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A Recognized Hero

Rep. Joseph K. Knollenberg

legislator photo

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor a special person and true hero--Chief Warrant Officer 2 Wade Chapple of Milford.

The operations group soldier was recently awarded the Soldier's Medal of Honor for an act of heroism that saved a Colombian man's Life.

Serving a 3-year tour as a tactical training advisor to the Colombian Army 10th Airborne Division in Malgar, Colombia, Chapple and his crew rescued an injured Colombian man who had fallen off a cliff.

First, Chapple was able to diplomatically convince the base commander to provide a helicopter for the rescue. After landing on a small finger of open space nearly 700 feet below the injured victim, Chapple and his crew of two men went to work.

Chapple scaled the vertical climb dragging a stretcher that was tied to his waste.

Upon arriving at the injured man, Chapple notice multiple injuries and the man in shock. Working quickly to immobilize the man, Chapple and his crew eased the injured man slowly down the steep face of the mountain

The helicopter rushed the victim back to the base and there a waiting ambulance rushed the man to the hospital. Three months later, Chapple met the man who was beginning to walk again and has since recovered.

The incident was reported to Chapple's commanders by the Colombian Army without his knowledge.

Chapple is a symbol of today's military. Compassionate, skilled and heroic. Wade put his life on the line to save a man he didn't even know. I am proud of Wade Chapple. His great and noble rescue has made our community smile.