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Air Force Seeks Medal Of Honor For Sergeant Who Died In Afghanistan 14 Years Ago
The secretary of the Air Force is pushing to award a Medal of Honor to the first Connecticut native to die in the war in Afghanistan, based on new evidence 14 years after his death, the New York Times reported.
Sgt. John Chapman, 36, a standout athlete and 1983 graduate of Windsor Locks High School, was killed in combat after military action began in Afghanistan following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
He died on March 4, 2002, while attempting to retrieve the body of a Navy SEAL who had fallen from a helicopter during an attack by al Qaida and Taliban fighters, according to previous Courant reports.
But new evidence unearthed by the Air Force about Chapman's final hours suggests that a senior chief petty officer may have been incorrect when he declared Chapman dead during the attack, the New York Times reported.
Instead, the Air Force said, Chapman lived for an hour after his teammates had retreated, fighting enemy troops alone, according to the newspaper report. New technology used in an examination of videos from aircraft flying overhead indicate that Chapman killed two Al Qaida fighters before "dying in an attempt to protect arriving reinforcements," the newspaper reported.
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said on Saturday that, in the wake of the new information, he is looking forward to contacting the Secretary of Defense to help take the next step in awarding Chapman with the Medal of Honor, the military's highest award.
"I support moving forward with the Medal of Honor for Sgt. Chapman because he unquestionably died a hero fighting for his country," Blumenthal said. "We may never know exactly what happened during the final hours of that fight but, undoubtedly, Sgt. Chapman died a hero."
Chapman joined the Air Force in 1985 and later became a combat controller with the 24th Special Tactics Squadron, based at Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina, where he lived with his wife, Valerie, and daughters, Madison and Brianna.
Chapman had been credited with saving the rest of his team, and a memorial was built for him at an Air Force base in Alabama. He received a citation for the Air Force Cross, the second-highest honor for an airman.
In Windsor Locks, Chapman was known as a winning athlete, making the varsity soccer team in his freshman year.
© 2016 The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Trump claims border wall is under construction 'right now' using fence repair footage from 5 months ago
With a legal fight challenge mounting from state governments over the Trump administration's use of a national emergency to construct at the U.S.-Mexico border, the president has kicked his push for the barrier into high gear.
On Wednesday, President Trump tweeted a time-lapse video of wall construction in New Mexico; the next day, he proclaimed that "THE WALL IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION RIGHT NOW"
But there's a big problem: The footage, which was filmed more than five months ago on Sep. 18, 2018, isn't really new wall construction at all, and certainly not part of the ongoing construction of "the wall" that Trump has been haggling with Congress over.
Group of American vets detained in Haiti on weapons charges brought back to US, arrested upon landing
A group comprised of former U.S. military veterans and security contractors who were detained in Haiti on weapons charges has been brought back to the United States and arrested upon landing, The Miami-Herald reported.
The men — five Americans, two Serbs, and one Haitian — were stopped at a Port-au-Prince police checkpoint on Sunday while riding in two vehicles without license plates, according to police. When questioned, the heavily-armed men allegedly told police they were on a "government mission" before being taken into custody.
The Army allegedly missed this soldier's stomach cancer for 4 years. His widow wants someone to answer for it
The widow of a soldier whose stomach cancer was allegedly overlooked by Army doctors for four years is mounting a medical malpractice lawsuit against the military, but due to a decades-old legal rule known as the Feres Doctrine, her case will likely be dismissed before it ever goes to trial.
Hand grenades from the last major battle of the Revolutionary War have repeatedly scrambled bomb squads in Virginia's capital
In an uh-oh episode of historic proportions, hand grenades from the last major battle of the Revolutionary War recently and repeatedly scrambled bomb squads in Virginia's capital city.
Wait – they had hand grenades in the Revolutionary War? Indeed. Hollow iron balls, filled with black powder, outfitted with a fuse, then lit and thrown.
And more than two dozen have been sitting in cardboard boxes at the Department of Historic Resources, undetected for 30 years.