Skip to comments.Chaplain gets Medal of Honor 62 years after death (Outstanding story)
Posted on 04/06/2013 9:59:08 AM PDT by jazusamo
In the cold, barren hills of Korea more than 60 years ago, two teary-eyed soldiers stood in a prisoner of war camp where their chaplain lay dying.
The Rev. Emil Kapaun was weak, his body wracked by pneumonia and dysentery. After six brutal months in the hellish camp, the once sturdy Kansas farmer's son could take no more. Thousands of soldiers had already died, some starving, others freezing to death. Now the end was near for the chaplain.
On April 11, those two young lieutenants, Dowe and Wood, now 85 and 86, will join their comrades, Kapaun's family and others at the White House where President Barack Obama will award the legendary chaplain the Medal of Honor posthumously.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
MOH Ping for Chaplain Emil Kapaun!
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The book, “Shepherd in Combat Boots” is a good account of Father Kapaun’s life.
Thanks for the ping to this outstanding story.
I found the story very compelling. Thank you for posting it.
This is a dream come true for those that knew him. For Obama, it’s just another photo opp.
Wikipedia: Fr. Emil Joseph Kapaun
I want to raise a question for the group. I'm somewhat conflicted by the several cases in recent years under Obama in which a decoration has been upgraded to the MoH decades after the action occured. It's not whether or not it's merited..in this case I think it is...in others I don't think it was.
I don't like this effort to fine-tune history long after the fact. I don't think it's possible now to have an honest discussion on the merits of each case.
As a Vietnam era Marine officer, I'm an amateur historian of the MoH. ( I've met two recipients )I've followed the award citations of Marines who received the Navy Cross during the Gulf Wars. I can state that many of those absolutely merited the MoH..and the likely reason the recommendation was downgraded to the Navy Cross was that it wasn't a posthumous award.
Indeed, if we're going to try and "make things right," then the majority of the MoHs awarded during the Civil war should be rescinded. They were handed out like candy, mainly to staff officers who NEVER saw combat, and they demean the brave recipients of the Medal in all subsequent wars, after the military began to apply a far more rigorous criteria.
My two cents..
I Kaupans case, this is the result of a long and continuous effort. The Army has honored him by naming a Kasern after him at Vogelweh, Kaiserslautern, Germany. So it is just a matter of how things work. Some people get their full due, others do not. It does not serve your stated purpose to protest this award. This man did not fall on a handgrenade. He took many actions to save lives.
I wasn’t protesting the ward..I said that I felt he deserves it...I was rather attempting to step back from one particular case, and discuss the whole question of revising awards decades after the fact..
My point being that this outcome is the result of a long, continuous effort to get this for him, and we are at a time when all those who actually knew the man are passing from the scene.
According to the Korean War Veterans Ass’n., Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien, Archbishop for the Military Services, USA, Washington, DC, sent a letter to the Army’s Senior Decorations Board at the Pentagon recommending that Fr. Kapaun be awarded the MOH.
Eight years to decide.
If memory serves, it took Bill Clinton about 10 minutes (and who knows how much money?) to decide on the MOH for Senator Inouye.
Well said...From what I’ve read about Fr. Kapaun it’s been a lengthly effort by many and a well deserved one that politics has not entered into.
Thank you for posting this, jaz. What an inspiring, outstanding American. This is a well deserved honor.
My pleasure, my FRiend, I knew you’d appreciate it.
Thank God for this hero!
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