Every once in a while we have the pleasure of writing about someone truly unique. While many have braved the perils of combat and done heroic deeds, Tech Sergeant John Chapman is one of a kind. As we go into detail about his actions, think about what you would have done in similar circumstances and be honest with yourself. Would you fight? Would you seek to evade and escape the enemy? Given the circumstances either option is reasonable and no one could fault you for your choice. One wounded man versus scores of enemy fighters. What did John Chapman do? He fought till the end.March 2002, John Chapman accompanied a SEAL Team on a mission in Afghanistan, he was to be their call for air support. As the operators approached the landing zone, machine gun fire erupted from the mountains. An RPG struck the helicopter throwing one of the team members from the aircraft. Chapman directed the AC-130 gunships to provide security and search for the missing SEAL.Upon finally reaching the peak of Takur Ghar, Chapman and the SEALs engaged Al-Qaeda fighters in intense firefights. Chapman dropped two fighters and helped the SEAL team leader clear out a bunker before becoming wounded himself. Everyone thought John was dead and they were being overrun. The AC-130 gunships were about to rain down holy fire on that mountaintop.
Except John Chapman wasn't dead, he was wounded and had been knocked unconscious. When he came to, he found Al Qaeda fighters approaching from all sides. Stay and fight, or make your best attempt to live to fight another day? John Chapman chose to fight and fight he did. Killing one fighter with his rifle and another in hand to hand combat, John fought until the very end. Even as they were coming to rescue him, he sought to provide covering fire for the rescue force. It was then that John was mortally wounded by machinegun fire. Looking out for others, as he always did, till the end.
For his actions on the mountaintop that day, John Chapman would be awarded the Air Force Cross, which as of recently will be upgraded to the Medal of Honor, making him the first airman since the Vietnam War to receive the nations highest honor.Read more stories of American Grit here: