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tv   White House Medal of Honor Ceremony  CSPAN  August 22, 2018 11:36pm-12:01am EDT

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awarded a posthumous medal of honor to air force sergeant john chatman, who was killed in afghanistan in 2002. sergeant chapman's widow attended today's white house ceremony. this is 20 minutes.
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>> for those who desire, may you join me now in prayer. holy father, we thank you for this day, for this national recognition and for technical sergeant john chapman. lord, we enter this esteemed ceremony with hearts filled with grief and pride. our grief stems from the pain of six's sacrifice, along with other courageous americans that lost their lives in noble service to our nation in the cause of human freedom and dignity. our pride stems on this day, focused upon the man you created, gifted, and empowered with an unconventional resolve to operate selflessly in protecting his family, his teammates, and the world from the evil of terrorism. we thank you, lord, for the opportunity to honor john chapman with america's highest decoration for his heroic valor. to honor the enduring sacrifice his family carries deeply within their hearts.
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and to honor the legacy and inspiration that john has infused into the mission, the leadership, and the operations of air force special tactics. lord, your just intent of overcoming evil with good in this world through human agency found fearless expression in john. even in the face of death, so others may live. we thank you for john. we thank you for his family. we thank you for his unforgettable life and love shaped by your very spirit. father, as we move forward this day, it may your tangible presence be known to john's family. as we move forward, may john's sacrifice motivate selfless duty to you, to country, and to humanity. and as we move forward, may we give thanks for our great nation, our great military, and our great liberties that rest upon the bravery and blood of
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selfless patriots like technical charge and -- technical sergeant john chapman. to this end we pray. amen. >> amen. pres. trump: thank you very much. please be seated. thank you. thank you, chaplain. very well done, beautiful. we are honored to be joined by members of congress, military leaders, distinguished guests from all across our nation. i want to recognize secretary of the air force heather wilson. thank you. heather, thank you. air force chief of staff david. david, thank you. it has been 19 years i think, right, the air force to do with the congressional of medal of honor, so congratulations. it is a long time. very deserving. air force undersecretary matthew donovan, air force vice chief of staff stephen wilson, and chief master sergeant of the air force kathleen wright.
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i also want to thank v.a. secretary robert wilkie for joining us. you are doing a great job. the vets are very happy. i have been hearing a lot of great reports. thank you very much. along with senators john bozeman, richard blumenthal, bob casey, chris murphy, and pat toomey. and representative matt gaetz and john larson, thank you all for being here very much. thank you. appreciate it. we are gathered together this afternoon to pay tribute to add fallen warrior, a great warrior, technical sergeant john chapman , and to award him our nation's highest and most revered military honor. would you all please join me in welcoming a wonderful family that i just met in the oval office, the chapman family. thank you. please stand up. [applause]
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pres. trump: and to his beautiful wife, valerie, who agrees that he was a very brave man right from the beginning. right, you knew that? i know this day has truly brought special meaning. exactly 26 years ago, you married john. today, it is our great honor to share his incredible story with the world, so thank you very much, valerie. appreciate it. and your daughters, madison and breanna. we award your dad the congressional medal of honor. i know he is looking down on you right now from heaven, proud of
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this day, but even more proud of the incredible young women that you have both become. it is great to know you. great to have met you. thank you. we are also grateful to be joined by john's wonderful mom, terry, his sister lori, his brother kevin, and valerie's parents, rita and jim novak. thank you all for being here. very great honor. [applause] pres. trump: and though she could not be here today, somebody that john loved very much, his sister tammy, so please give our regards. thank you. i also want to recognize jack, sousa, john's friend and combat control teammate, who is still recovering from a recent severe injury. jack, thank you for your noble service. thank you.
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we appreciate it. thank you, jack. [applause] pres. trump: looks like you are doing well. doing well? good. thank you, jack. finally, we salute the five congressional medal of honor recipients who join us. woody williams, harvey barnum, edward byers, brian thacker, and britt slavinsky. please stand. [applause] pres. trump: brave people. three months ago, i awarded the medal of honor to britt for his heroic actions in the same battle we are remembering today. john chapman grew up in windsor box, connecticut.
