March 11, 2013
On April 11, President Barack Obama will award Chaplain (Captain) Emil J. Kapaun, of Pilsen, Kansas, the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry.
Chaplain Kapaun will receive the Medal of Honor posthumously for his extraordinary heroism while serving with the 3d Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division during combat operations against an armed enemy at Unsan, Korea and as a prisoner of war from November 1-2, 1950.
The Kansas congressional delegation led the push for Father Kapaun to be awarded the Medal of Honor.
Father Kapaun died in a prison camp in May, 1951.
Chaplain Kapaun’s nephew, Ray Kapaun, and family will join the President at the White House to commemorate his example of selfless service and sacrifice.
Rep. Mike Pompeo and Sen. Pat Roberts react;
Congressman Mike Pompeo, a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and an Army Cavalry veteran himself, released the following statement:
“The White House’s official announcement that Father Kapaun will be receiving the Medal of Honor is great news for Father Kapaun’s family and the many Kansans and other Americans whose lives were touched by him and who cherish his memory. We have always been proud of his bravery and his selfless acts of compassion for his fellow soldiers during their time of captivity. It is fitting that Father Kapaun’s memory will be honored by presenting his family with the Medal of Honor posthumously. He gave his life protecting his men and this great country, and is richly deserving of this award.
“An amazing soldier, spiritual leader, and American, Father Kapaun is an inspiration to people in both the Catholic faith and military communities, and indeed, to all of us.” said Congressman Pompeo.
Sen. Roberts, a former Marine, said: “Ensuring the sacrifice, valor and service of Father Emil Kapaun is recognized has been a long effort by many. I am pleased that his family and those that served with him will be present for the ceremony to honor this Kansas hero.”