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After 13 years, CIA finally honors Green Beret killed on secret Afghanistan mission

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When Nathan Ross Chapman became the first military casualty to die by enemy fire during the war in Afghanistan, the only American flag available for his casket was a patch torn off the uniform of an airman loading his coffin for the long trip home. He was buried on Jan. 11, 2002, a week after his death, with full military honors in Tahoma National Cemetery, Wash.

It took another 13 years for the CIA to recognize on its Memorial Wall that Chapman, an Army Green Beret, was also one of its own — the sergeant first class had been officially detailed to the agency in the weeks after the 9/11 attacks and died acting as a CIA paramilitary team’s communications specialist.

Chapman’s death was a watershed event for a country that didn’t know it was headed into a seemingly endless war, where the news of those lost would turn into a kind of white noise for many Americans. The first of its kind in Afghanistan, his death drew national attention, including a televised funeral.

Much of Chapman’s story and that of the secret agency team he was assigned to has never been told, and the agency continues to say nothing about him.

At a ceremony at CIA headquarters on May 18, 2015, the agency unveiled an engraved marble star to mark his death in the line of service, but like many others in the wall’s accompanying Book of Honor, his name was left absent. The addition of that star for service in 2002 prompted The Post to examine the background to the honor, and why it had taken so long to be conferred.

In the years after Chapman died, the agency honored at least one other service member, a Marine officer killed in Iraq in 2007 while detailed to an agency paramilitary unit. The Marine was later memorialized with a star, yet it took more than a decade for Chapman to receive his place on the famed wall.

“We didn’t even know anything was going on relative to that star; we didn’t expect it and we didn’t know anything about it,” Chapman’s father, Will, said during a recent interview in his home in Texas. He said the recognition from the CIA was part of his son’s final chapter, and he was grateful for it. It also recognizes the pivotal role that Special Operations forces played with the CIA in the early days of the Afghan war.

Following the memorial ceremony in 2015, CIA Director John Brennan, along with his deputies, privately met with the Chapmans on the agency’s seventh floor. He apologized for the long wait but gave no explanation for why it took more than 13 years for Chapman to get his place on the wall, the father said.

“He just said it should have been done a long time ago.”

The CIA declined to comment.

Chapman, 31, left behind a wife, Renae, and two children, Brandon and Amanda, who, at the time, were 1 and 2 years old. Renae Chapman was unavailable to comment for this story.

A veteran who jumped into Panama as a Ranger and who served in Iraq and Haiti, Chapman was also a qualified combat scuba diver and sniper. Among his peers he was known as a consummate professional and as the life of the party with a penchant for quoting Arnold Schwarzenegger movies.

Chapman had transferred back to Fort Lewis, Wash., from Okinawa just before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

“America’s going to war over this,” he told his father in the weeks that followed. “And they’re not going without me.”

“And then he was gone,” the elder Chapman recalled.

An unconventional team of elites

Built like a linebacker with a square jaw, narrow eyes and a sly smile, Chapman went to war as a member of what the CIA called Team Hotel — a six-man unit composed of three Special Forces soldiers, two CIA paramilitary officers and a CIA contractor. Chapman and two other Green Berets were selected from more than 1,300 soldiers in 1st Special Forces Group. For their mission in Afghanistan, the CIA needed communications specialists and medics, and almost immediately following the 9/11 attacks it tapped 1st Group to help fill that requirement, said Lt. Gen. David Fridovich, who was, at the time, the group’s commander and a colonel.

Chapman’s assignment to Hotel reflected the agency’s rapidly expanding relationship with the U.S. military, according to Henry Crumpton, the leader of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center task force that led the war in Afghanistan. It was a relationship born out of necessity in order to field an effective unconventional force in a new and entirely unconventional war.

After purchasing thousands of dollars in outdoor supplies from area sporting goods stores and requesting the weapons and equipment the team would need in Afghanistan, the six men spent the remainder of October bouncing between the CIA’s Camp Peary — better known as The Farm — in Williamsburg, Va., and the agency’s headquarters.

