11:29 AM PDT, September 30, 2021
Herbert Miller, who served with him, told CBS News about Kapaun’s heroism. “To see somebody like that, it’s unbelievable almost,” he explained.
In the first winter of that war, Miller was wounded, and an enemy soldier had his rifle trained on him. Miller said Father Kapaun stepped in and performed what seemed like a miracle.
“He pushed his rifle aside, and why that man never shot him, I’ll never know.”
That wasn’t the last time Kapaun saved Miller’s life. As POWs, they were forced to march to a prison camp. “If he hadn’t carried me, I would have been dead,” Miller added.
Kapaun helped his fellow POWs survive in the camp by stealing food from the guards. But he did not live to see freedom.
Father Kapaun died in the camp. His remains were identified and retrieved only recently.
This week at his funeral service in Wichita, Kapaun’s nephew shared his uncle’s last words to his fellow POWs.
“‘I’m going someplace I’ve always wanted to be, and when I get there, I’ll say a prayer for you.’ Uncle Emil, welcome home. Home at last.”
Father Kapaun was a Medal of Honor recipient, and one day he may be canonized by the Catholic Church.