View Full Version : SFC. Nathan R. Chapman

01-25-2004, 18:14

Parents praise son's Army life
Military veteran is first U.S. soldierkilled by enemy fire

By Natalie Gott / Associated Press
6 Jan 2002

GEORGETOWN, Texas - Sitting beside a framed photo of their son, Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Ross Chapman, the parents of the first U.S. soldier killed by enemy fire in Afghanistan fought back tears Saturday as they recalled his Army career.

Will and Lynn Chapman said the 31-year-old Green Beret communications specialist had served in Panama, Haiti, Operation Desert Storm and then Afghanistan. "The Army took to him and he took to the Army. It was a good match up until yesterday," Will Chapman said. "I think he was a better person for going into the Army and the Army was a better place."

On Friday, Chapman had been part of a U.S. team operating near the Afghan town of Khost, a few miles from the Pakistan border, military officials said. Officials said Chapman and a CIA officer had met local tribal leaders in Afghanistan's Paktia province, near where U.S. warplanes had struck several al-Qaida and Taliban targets in the past few weeks. After they left the meeting, the Americans were ambushed.

Chapman was killed by small-arms fire. The CIA officer was wounded but expected to survive. "We mourn for Sergeant Nathan Chapman and we pray with his family for God's blessings on them," President Bush said Saturday during a news conference in Ontario, Calif. "He lost his life for a cause that is just and important. And that cause is the security of the American people, and that cause is the cause of freedom and a civilized world."

At Fort Lewis, Wash., where Chapman had been based, former colleagues praised him for his commitment to the Army and his dynamic personality. "He was always the go-to person for people on other teams," said Capt. Edwin D. Hoenig, one of several colleagues who spoke Saturday at the base, about 30 miles south of Seattle. "He was a very charismatic person. People loved working with him and he loved working with soldiers."

Chapman was born on April 23, 1970, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. He joined the Army after his 1988 graduation from high school in Centerville, Ohio. "He did so well in his career. We were just amazed. He was my little boy," his mother said Saturday, wiping away tears during an interview in her Sun City home, about 25 miles north of Austin.

Lynn Chapman said her son was a loving husband and father. The couple said they planned to travel to Seattle today to be with Chapman's widow, Renae, and children, Amanda, 2, and Brandon, 1. Army officials said Chapman's wife would not be speaking to reporters Saturday.

Chapman served most of his military career at Fort Lewis. Since the war in Afghanistan began, he had been assigned to the 5th Special Forces Group at Fort Campbell, Ky., said Maj. Gary Kolb, a spokesman for Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, N.C.

His parents said he parachuted into Panama during the U.S. invasion of that country and served in Desert Storm and Haiti. He attended Special Forces school at Fort Bragg, they said. The Army's Special Forces have been advising, arming, training and coordinating with local Afghan forces since the military campaign began Oct. 7. Chapman dealt primarily with long-range communications and electronic equipment and had weapons' training.

"Nate Chapman was dynamic, outgoing and a physically hard soldier. He is known by his team for his great sense of humor," said Col. David P. Fridovich, his group commander.

Chapman's remains were to be flown to a base in Germany, where officials said they would arrange transportation back to Fort Lewis, likely by midweek. Funeral details were not finalized Saturday. Before Friday, the only U.S. military members killed inside Afghanistan were three Green Berets mistakenly hit last month by a U.S. airstrike north of Kandahar. In October, two Army Rangers were killed when their Black Hawk helicopter crashed in Pakistan. A CIA operative, Johnny "Mike" Spann, was killed Nov. 25 in an uprising of Taliban prisoners in Afghanistan.

The Reaper
01-25-2004, 18:22
RIP, SFC Chapman.

Sorry, Jen, I missed that one. Thanks.


Team Sergeant
01-25-2004, 18:27
RIP Nate.

Thanks Jen.

01-25-2004, 20:17


02-02-2004, 13:33
He looks so young:

Blue skies:

Rest In Peace:


05-15-2005, 11:56
I received this photo this morning from a Brother who is over seas. This sign hangs at Camp Vance, Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan. It was good to see that my friend is not forgotten. I don't know how many of you had the honor to serve with Nate, but I will tell you that he was a good dude, a great friend, and one of the best warriors I ever had the privilege to serve with. Nate was in my squad in 2nd Ranger Battalion.

We were close during my stay there, but for some reason, we lost contact with each other after I had been out for a few years. I tracked down his parents, shortly after his death. They live a few hours from here. Unfortunately, they were not home when I dropped by, but I left a package of old squad photos and a lengthy letter on their doorstep. I received a very touching call from his dad when he found it. I hope to get back over there and meet them in person someday. Strange how a simple picture of a sign can bring the tears back so quickly. Rest Easy, Brother. You are not forgotten.


PS: Thanks to Team Sarnt for the photo assist!

The Reaper
05-15-2005, 12:17
RIP, Nate.

Good job, EP!


05-15-2005, 12:25
RIP Nate. I'm glad they remembered him.