Chapman was responsible for assembling the team’s communications equipment. At the time, the process of interfacing satellite radios and computers was a new discipline, but it was something Chapman had already mastered. He was known throughout 1st Special Forces group as the best in his field, earning the reputation during repeated deployments to places such as Thailand and Malaysia with Special Forces teams.

Aside from setting up the radios, Chapman was also instructed on a computer program called ArcView — a piece of software that allowed CIA and military units to see what was happening on the battlefield in real time.

“He never took himself too seriously, even with all the crap we were throwing at him,” said Ken Stiles, the CIA targeting officer for all of the agency’s operations in Afghanistan.

In the run-up to Hotel’s departure, other CIA and Special Forces teams had already been scattered throughout Afghanistan. Team Jawbreaker, the first element to go in, had linked up with parts of the Northern Alliance fighting the Taliban, along with teams Bravo and Charlie. Team Echo had made contact with future Afghan president Hamid Karzai. In December, teams Juliet and Romeo would go into Tora Bora, hoping to corner Osama bin Laden in the craggy mountain passes near the Pakistan border.

But before Hotel would join its sister elements in Afghanistan, Chapman and the rest of the team would first fly to Jacobabad, Pakistan. The team soon began trying to work a deal with the Pakistani military to get to their side of the border south of the Afghan city of Jalalabad in an attempt to box in and find bin Laden, according to Scott Satterlee, a Special Forces medic detailed to Hotel with Chapman.

With the Pakistani military demanding more training and equipment than the small team was able to provide and offering little knowledge of the lawless border region where Hotel was trying to go, the deal fell through. As things unraveled in Pakistan, Afghan forces, their path paved by devastating U.S. airstrikes, seized Kabul. Just days after Thanksgiving, Team Hotel left Pakistan for Afghanistan’s capital.

Hotel would stay in Kabul for roughly a month, spending Christmas there. A detachment of operators from Joint Special Operations Command, or JSOC, would bring the team to 11 members for an upcoming mission in Khost, a rugged town on Afghanistan’s eastern border.

Christmas was the last time Chapman called home, his father recalled. He didn’t tell them where he was, just that he was safe. He passed the phone around to his mother Lynn, and to Keith Chapman, his older brother who was recently married. His grandmother and grandfather also managed to get on the line.

“I said to him at the end of the conversation, I’m sorry you’re not able to be with your family,” his father said.

“I know, Dad,” he replied. “But I’m with my second family, and they’re a great bunch of guys.”

Behind enemy lines

Roughly a week later, Hotel loaded onto one of the CIA’s Russian-built Mi-17 helicopters and flew the 90 miles to Khost. According to Satterlee, the agency had to pay its way into the town, offering large sums of money to one of the tribes in exchange for admission and some protection.

Hotel would go in and “plant the flag” for the CIA and deny al-Qaeda a base of operations, according to a CIA officer present during the team’s operations who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a covert operation. They were the first Americans there since the war began.

The team set up, along with some of their newly acquired Afghan escorts, a rudimentary base of operations in an old Russian schoolhouse in the middle of town during the final days of the year. The night before Chapman’s death, a small four-man element from Hotel slipped into the darkness to conduct reconnaissance on an abandoned Soviet airfield a few miles away, returning after taking small-arms fire.

The airfield would later be named after Chapman and was the site of a suicide bombing that killed seven CIA employees in 2009.

The next morning, cold and cloudless, Hotel’s team leader along with a senior CIA officer who had been sent to the area held a meeting with some of the tribal leaders at a nearby abandoned government building. The meeting started poorly, according to the CIA officer. The tribe’s representatives erupted into heated argument, but after tea and a pledge by the CIA to help rebuild the town, the meeting closed on somewhat good terms, said the officer.

That afternoon, Hotel loaded into four white Toyota HiLux pickup trucks along with a handful of Afghan escorts and headed to what they thought was an al-Qaeda safe house located in town. The agency had intercepted communications coming from the building.

