A Connecticut native’s act of bravery and ultimate sacrifice in the Air Force is expected to be recognized with the military’s highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor.
John Chapman better known as “Chappy,” played varsity soccer and was a varsity diver at Windsor Locks High School in 1983.
In a note to his friend, Chapman said, “the years were great, and were a lot better for me with friends like you...”
“He was always there, always supportive,” said Jim Guthrie, Chapman’s friend.
Guthrie said the two were friends since 7th grade.
“He’s the sort of person who would do anything for anybody ever since I’ve known him, ever since he was a kid,” Guthrie said.
That giving character would ultimately come to fruition in Afghanistan on March 4, 2002.
Chapman was among seven US servicemen killed in action in Afghanistan.
“We hear more and more about what John did to save the people he was with. He put his life on the line for these people, it doesn’t surprise me at all,” Guthrie said.
Chapman was only 36 when he died, but his memory lives on.
A road Windsor Locks that leads to Veteran’s Memorial Park is dedicated in his name.
At the high school a soccer jersey with his number, 6, hangs in the gym for the former two-sport varsity athlete.
Chapman’s extraordinary heroism in the military earned him the Air Force Cross, and now there are talks a Medal of Honor could be next.
It’s all rumor at this point, supposedly it’s going to happen, we’re waiting for the White House to make a final statement on it,” Guthrie said.
Guthrie said there is no one more deserving than his friend, whose yearbook horoscope read, ‘To live life to its fullest, seeing as you only live once.’
“Thank you for all your years of friendship. Thank you for what you’ve done for this country. Congratulations on this honor, incredibly well deserved,” Guthrie said.
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