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Someone You Should Know: US Army Chaplain Father Emil Kapaun

Posted By Grim • [April 17, 2012]

It is not every day that a man is considered for both the Congressional Medal of Honor and sainthood.

When American officers ordered the able-bodied to retreat, Father Kapaun, a 35-year-old captain, refused to leave the wounded.... His capture and forced march northward with hundreds of other American prisoners was merely the beginning of Father Kapaun's trial, an ordeal that ended in his death from starvation, cold and lack of basic medical care at a prison camp in North Korea six months later.  For his heroism, a group of Kansas politicians are pushing to have him awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, America's highest military decoration.

Reports of Kapaun's selfless bravery have got him short-listed for another rare high honour: the Catholic church has named Kapaun Servant of God, the first step toward sainthood, and the Vatican has opened a formal inquiry into whether he merits canonisation.

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