By Eileen Brown
Medal of Honor Bestowed To Fallen Chaplain – Father Kapaun of Pilsen KS
I get these ads in my driveway every week or so and many times (most of the time) I plop them in the recycle bin. I had one laying just inside the front door and picked it up this morning on my way to the kitchen. For some reason, I pulled it from the bag; unrolled it and read the headlines in the “Eastside Eagle. (dated April 24, 2013)”
WOW – I think I might start reading these things in the future. Several very interesting stories that I would have missed were there and the very best one is a story I’d like to print here word for word, but that would be uh, stealing copyrighted content. So instead, I’ll just pass along a few words and as many links as I could find.
IF you are like me, you truly love the stories that represent our military, common soldier, in a heroic light. I guess it’s the human interest; bravery, courage and all that entails, which not only fascinate me but often bring tears. But THIS guy is being considered for Sainthood too. Yeah, really.
So far, the best story I read is the one I had in hand by Roy Wenzl (The Wichita Eagle Writer) but there are many others on the web. Just as compelling but for some reason, the free Eastside Eagle article is the one I did not find online. If you have the 20:18 worth of time don’t miss the While House Video – truly inspiring!
President Obama Awards Chaplain Emil Kapaun the Medal of Honor (White House Video 20:18)
Kapaun’s Medal of Honor to go to Pilsen (The Wichita Eagle)
‘Quiet hero’ Kapaun receives posthumous Medal of Honor (The Marine Corps Times)
Father Kapaun timeline
April 20, 1916 – Born Emil Joseph Kapaun in Pilsen KS USA
June 9, 1940 – Ordained a priest at what is now Newman University in Wichita
June 20, 1940 – Celebrates his first Mass at St. John Nepomucene in Pilsen
1943 – Appointed auxiliary chaplain at the army air base in Herington
November 1943 – Named pastor of St. John Nepomucene Parish
August 1944 – Enters the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps
March 1945-May 1946 – Serves in India and Burma
Jan. 3, 1946 – Earns promotion to captain
July 1946 – Leaves the chaplain service
October 1946 – Does graduate work at Catholic University in Washington, D.C.
September 1948 – Rejoins the Army’s chaplain service
December 1949 – Makes final visit home to Pilsen
July 1950 – Ordered to Korea from Japan, a month after North Korea invades South Korea
Aug. 2, 1950 – Earns Bronze Star for heroism in action
November 1950 – Captured near Unsan, North Korea
May 23, 1951 – Dies in a prison camp in Pyoktong, North Korea
Aug. 18, 1951 – Posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions at Unsan
1993 – Named Servant of God by the Roman Catholic Church, the first step toward possible canonization
Oct. 1, 2009 – Recommended for the Medal of Honor
April 11, 2013 – Awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously by President Obama