“Us being there wasn’t accomplishing anything, besides maybe getting us into more trouble,” Satterlee said.

The team got back in their trucks and headed down one of the only paved roads in Khost. As they came into town, the road turned into a wash. The first three trucks went down and out and headed back toward the schoolhouse. As the fourth truck dipped into the culvert, now roughly a hundred yards away from the next vehicle in the convoy, three men opened up with Kalashnikovs, each dumping their entire magazines into the last truck from roughly 30 feet away.

In that truck’s bed was Chapman, a CIA paramilitary officer and the team’s lone CIA contractor. An Afghan was driving. Two rounds slammed into the paramilitary officer’s chest, tearing through his extra ammunition magazines and his soft body armor. The bullet that killed Chapman shattered his pelvis and severed his femoral artery. It was unclear who returned fire, said Satterlee, but when they inventoried Chapman’s gear later that day, the magazine in his M4 carbine was empty with its bolt locked to the rear — evidence that he had expended every round he could before collapsing from blood loss.

Chapman and the paramilitary officer slumped down, and the Afghan driver gunned it, making it back to the schoolhouse in just over a minute and a half. By the time Satterlee and the rest of the team got to the back of the truck, it was awash in Chapman’s blood, and he was unconscious.

With the agency’s lumbering Mi-17 transport helicopter flying from Kabul — a roughly 45-minute flight from Khost — the team worked furiously to keep Chapman alive. Satterlee did the best he could by stuffing the wound with gauze while another team member knelt on Chapman’s navel. But five minutes before the Russian helicopter touched down in a wheat field next to the school, Chapman stopped breathing.

The paramilitary officer, although severely injured with multiple sucking chest wounds, would survive.

Satterlee helped slide Chapman into his sleeping bag and loaded him into the back of the helicopter. It was 5 p.m. on Jan. 4, 2002.

It is unclear exactly who shot Chapman and why. According to Satterlee, the gunmen were part of one of the tribes trying to extort more money from the Americans for protection, while the CIA officer interviewed for this article said they were possibly linked to the Haqqanis — a powerful faction that had already sworn to fight the United States and would continue to fight U.S. troops for years to come.

“He always knew how to find his way into the action,” his father said. “That’s why he went in the military, to do this stuff. … But he knew the risk involved.”

The Army awarded Chapman a Bronze Star with a V for valor, and the CIA would posthumously give him an intelligence star, according to his father. The U.S. Special Forces Association in Thailand renamed itself after Chapman, and a mural of the slain Green Beret adorns the wall of its headquarters.

“The mystique went away, and reality showed up when Nate died,” said his former teammate, Sgt. 1st Class Jason Koehler. “It took the Superman T-shirt from every one of us who thought we were invincible.”

Via WaPo

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BREAKING!! Apache Pilots Mark First West Point Wedding…Then Everyone Sees The Bride…ARE YOU OK WITH THIS?

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Being a member of the United States Armed Forces is a title that brings a unique kind of respect. No matter what branch you are a part of, if you wear the uniform that says you’ve promised to protect this great nation with your life, that demands a level of respect that few other vocations bring with them. Almost any adult with an appropriate amount level of physical health can enlist in the military, but not just any can go to one of the elite military academies.

According to The Balance, in order to qualify for one of the most well known military academies, West Point, you must be a United States citizen, between the ages of 17 and 23, you must not be married, pregnant, or have a legal obligation to support a child or children. If you are a naturalized citizen, you must provide documentation. There are also academic qualifications and (last by not least) you must obtain a nomination, normally from a United States Congressman or a Senator. In other words; they only take the cream of the crop, and it’s a huge deal to get in.

That’s why they have the reputation that they do. Unfortunately, as so often happens when there is a militant agenda at play, certain groups have been trying for some time to force their way into the elite academy. As of just a few days ago, the LGBTQ community was finally able to leave their stamp on the hallowed grounds forever. The Daily Mail glowingly reports that two Apache pilots were finally able to be the first gay couple married at West Point:

“Two army captains exchanged vows at West Point in what is believed to be the first active-duty, same-sex marriage at the esteemed United States Military Academy.

