Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Speaking of the Medal of Honor

Did you know that in the last 100 years, four chaplains have been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for their heroism when serving our Armed Forces? All four of these chaplains are Catholic Priests. One served during World War II while the other three received their MOH during the Vietnam Conflict. One of these Fr. Vincent Capodanno is also being considered for sainthood.

This is from Fr. Capodanno's Medal of Honor citation.

Medal of Honor citation of Lieutenant Vincent P. Capoddano

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Chaplain of the 3rd Battalion, in connection with operation against enemy forces. In response to reports that the 2nd Platoon of M Company was in danger of being overrun by a massed enemy assaulting force, Lt. Capodanno left the relative safety of the company command post and ran through an open area raked with fire, directly to the beleaguered platoon, disregarding the intense enemy small-arms, automatic-weapons, and mortar fire, he moved about the battlefield administering last rites to the dying and giving medical aid to the wounded. When an exploding mortar round inflicted painful multiple wounds to his arms and legs, and severed a portion of his right hand, he steadfastly refused all medical aid. Instead he directed the corpsmen to help their wounded comrades and, with calm vigor, continued to move about the battlefield as he provided encouragement by voice and example to the valiant marines. Upon encountering a wounded corpsman in the direct line of fire of an enemy machine gunner positioned approximately 15 yards away, Lt. Cappodano rushed a daring attempt to aid and assist the mortally wounded corpsman. At that instant, only inches from his goal, he was struck down by a burst of machine gun fire. By his heroic conduct on the battlefield, and his inspiring example, Lt. Capoddano upheld the finest traditions of the U. S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the cause of freedom.

You can find out more about the other priests by checking out the Catholic War Veterans web site.

Please continue to pray for our men and women in the Armed Forces, and the chaplains who serve them. You can find out more about supporting our Catholic military members at the web site for "Catholics in the Military"

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