President Donald Trump awarded the Medal of Honor to an Airman for the first time since the Vietnam War.
Technical Sgt. John A. Chapman of the U.S. Air Force was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously during a 3:30 p.m. ceremony today. Trump presented the award to Chapman’s family, who live in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.
The award is given to those who risk their lives and go above and beyond the call of duty. Chapman died in March 2002 while deployed in Afghanistan, according to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.
Chapman was a member of a special operations reconnaissance team deployed to Afghanistan in 2002 that came under enemy fire during a rescue attempt on Takur Ghar mountain, according to the Air Force.
During the rescue attempt, Chapman, moved uphill through deep snow to assault an enemy position. He took the enemy’s bunker, cleared the position, and killed the enemy fighters occupying the position, according to an Air Force press release.
“He will forever be an example of what it means to be one of America’s best and bravest Airmen,” Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said in a prepared statement in July.
Chapman enlisted in the Air Force in September 1985 and his first assignment was as an information systems operator at Lowry Air Force Base in Colorado, according to his biography page on the Air Force website. He was later stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina and in Okinawa, Japan.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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