Daniel Hall, 30, and Vincent Franchino, 26, are both Apache helicopter pilots and were married at the New York school’s Cadet Chapel on Saturday, January 13, the New York Times reports.

The captains, who are now stationed together at Fort Bliss in Texas, were married in front of 150 family members and friends, 34 of whom were military officers.’

Daniel Hall (left) and Vincent Franchino (right) kiss while receiving a saber-arch salute as they exit the United States Military Academy’s Cadet Chapel, at which they were married on January 13

The couple sported their blue army uniforms and received a saber-arch salute as they left the chapel. Their reception was held at Skylands Manor in New Jersey.

Franchino and Hall met in August 2009, back when the former was a freshman (or ‘plebe’ in the school’s parlance) and the latter was a senior (or ‘firstie’).

As part of a school tradition in which the plebes seek to hold up departing seniors, Franchino hid under Hall’s bed and popped out to scare him.

‘Dan was so startled, he jumped over his desk,’ Franchino told the New York Times.

Their bond grew when both participated in a mentorship program but they were not able to publicly express their feelings due to ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ a Bill Clinton-effected policy that was repealed under Barack Obama in 2011

Later in 2010, they chose each other for a mentorship program – Franchino as mentee and Hall as mentor. It was at this point that their feelings for each other developed.

But because of the Bill Clinton-effected 1993 policy of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ which barred homosexual servicemen and servicewomen from being ‘out’ in the military, they could not show their feelings.

‘We were serving under a policy that was telling all of us — perfectly capable soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines — to lie about ourselves,’ Hall told the New York Times.

They are pictured getting engaged. Their bond has withstood multiple challenges – – being called f****ts while on dates, being deployed to different locations overseas – to get to the point where they could walk down the aisle together

But when ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ was repealed under Barack Obama in 2011, they came out in public with their relationship.

They weathered multiple challenges – being called f****ts while on dates, being deployed to different locations overseas – to get to the point where they could walk down the aisle together.

At one point, when Hall was deployed along with his Boeing AH-64 Apache to South Korea, they called their relationship off temporarily.

But they got back together and may now hope to live happily ever after.

The couple, which will now go by the last name Franchino-Hall, enjoyed their first dance as married men to ‘La Vie En Rose’ by Edith Piaf.”

What might to many be considered a hallmark of the military finally catching up with the times, is to many others a slap in the face of what the U.S. was supposed to stand for. Whether liberals like it or not, we were founded as a Christian nation, and even if you’re of the opinion the government shouldn’t tell you who you can and can’t be in a relationship with, they also weren’t required to condone it.

No matter how you look at it, this is a landmark event, and one that will be remembered for decades to come. West Point has once again made history, let’ just hope the military giants of the past have looked away and are not seeing what has been done with their legacy.

[H/T:  Daily Mail]

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BREAKING: Military On HIGH ALERT After Who Was Spotted Off On Florida’s Coast! It’s WAR!

THEY DIDN’T LISTEN!

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After months of threats of America entering into World War III following repeat tests and provocations of war by North Korea’s despot dictator, Kim Jong-un, a horrifying discovery was just found right off Florida’s coast. For the second time this year, we’re seeing something that hasn’t happened since the Cold War, the first being Hawaii preparing for an attack, and now things have definitely gotten worse.

Ever since President Trump launched 59 Tomahawk missiles at Syria almost a year ago, tensions have been on the rise between the United States, North Korea, and Russia. Now one of these countries appears to be planning an attack on our soil after a national security alert was sparked. The Daily Mail reports that military personnel are now on high alert after multiple spy ships were spotted off Florida’s coast. Top officials are extremely concerned that this foreign vessel belongs to the Russians.

Fox News reports:

The Russian spy ship first spotted near American waters last year is making its way back in the direction of the U.S., Fox News confirmed on Thursday.

