shelby53527
Grant52029
Dearborn47928
Morgan45134
Clinton4043
Henry36919
White35110
Montgomery34621
Wayne34610
Lawrence33727
Decatur32432
Harrison30923
Putnam2778
Miami2642
Daviess25920
Scott25710
Greene24134
Franklin23413
DeKalb2234
Jasper2192
Jennings21512
Gibson2084
Steuben2043
Ripley1947
Perry17912
Fayette1777
Starke1747
Orange16624
Posey1650
Wabash1613
Fulton1592
Carroll1572
Wells1542
Jefferson1532
Whitley1476
Knox1420
Tipton1296
Huntington1213
Washington1211
Spencer1193
Newton11410
Randolph1144
Clay1045
Sullivan911
Adams892
Jay840
Owen831
Pulaski751
Brown711
Rush714
Fountain642
Benton600
Blackford592
Ohio574
Pike520
Parke501
Vermillion480
Crawford440
Switzerland440
Martin420
Union350
Warren201
Unassigned0202

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events