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from a very young age, john was determined to protect those in need. in kindergarten, john noticed that his classmate, bill brooks, was being bullied. as bill says, john stepped in and saved me. in his high school yearbook, john quoted these words, "give yourself before taking of someone else." very farsighted. john lived by that motto every single day. everybody that knew him said that is the way he lived. two years after he graduated high school, john enlisted in the united states air force. he was among the elite few to complete air force special tactics training, one of the most rigorous training programs in all of the military. john became an expert in deploying undetected onto the battlefield to set up airfields and direct fire support.
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now, john will become the first special tactics airman to receive the congressional medal of honor. john met valerie in pennsylvania while he was training with the army. it was a big day, a good day, right? they married in 1992, and soon their love grew into a beautiful family. whenever john was home, he took on that duty immediately, dutyng -- took on dad immediately, reading to the girls, playing with them and even building an amazing swing set. do you remember that? it was a long time ago. the swing set. soon after the terror attacks of september 11, john volunteered to deploy to afghanistan. he walked into his superior's office and said, i need to go. in one of the most harrowing engagements of operation enduring freedom, john was part of a highly trained team on a combat mission to establish a
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secure position on the peak of a mountain. in the early morning of march 4, 2002, john and his teammates were preparing to land on the mountain when their helicopter was struck by heavy machine-gun fire and a rocket propelled grenade. they were under serious attack. as the helicopter lurched away, petty officer first class neil roberts was flung out of the aircraft and onto the top of the mountain, as the helicopter crash-landed into the valley below. it was a horrific crash. the team survived the crash and without hesitation they volunteered to return to the mountain. they wanted to get neil. they landed into a deep snow and heavy machine-gun fire coming from three different directions. you could not even see, so many bullets.
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at over 10,000 feet, they fought the enemy at the highest altitude of any battle in the history of the american military. john chapman was the first to charge up the mountain toward the enemy. he killed two terrorists and cleared out the first bunker. john left the safety of the first bunker to fire a second enemy grenade at another bunker. as john fired on the second bunker, he was shot and fell to the ground and lost consciousness. even though he was mortally wounded, john regained consciousness and continued to fight on. and he really fought. we have proof of that fight. he really fought. good genes, you have good genes. he immediately began firing at the enemy, who was bombarding him with machine-gun fire and rocket-propelled grenades. despite facing overwhelming force, john bravely and fiercely
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battled on for over an hour. as another american quick reaction force helicopter approached, john engaged the enemy and provided covering fire in an attempt to prevent the enemy from shooting down our airmaen, and that helicopter. in his final act of supreme courage, john gave his life for his fellow warriors. through his extraordinary sacrifice, john helped save more than 20 american service members, some of whom are here today. and i would like to introduce them. sergeant major matthew lafrenz, please stand up. thank you, sergeant major. [applause] pres. trump: sergeant major raymond dupauli. [applause]
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pres. trump: special tactics major gabriel brown. [applause] pres. trump: along with his team leader, master chief britt slabinksi. [applause] pres. trump: thank you, thank you all. we also remember the six others who, along with john, give their lives on that snowy, really cold afghan night. petty officer first class neil roberts, specialist mark anderson, sergeant bradley crows, senior airman jason cunningham, technical sergeant philip svitak, and corporal matthew comments. our nation is rich with blessings, but our greatest blessings of all are the patriots like john and all of you that just stood, and frankly
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many of the people in this room -- i exclude myself and a few of the politicians. [laughter] pres. trump: who, like john, carry our freedom on their shoulders, march into the face of evil, and fight to their very last breath so we can live in freedom and safety and peace. now it is my privilege to ask valerie to join me on stage to accept the congressional medal of honor on behalf of the hero she loved and the hero our nation will forever remember, technical sergeant john chapman. thank you. please. please, valerie. thank you. [applause] pres. trump: would the military aide please come forward and read the citation? thank you.
