Donovan Chapman Vietnam Veterans Day Celebration
Donovan Chapman and Marine Colonel (R)/Senator John Astle Photographer Credit: Rick Sullivan

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 11, 2022) — Air Force Pararescue Combat Veteran, Donovan Chapman, recently performed for the Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day Celebration hosted by Gilchrist Presents.

Gilchrist’s Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day celebration honors the veterans in their care, as well as all of the veterans in the community and coincides with Maryland’s Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day, signed into law by Governor Larry Hogan in 2015. This celebration is one of the many ways Gilchrist recognizes the unique needs of veterans and thanks them for their sacrifice and service to our country, while honoring those who have served in the United States Armed Forces.

Marine Colonel (R)/Senator John Astle stated, “I think the Gilchrist event is really important for many of the Vietnam veterans who are still dealing with memories. It’s a chance to be with people who understand”

“Vietnam Veterans deserve the highest recognition for their service to our country. We can’t undo the awful things that were done to them when they returned home by citizens of our country, but we can show them unconditional support and love now and always. These are the unsung heroes living amongst us,” expressed Donovan Chapman

Stay in touch with Donovan Chapman on his website donovanchapman.com and social media platforms FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Watch videos on his official YouTube account and stream and download his music on SpotifyApple MusicAmazon MusicPandoraYouTube Music  and more. 

About Gilchrist: 
Gilchrist provides quality, compassionate care, counseling and support to people at every stage of serious illness, so they may live life to the fullest. A nationally recognized, nonprofit leader in serious illness and end-of-life care, Gilchrist is deeply committed to giving people the loving support and clear information they need to make informed choices about their care.

Gilchrist is Maryland’s leading nonprofit provider of serious illness and end-of-life care. With elder medical care, counseling and hospice, we help people at every stage of serious illness live life to the fullest and make informed choices about their care. For more than 20 years, Gilchrist has been a nationally recognized, nonprofit leader. This is because we have always been and will continue to be committed to providing compassionate care and support for people with serious and life-limiting illnesses. Furthermore, our programs offer comprehensive and coordinated care that addresses all of your family’s needs. Whether you have needs that are medical, emotional, social or spiritual, Gilchrist can help. For more information visit https://gilchristcares.org/about

About Donovan Chapman:
Donovan Chapman was born and raised in North Louisiana and having a Hawaiian heritage, he links the spiritual connection to the land and sea and stays rooted with nature through farming, hunting, fishing and animal rescue. His mother, a native of Hawaii, exposed him to Hawaiian music at an early age, and he soon learned to play the ukulele.
Donovan’s talent and love for helping other veterans is the founder of Special Operations Veterans Class of Freedom Sings USA, a Chattanooga based non-profit organization. Freedom Sings USA helps veterans, active duty military and their families throughout the country reach an emotional balance by telling their stories through the creative process of songwriting. We pair professional songwriters with veterans, active duty military and their families to help them tell their stories through song.
Chapman joined the United States Air Force at age 17 after graduating from high school.  The family’s legacy of service runs generationally.  His great-grandfather served in WW1, his grandfather in WW2 and father served in Vietnam.  He and his younger brother served in Afghanistan/Uzbekistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, the Global War on Terrorism, in 2002 and 2003, respectively.  Before his deployment in 2002, he served in Kuwait in 2000 in support of Operation Southern Watch. 
While serving as a Security Policeman (1992-1997), Chapman cross-trained into the elite Pararescue Teams with one of the most rigorous training pipelines known to the Department of Defense. Pararescuemen, (PJ’s), are the most highly-trained Special Operations Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) operators in all environments, i.e., desert, jungle, ocean, mountain and arctic. During his time of service, he suffered spinal, nerve and TBI’s requiring multiple surgeries and reconstruction.  He was told he would never sing again. He taught himself to play the guitar with an arm and a hand, which were injured and rehabilitated by the VA Hospital
While signed to the Curb Records label, Chapman’s first single, “There Is No War,” was released in 2003, which charted at 53 on Billboard Hot Country. The single was dedicated to families of American soldiers who had died overseas. “Hey Hollywood” landed at 56 on Billboard Hot Country. At the same time, Chapman released a self-titled EP, followed by his first full album, I Am America. Chapman recorded two albums for Curb Records, shortly before returning to duty in Afghanistan.
After returning to the United States, he signed to Category 5 Records. His first single, “House Like That,” was released in late 2006 and peaked at 42 on Billboard Hot Country. A second single, “All I Need,” was released in 2007, shortly before Chapman terminated his relationship with Category 5 Records. “House Like That” was produced by Billy Joe Walker, Jr.
After close to eleven years of service, Chapman was honorably discharged.  He then went on to pursue an Associate’s Degree from Tallahassee Community College and then earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Flagler College under the GI Bill.
Chapman’s rehabilitation lasted several years and he has dealt with PTSD and guilt.  He acknowledges The Pararescue Foundation (PJF), his PJ brothers and former Pararescueman and mentor, Scotty Gearen for their sponsorship through his rehabilitation. 
Chapman says, “I learned about my path in life through the struggle and surrender that gave me the strength I never had before. To surrender to God and ask for his true purpose for me to be fulfilled within my life, was the bottom line. I had to accept that it is okay to feel the way I did and to grow as a student for life. I now know what our men and women go through in their darkest times, and I am proud of every step I took that led me to the truth in life, which I call the “Secret.”  I realize that it is hard to let go of the past which attaches us to the preying victim mentality and ask God to take full control of our lives. I finally realized it had to be God’s way and not my way through life. I wrote two songs on my new album Brotherhood, to be released summer 2021, titled “Two Veterans” and “Revelation Change” while in rehab, and I now dedicate my life to helping veterans find the peace within their lives that they deserve for their duty to our country and mankind, and service before self. I’m on a new mission, a mission that was designed by God long ago, and that is to understand compassion at a new level, and help others. God allowed these past things within my life to happen with his hands protecting me all along. He needed me to see the truth in life and to realize why we are truly here.  I know their struggle and pain, and everyone’s pain is just as real as another. We’re a band of brothers and sisters, a sacred circle who chose to walk the path that not many will. I dedicate my life to them, as the Pararescue brothers did to me.”

Photographer Credit: Rick Sullivan
Simple Share Buttons