Father Emil Kapuan, who served as a U.S. Army chaplain during the Korean War, celebrates Mass in the field. Fr. Kapuan later died in a Korean P.O.W. camp and was awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery there. U.S. Government photo.
Servants of Church and Country
Each year on November 11, we observe Veterans Day and remember all those who have served our country in times of war. Among those veterans are our military chaplains.
Five military chaplains, all of them Catholics, have received the Medal of Honor since the
Civil War. Two of them are on the path to sainthood as their stories of bravery
have touched people the world over. Their example inspires a
new generation of men to be chaplains as well.
Four Catholic military chaplains have also been recognized for bravery in the line of duty with United States Navy ships named in their honor.
In 2013, the USCCB Media Blog featured a series of posts about past, current and future chaplains, plus the
extraordinary history of Catholics priests as Medal of Honor recipients. Links to the blog posts are below.
Of Medal of Honor Winners and Saints About Saints
Criteria to Award the Medal of Honor
Called from Underwater
Following Saints and Heroes
Ready for a Changing Chaplain Corps
The annual observance of Veterans Day in the United States on November
11th has it roots in the the armistice that ended World War I
hostilities in 1918. The armistice between the Allied nations and
Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the
eleventh month. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed thereafter that
November 11 be observed as "Armistice Day." In 1954, Congress passed
legislation that renamed the federal holiday "Veterans Day," in
recognition of the service of veterans of all U.S. Wars.