The Victor Leonov is still in the Caribbean, according to officials, but heading north off the coast of Florida, home to a U.S. Navy base located in North Florida, east of Jacksonville.

The ship could be off the Florida coast by Friday if the ship maintains present course and speed, according to officials.

There is also a ballistic missile submarine base located in southern Georgia known as Kings Bay, which is another likely destination for the spy ship to loiter and watch U.S. “boomers” — as the ballistic missile subs are called — enter and leave port.

The Washington Free Beacon was the first to report on this story.

Fox News previously reported that last year, during a White House press conference, President Donald Trump weighed in on the story first reported by Fox News.

“Hey, the greatest thing I could do is shoot that ship that’s 30 miles offshore right out of the water,” Trump said. “Everyone in this country is going to say, ‘Oh, it’s so great.’ That’s not great. That’s not great. I would love to be able to get along with Russia.”

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said in a tweet the day before Trump’s comments in February 2017 that Russia was trying to “expand influence.”

“Russia is acting like it has a permission slip to expand influence, test limits of reach.,” Murphy wrote. “Questions are obvious: does it, and if so, why?”

The Russian spy ship Viktor Leonov in 2014.

Putin has been taunting the idea of threatening world peace instead of helping it, as the tensions rise with North Korea and he competes for power and negative attention with Kim Jong-un. This moves also comes on the heels of major action being taken again uncooperative nations at the United Nations.

President Donald Trump has given one of the best Christmas gifts the American People have ever gotten, and once again kept another one of his many promises. On Christmas Eve, the US ambassador to the United Nations, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley announced that President Trump has given the order to cut its 2018 contribution to the United Nations by $285 million, that’s a cut of nearly 25 percent and a great start in the plan to fully defund the Anti-Semitic and Anti-American United Nations.

The Washington Free Beacon explains why this is of specific concern to our military:

Norfolk is the location of the Navy’s major East Coast naval base and New London is also a major submarine base near Groton.

A second official said the AGI ship, for auxiliary, general intelligence, is being tracked by the Navy and appears similar to previous Russian operations in this region.

“What makes it noteworthy is the increase of Russian naval activity worldwide,” this official said. “It makes us pay close attention, not to the tactics, but to how this fits into overall Russian naval behavior.”

The Leonov deployment also is another example of Russia’s increase maritime competition with the United States, “this time in our backyard,” the second officials said.

“Most assume competition will be seen and felt far from home,” he said. “This is another reminder that we are an island nation subject to naval competition right off our shores.”

Putin seems intent on causing turmoil and has been taunting our president with these calculated moves since April when he did something similar in response to Trump bombing Syria after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad decided to gas his people.

In April, Putin tried to block America from attacking by positioning his military in front of ours and attempting to grandstand the U.S., saying we have to go through them to get to Syria. In a strange coincidence, yesterday’s airstrike was exactly 100 years to the day of U.S. entering into World War I. After Putin’s latest move, this day could also bring about the third World War depending on what strategy is employed next.

As Russia moves their warships into place and promises to create an air defense system for Syria, they have forgotten one key item. There is a new sheriff in town, and the snowflakes have gone home. Russia’s archaic military is no match for General Mattis’s current military muscle. Our ships and war plans are light years beyond the Russian counterpart. So rattle your saber, Putin, the real world superpower just returned.

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Budweiser’s Super Bowl Ad Leaves Every Disrespected American Citizen Shocked With What It Shows

THE NFL IS DONE!

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As one of the NFL’s biggest sponsors, Budweiser let it be known that they aren’t backing down to many Americans’ demands that they pull their support from the sport that allowed protests to continue all season long and destroy the league. Now, they have come out with a new commercial that is leaving every America-loving citizen of this great country disrespected by football players in complete shock right before the Super Bowl that will end the worst season the NFL has ever seen.

The beer company offered a public statement that didn’t condone the National Anthem kneelers but also didn’t discredit them. They spoke of support for our military members who have and are defending our freedom but left a lot to be desired in making a real statement through assertive action.

