Monday, January 30, 2012

Fr. Emil Kapaun’s Cause Gets an Assist from Kansas Congressional Delegation

FrKapaun Well, not his sainthood cause which you can read all about here, but a separate cause for the heroic U.S. Army Chaplain from Pilsen, Kansas to be awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor.

Matt Manta from Rep. Kevin Yoder’s office sent me a release today on the Kansas Congressional delegation’s recent letter to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta encouraging him to recommend that Father Emil Kapaun be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism and service in the Korean War.

Along with Yoder, U.S. Senators Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran and U.S. Representatives Tim Huelskamp,  Lynn Jenkins and Mike Pompeo signed the letter:

“We write to express our appreciation for your agency’s ongoing support for awarding the Medal of Honor to (Captain) Chaplain Emil J. Kapaun and to encourage your official recommendation to the President as the next step in the awards process.

“We write in strong support of your recommendation to the President to award the Medal of Honor to (Captain) Chaplain Emil J. Kapaun. In previous correspondence, our delegation has expressed our resolute support for recognizing Father Kapaun’s numerous acts of heroism and selflessness during his service in the Korean War. To that end, our delegation offered legislation in both the House and the Senate to waive the time limitation and award the Medal of Honor to Father Kapaun. In response to our inquiry, Dr. Jo Ann Rooney, Acting Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, later confirmed the Department of Defense’s support for the time waiver legislation for Father Kapaun. We are extremely pleased the time waiver legislation was included in the final Fiscal Year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 112-81).

“The next step in the process is for the Secretary of Defense to officially recommend that the President award Father Kapaun the Medal of Honor. We respectfully ask for your support and further request that you convey your recommendation to award the Medal of Honor to Father Kapaun to the President in the near future.

“During the Korean War, Father Kapaun served as a chaplain of the 8th Cavalry Regiment of the First Army Division. Amidst the devastating Battle of Unsan, Kapaun pulled wounded soldiers to safety and attended to their injuries. He was taken prisoner along with other American soldiers and carried severely injured fellow soldiers on his back, while rallying others to help in a similar fashion. While in the prison camp he served his comrades by escaping to steal food from nearby farms to bring back to the starving prisoners. He cared for sick soldiers, washed them, shared his food with them, and inspired them with his unfailing faith and acts of generosity until his death in May 1951. Fellow soldiers who benefitted from or witnessed the many examples of Father Kapaun’s service shared the stories of his heroism after their release.

“It is our strong belief that these acts of selfless service on behalf of his fellow soldiers make Father Kapaun a true hero who deserves this high honor. We appreciate your time and attention to this matter and stand ready to assist in any way required.”

Much thanks to the Kansas delegation!

Now you, readers, can keep helping ‘Servant of God’ Kapaun on his other cause:

Lord Jesus,

in the midst of the folly of war,
your servant, Chaplain Emil Kapaun
spent himself in total service to you
on the battlefields and
in the prison camps of Korea,
until his death at the hands of his captors.

We now ask you, Lord Jesus,
if it be your will,
to make known to all the world
the holiness of Chaplain Kapaun and the
glory of his complete sacrifice for you by
signs of miracles and peace.

In your name, Lord, we ask,
for you are the source of peace,
the strength of our service to others,
and our final hope.

Amen

Chaplain Kapaun, pray for us.