The statue of posthumous Medal of Honor recipient MSgt. John Chapman was dedicated on May 30, 2019. Air Force video screenshot.
The Air Force on May 30 commemorated MSgt. John Chapman, the first airman to receive the Medal of Honor for actions since the Vietnam War, with a life-size statue and replica of the award at a squadron where airmen entering his career field train.
“It is particularly impactful that John’s legacy is standing guard over the future of our combat control community; a community I consider to be family,” Chapman’s widow, Valerie Nessel, said in a release. “I hope John’s dedication and sacrifice continue to inspire the next generation of heroes who are answering the call to serve and protect our nation.”
A statue of posthumous Medal of Honor recipient MSgt. John Chapman was dedicated on May 30, 2019. Video: Air Force
The statue is located at the Benini Heritage Center at the 352nd Air Force Special Warfare Training Squadron at Pope Army Airfield, N.C. The squadron conducts entry-level training for combat controllers and special tactics officers.
Chapman, a combat controller, was the first special tactics airman to receive the Medal of Honor.
“John was a teammate of mine when he was killed and my very first friend to be killed in action,” squadron commander Maj. Michael Bain said in a release. “I can’t think of a better display, within our museum, that will motivate future special warfare airmen to complete any task in front of them, at home or overseas.”