Yahoo Finance compiled the responses of sponsors to the protest, most of which carried the disappointing theme that they considered the actions of players to be freedom of speech. The official report from Anheuser-Busch reads:

“On Monday night, a spokesperson for Anheuser-Busch InBev sent Yahoo Finance this statement, which appears to fall into the play-it-safe, neutral category along with Under Armour and Ford:

“At Anheuser-Busch, we have a long heritage of supporting the institutions and values that have made America so strong.  That includes our armed forces and the national anthem as well as diversity, equality, and freedom of speech.  We proudly employ over 1,100 military veterans and we work every day to create an inclusive environment for all of our employees. Because only together can we achieve our dream of bringing people together for a better world.”

While their politically correct statement seems to be playing it really safe on the issue, their commercial sends a very clear message that not everyone is going to appreciate. Perhaps Anheuser-Busch realized the fine line they were walking with who their customers are. True Americans who bleed red, white, and blue and are boycotting the NFL are the ones who drink their beer, not those who support these anti-patriotic protests.

The company’s recent commercial represents this, bringing the attention back to where it belongs — on the sacrifice of those who fight to defend our flag that entitled sports stars are kneeling before.

When you reach into the cooler this weekend and pop open a cold one while spending time with those you love, Budweiser hopes you think of them and drink one of their beers while not watching football. With that plan in mind, they created a special commercial to commemorate our nation’s independence and many Americans were floored at what they saw.

It’s been a year of beer debacles a major brewing company like Heineken going down the misguided path behind liberal coffee giant Starbucks in mixing politics with their products. Budweiser also decided to mix the two but in a much different way that left their customer base in awe and ensured that they are the staple beverage for beer drinkers at cookouts across the country.

Right Wing News reports:

If this doesn’t make you bleed red, white, and blue for the rest of the year, I don’t  know what will. I mean, what’s more American than beer, Marines, Star Wars and helping veterans?

Star Wars star Adam Driver (better known as Kylo Ren) is a Marine veteran who has achieved his dream of becoming an actor. Now, he wants to give back, with the help of Budweiser’s “Folds Of Honor” program.

Budweiser created a docu-movie of sort in their moving ad that really tugs at the heartstrings of every country-loving patriot in the country. Driver is seen traveling across the country to meet up the real daughter of an actual wounded Army vet, John Williams, who had been severely injured during a training exercise. The hero’s daughter, Hayley Grace Williams, is currently studying to become a nurse and had written into the “Folds of Honor” program in hopes of getting a scholarship to help facilitate her dreams.

“Because of his injury, Williams was not able to go overseas and was medically discharged,” Right Wing News explains. “His daughter has been forced to work 40 hours a week to pay for her final year of school, which is going to cost $44,000. In her letter, Hayley explains that the weight she carries is so great that she may not be able to finish her final year of schooling.”

While Heineken preaches to red-blooded Americans about “open borders” on their bottles, Budweiser took the patriotic approach rather than using divisive political rhetoric to sell beer. The sales should speak for themselves in that Heineken lost a huge portion of their customer base and Budweiser reinstated they’re truly the “king of beers.”

Here is what the Heineken bottle reads:

Here’s To An Open World

To a world without borders or barriers. To the belief that there is more that unites us than divides us. To find common ground to raise a bottle with the person next to you. Because a stranger is just a friend that you haven’t had a cold Heineken with yet.

Open Your World.

While Heineken thinks that what unites people is open borders, Budweiser understands that true red, white, and blue patriotism is what America really needs right now. That means doing more for those who fought and sacrificed for this country, than those who cross the border illegally. There are homeless, hurting veterans that need our attention and help before refugees and illegal immigrants. If liberals really cared about coming together and unifying people, their concern would be for those who defended their right to complain about “open borders.”

While we don’t get paid to promote any beer brand at Freedom Daily, you can bet that we’ll be buying a brew with real American values and not one with an agenda to push, like Heineken. We hope that everyone has a happy and safe Independence Day, drinks responsibly, and supports a brand that backs America and our heroes who fought for this country.

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