Roguish Lawyer
05-15-2005, 14:54

05-15-2005, 20:45
I was just thinking of the video he sent home to his kids the other day. He's not forgotten.

RIP Nate.


Ambush Master
05-15-2005, 21:20
RIP Nate.

05-16-2005, 04:29
SFA Chapter 3 is the Erawan/Nate Chapman Memorial Chapter.

Never forget.

05-16-2005, 07:02
RIP Nate.



05-16-2005, 07:03
Being out of the SF loop, I wasn't aware of all the memorials in his honor. I spent several hours yesterday going through some of the online ones. It's good to see that he is still part of the community. There are sure some good men gathered at the Big Rally Point. Thanks for all the comments.

Go For Broke
05-16-2005, 08:29
Some of the history behind that building is that some pax from 3/1 were assigned to Camp Vance, BAF, AF. While there, they asked the CJSOTF-A Commander if they could name it after SFC Nathan R. Chapman. He approved, and for the next year or so it was occupied by 3/1 personnel.
There is also a camp located in Afghanistan named for him, in the province where he was killed.
If you are ever back out to Ft Lewis, stop by the 1st Group compound. They named the road in front of the HQ after him and make sure to stop by C/3-1's building...there is a small memorial dedicated to Nate there in the company hallway.

Also, back in May of 2004, the CJSOTF-A formally dedicated Camp Vance IHO SGT Gene A. Vance, 2/19 SFG(A), and conducted the final roll call for all SOF KIA in Afghanistan. None are forgotten.

requiescat in pace


05-16-2005, 08:46
I served in C 1/1 with Nate. I was in 2/1 when he showed back up to Ft. Lewis and assigned to 3/1. I considered him to be a good friend.

Everyone that knew him considered him a friend, a warrior and someone they could always count on. I have never heard one word spoken in a negative way about Nate.

When we were in miserable places and thought things could not possibly suck any worse, Nate would always do or say something to make you laugh and make the suckfest just a little more enjoyable. He found the "good" in everything he did.

Nate will never be forgotten.

RIP Brother.

05-25-2005, 03:08
I went through SFAUC with Nate in 2000, he was in SFARTAETC train up. A great guy, his picture hangs in the hall of heroes here in the box in Okinawa.

RIP Brother.

I'm pretty sure there is also an airfield named after him in an un-named location.

My avatar is the symbol for his old team, the one I am currently on, he may be gone from here, but he is definitely not forgotten.

07-19-2005, 17:01

County dedicates nature trail to Fallen SF Soldier
By Sgt. Christopher Stanis
1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) Public Affairs

PUYALLUP, Wash. (July 19, 2005) — Pierce County Parks and Recreations carved the name of a local hero in stone July 18 with a nature trail dedication to Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Chapman at the South Hill Community Park.

Chapman, a 1st Special Forces Group Soldier and long-time resident of Puyallup, was the first service member to die from enemy fire in Afghanistan.

The dedication ceremony included comments from local political leaders as well as Maj. Guy LeMire, the 1st SF Group executive officer and former team leader of Chapman.

LeMire did not want to talk about how Chapman died, but how he lived. He was a dedicated Soldier, but he was also a dedicated husband and father of two young children.

“Nate served as a touchstone for everyone around him,” said Lemire. “He set himself apart even more from the already elite.”

Following the comments, a bronze plaque with Chapman’s military biography was unveiled. The plaque sits atop a stone wall that reads “Nathan Chapman Memorial Trail.” This is the entrance to the two-and-a-half-mile trail.

Friends of Chapman said the trail and its location is a fitting dedication for the type of man he was.

“The beauty and Solitude of the trail embodies everything Nate enjoyed,” said Master Sgt. Chris Heim, a friend and former teammate of the honored Soldier.

A man who was in tune with nature and the outdoors, Chapman thrived on physical competition.

“Nobody was more competitive, more dominant or more consistently proficient as Nate Chapman,” said LeMire.

It was only too often that LeMire would hear, “Sir, we have a long way to go to be like Nate.”

The Soldiers attending the ceremony said it meant a lot to see the community where Chapman lived, and his family still lives, honor the Green Beret.

“It’s touching,” said Master Sgt. John Iliff, a former team sergeant of Chapman’s. “It makes us happy to see that the people of this community care.”
Everyone, everywhere in the world may have their own heroes, but if the citizens of Pierce County are asked they can say, “We now have a hero.”


07-20-2005, 09:07
Rest easy Nate. It was good being in C/3/1 with you.

Gone but never forgotten

Team Sergeant
12-29-2008, 09:50
Posted on behalf of Nate's Father, an email for all of us to share. TS

I am Will Chapman father of SFC Nathan R. Chapman. I have not visited your site before, but today I had a Google alert email indicating a hit on his name and it led me to your site. I was very moved by the comments that were left there regarding our son Nate.

