The last conversation Keith Chapman had with his younger brother Nathan Chapman was on Christmas Day 2001. Nathan had called up his family from Afghanistan.
Although the 31-year-old, a sergeant first class with the U.S. Army’s 1st Special Forces Group, couldn’t disclose his location, his family put it together based on what time Nathan said it was where he was calling from.
“I don’t remember that we said very much,” Keith said during a StoryCorps interview in Frederick, Md., last week with their mother, Lynn Chapman.
That wasn’t so unusual. The brothers, just 2 1/2 years apart in age, had always had a complicated dynamic that was born from their two very different personalities.
A couple weeks after that phone call, Keith heard on his car radio that an American soldier had been killed in Afghanistan. He thought, “Well, yes, Nathan is there, but he’s one of who knows how many? So, I put it out of my mind.”
That is, until he got home that evening.
“My wife greets me at the door and says, ‘I have bad news,’ ” he said.
Nathan Chapman was killed in action near the town of Khost on Jan. 4, 2002. The 31-year-old sergeant first class with the U.S. Army's 1st Special Forces Group was the first American soldier to be killed by enemy fire in the war in Afghanistan. https://t.co/0jEG3weiVS
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