A legendary chaplain who helped hundreds of troops get through life in a prisoner-of-war (POW) camp during the Korean War is set to receive the Medal of Honor 62 years after his death. Rev. Emil Kapaun, who passed away inside one of the camps due to pneumonia, has been hailed a national hero over the last half-century for his work helping troops survive under the harshest conditions, and now he'll be given the military's top honor, The Associated Press reports.
President Barak Obama will present the medal to Kapaun's family, along with several of the soldiers he served with, on April 11, marking an end to a decades-long fight on his behalf. Much of the effort was led by Lt. Robert Wood and Lt. Mike Dowe, who were in the POW camp with Kapaun. Despite Kapuan having a high school named after him, receiving the Distinguished Service Cross, and many other accolades, Dowe, Wood and others felt the Medal of Honor was the only appropriate way to commemorate the chaplain's service.
"He's in my prayers every night," Dowe told the AP. "I ask him to help me rather than asking God to help him."
Kapaun is not the first chaplain to be given the Medal of Honor. One of the most recent to receive honor was Charles J. Watters, who was awarded the distinction posthumously, after he died trying to rescue wounded troops in Vietnam.