I wanted to let you know that we live in Georgetown, TX and our community raised money to build a memorial to local soldiers who have fallen in the War on Terror. The centerpiece of this memorial is a life size bronze statue of Nate. MG (now LTG) David Fridovich was the keynote speaker at the dedication ceremony for the memorial on September 11, 2006. Gen Fridovich was commander of 1st SFG at the time Nate was killed. The memorial is a wonderful and lasting tribute to our son, the first American soldier to die from hostile fire in Afghanistan, and to those who have followed him in making the ultimate sacrifice.

If you wish to post this information on your web site, please feel free to do so. Thank you for providing this place in cyber space to honor our Special Forces heroes.

Will Chapman

12-29-2008, 10:02
I passed through the airfield at Khowst which named in memory/honor of Nate.

Here's the picture of the sign

12-29-2008, 10:59


Red Flag 1
12-29-2008, 18:37
Rest In Peace SFC Chapman!

12-29-2008, 20:32
Nate will never be forgotten by myself or any other of his teammates. He, like most of our fallen, was an excellent soldier and professional. He could make you laugh anytime, I miss him. All the best to his family and especially his kids.

12-30-2008, 13:24
Rest in Peace SFC Chapman.

I was living in Houston at the time of SFC Chapman's death. My wife & I were awaiting the arrival of the birth of our second child, a son, when I read about SFC Chapman's death. It struck me with mixed emotion, anger at the way he died, and sadness for his family for their ultimate sacrifice. It grabbed my heart, as it still does even now, the debt we as benefactors of all those that have sacrificed, owe. My gratatiude for those that have made the ultimate sacrifice, and to those that make the living sacrifice of endless schools, deployments, training, training, training, cannot be adequately expressed with my vocabulary.
In this arena my sincerest thanks goes out to all the QP's, Past, Present & Future.
Thank You for what you do, so that my family can walk the streets of America in safety & without fear.


12-30-2008, 15:51
I thought his name sounded familiar. Now having seen his picture, Chapman was in 2/75 the same time I was. From what I remember, he was damn good guy.

12-31-2008, 06:53
Nate and I were in 2/75 together, went TDY to SFQC with PLDC enroute and had CSM England as the PLDC Asst Commandant, then the SFQC. I lost touch with him after we both graduated.

I remember seeing the photo of his son at the memorial wearing a copy of Nate's Dress Greens.

Fare well Brother,

You are not forgotten.


12-31-2008, 18:32
It struck me with mixed emotion, anger at the way he died, and sadness for his family for their ultimate sacrifice.
It grabbed my heart, as it still does even now, the debt we as benefactors of all those that have sacrificed, owe.

Rest-in-peace, SFC Chapman...

Your service and sacrifice are not forgotten!


01-02-2009, 07:50
You are still missed Nate.
Rest In Peace brother

01-05-2009, 16:03
RIP SFC Chapman

01-05-2009, 17:02
Rest in Peace you will never be forgotten...........

01-06-2009, 07:27
Blessed are those that fight the Good fight, my prayers are with his family and loved ones.

01-16-2009, 08:49
Nate was a great Kid and a good Commo Man he was my Jr for a while on A-196 then went across the hall to A-195 and to Scuba School ... he was always smiling and had a cute cheep joke to tell... I spent many hours working on his antenna Threroy, design and construction before deployment to Thailand...
I cried when I heard of his death and it made it worse to Know he had just got married and left a family behind ...
Rest In Peace My Friend ... Party Hardy in the Big SF bar in the Sky...

02-04-2009, 18:03
Vaya con Dios, SFC Chapman

02-04-2009, 20:50
RIP SFC Chapman

02-14-2009, 01:29
Rest In Peace Brother

09-24-2011, 22:43
I remember Nate when we were going through
The Q together, dude always had a hacky sac
For whenever we had time to play.

Fallen but not forgotten !!!!

wet dog
09-24-2011, 22:54
Rest in Peace warrior, thoughts out to friends and family.

01-04-2012, 15:30
10 years today. RIP SFC Chapman.

01-04-2012, 17:52
Again RIP Lit'l Bro... It still hurts...…
Best to all those who have paid the ultimate Price.

01-04-2012, 17:54
RIP Brother.

cat in the hat
01-04-2012, 21:10
I remember standing next to Nate in selection. we bumped into each other a few times during the Q and again around Asia during occasional exercises and JCETS.

I did not know him well but I am glad that I did know him.
he always had a positive attitude and grin on his face.

maybe i missed it, but i cannot recall any mention of it in the media today. I would have thought that our Commander in Chief would have used it to bolster his image in some way.

01-04-2012, 23:30
Remembering SFC CHAPMAN 10 year anniversary. Your service and sacrifice will never be forgotten

Roguish Lawyer
04-17-2016, 18:58

Old Dog New Trick
04-17-2016, 19:21
Thanks for that. I knew it was coming didn't know so quickly. Nice article never too late to tell the truth.

RIP Brother you and my other Brothers are not forgotten. DOL

04-17-2016, 19:26
Thanks for the link.
RIP Brother