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>> the president of the united states of america has awarded in the name of congress the medal of honor posthumously to technical sergeant john a. chapman, united states air force , for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. technical sergeant john a. chapman distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism as an air force special tactics combat controller attached to a land and air seal team conducting reconnaissance operations in afghanistan on march 4, 2002. during insertion, the team's helicopter was ambushed, causing a teammate to fall into an entrenched group of combatants below. sergeant chapman and the team voluntarily reinserted onto the snowcapped mountain into the heart of a known enemy stronghold to rescue one of their own. without regard for his own safety, sergeant chapman immediately engaged, moving in the direction of the closest
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enemy position, despite coming under heavy fire from multiple directions. he fearlessly charged an enemy bunker up a steep incline in thigh-deep snow and into hostile fire, directly engaging the enemy. upon reaching the bunker, sergeant chapman assaulted and clear the position, killing all enemy occupants. with complete disregard for his own life, sergeant chapman deliberately moved from cover only 12 meters from the enemy and exposed himself again to attack a second bunker from which an emplaced machine gun was firing on his team. during this assault from an exposed position directly in the line of intense fire, sergeant chapman was struck and injured by enemy fire. despite severe mortal wounds, he continued to fight relentlessly, sustaining a violent engagement with multiple enemy personnel before making the ultimate sacrifice. by his heroic actions and extraordinary valor, sacrificing his life for the lives of his teammates, sergeant chapman upheld the highest traditions of military service and reflected
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great credit upon himself and the united states air force. [applause] [cheers and applause]
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it's >> for those of you who desire, i ask you to join me in prayer once more. lord, we thank you again for this honorable ceremony, for it is right to exalt integrity, courage, and valor. we thank you again for john's life and love that looked beyond self preservation to the preservation of others, to the preservation of human worth and dignity, to the preservation of righteous governance around the world. we thank you again for building this man's heart, his mind, and his fearless resolve that equally matched his war fighting skills so others may live. as we conclude, may john's family be covered with your lavish love and peace. his fearless resolve that
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may the uniformed sons and daughters of america know your empowerment and protection and may you hasten the day, oh lord, where war will be no more. for your glory we pray. amen. >> amen.
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pres. trump: thank you very much. [applause] c-span,r: thursday on national institute of health director francis collins testifies at a senate health committee hearing on federal silence -- science and medical research programs. coverage starts at 10:00 eastern. at 2:00, a discussion at the hudson institute about the war in afghanistan and possible
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peace talks with the taliban. on c-span2, live coverage of the senate as they continue work on an $857 billion spending package for the departments of defense, labor, hhs, and education. announcer: sunday night on after discusseseconomist her book "edge of chaos: why democracy is failing to deliver economic growth and how to fix it." she is interviewed by the former chairman of the council of economic advisers during the obama administration. >> you wrote a book which is a lot about politics and political science. why did you do that? >> the most important thing in terms of motivation of writing the book is born out of frustration. i talked about this in the book. and my academic background are in economics, but if you think about the global economy today, there are a host of deeply structural long-term problems that the global economy
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has to contend with. i imagine we will get to them in a moment. demographic shifts, the impact of technology for the jobless underclass, concerns around productivity and debt overhang. income inequality is something that when i was doing my phd was never discussed and now it is in the top three big issues. these are all long-term structural problems, and yet the people charged with overseeing the regulatory and policy environment, politicians, are very short-term and myopic. announcer: watch after words sunday night at 9:00 eastern on c-span twos book tv. announcer: the c-span busannouncer: is traveling across the country on our 50 capitals for. the bus is on its 39th stop in honolulu, asking folks what is the most important issue in hawaii? >> [indiscernible]
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issues is will they have a place to live? will they be able to afford to stay in the home of their birth? we have a huge homeless situation going on right now. we need ways to get them off the streets. i think the problem is just going to get worse if we don't take care of it now. >> i am liz and i am born and raised in honolulu, hawaii. one of the important issues i feel we are facing is trying to manage work-life balance. i work full-time, my husband works full-time, plus part-time jobs. we have three young children and are trying to take care of everyone. >> i think right now more than ever for hawaii, we need to continue to promote the whole experience, which is a life form. [speaking hawaiian]
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can all promote and live within this aloha spirit that the state of hawaii thinks of so greatly, we can all be in a better place, not only in hawaii but across the nation. announcer: join us october 6 and 7 when we feature our visit to hawaii. >> government officials and utility company executives discussed how computer hacking threatens critical u.s. infrastructure at a senate judiciary subcommittee hearing. they discussed vulnerabilities in the grid. senator lindsey graham chaired this two hour 20 minutes hearing.


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