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More than 50 years after his death, the Army has endorsed awarding the Medal of Honor to a Kansas priest who humbly served his fellow prisoners in a Chinese prison camp during the Korean War. When they returned home after the war, members of the eighth Calvary Regiment spoke of the many ways Emil Kapaun continued to look after his men even though he was wounded and sick himself. Kapaun often risked his life to sneak out after dark to seek food for those who were too weak to eat, and wash the clothes of other prisoners. Kapaun died at the camp seven months after he entered captivity, but his men say they will never forget him, and worked for years to see Kapaun receive the honor he deserved.

Helen Kapaun, the chaplain’s sister in law said she and her husband had prayed they would live to see Kapaun honored. Rev. John Hotze of Wichita said the recognition has been a long time in the making. Hotze said, “He saw it as a role of serving his men and laying down his life for his men.” Kansas Representative Todd Tiahrt, who will present the matter to Congress added, ”It’s hard to image living through something like that. He handled it like a saint. This is the kind of person that we ought to emulate.”

--Army agrees Kansas priest worthy of Medal of Honor, http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091013/ap_on_re_us/us_chaplain_medal_of_honor ; October 13, 2009. Illustration by Jim L. Wilson and Jim Sandell

Mark 10:44-45 (CEV) “And if you want to be first, you must be everyone's slave. (45) The Son of Man did not come to be a slave master, but a slave who will give his life to rescue many people.”

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