Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty’s Dr. Ron Crews addresses his concerns.
The Miracle of Father Kapaun is a newly-released biography of Chaplain Emil Kapaun, who died in the Korean War and was recently awarded the Medal of Honor.
Two readers of ArmyChaplaincy.com will each win a free copy of this hardcover book. You can enter the giveaway by simply commenting on this note. Tell us how you’ve found inspiration in the life of Father Kapaun.
Be sure to enter no later than May 5th! Standard contest rules apply.
Just in case you’d like to have more than one copy of the book, you can find it in our shop by clicking here.
About the Book
The Miracle of Father Kapaun: Priest, Soldier, and Korean War Heroby Roy Wenzl and Travis Heying.
Emil Kapaun–priest, soldier and Korean War hero– is a rare man. He is being considered by the White House for a Medal of Honor and by the Vatican for canonization as a saint.
As remarkable as this double honor are the non-Catholic witnesses who attest to Father Kapaun’s heroism: the Protestants, Jews and Muslims who either served with the military chaplain in the thick of battle or endured with him the unbelievably brutal conditions of a prisoner of war camp. As journalists Roy Wenzl and Travis Heying discovered, all of these Korean War veterans, no matter their religion, agree that Father Kapaun did more to save lives and maintain morale than any other man they know.
Then there are the alleged miracles–the recent healings attributed to Father Kapaun’s intercession that defy scientific explanation. Under investigation by the Vatican as a necessary step in the process of canonization, these cures witnessed by non-Catholic doctors are also covered in this book.
In tracking down the story of Father Kapaun for the Wichita Eagle, Wenzl and Heying uncovered a paradox. Kapaun’s ordinary background as the son of Czech immigrant farmers in Kansas sowed the seeds of his greatness. His faith, generosity and grit began with his family’s humility, thrift and hard work.
By Chaplain John Potter, Kansas Army National Guard
April is sexual assault awareness month (SAAM). The goal of SAAM is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence.
Sexual assaults can no longer be considered a taboo subject. Silence is not an option. It will only make the issue worse in units, desensitize Soldiers to bad actions, discourage reporting, and slow response times. Everyone has a responsibility in stopping sexual assaults. We must make every effort to increase awareness and prevention in the military.
Depart of Defense policies address sexual assault prevention and seek to establish a climate of respect where education and training establish an environment in which sexual assault and the attitudes that promote it are not tolerated; victims of sexual assault receive the care and support that they need, and offenders are held accountable for their actions.
It is critical that unit ministry teams, victim advocates, attorneys, medics, and family program offices work together and pool our resources during the month of April. Together we can highlight sexual violence as a major public health, human rights, and social justice issue and reinforce the need for prevention efforts.
Here are five suggestions on how chaplains and chaplain assistants can incorporate SAAM activities at the unit level or on post.
1. Share the contact information of your sexual harassment assault response and prevention (SHARP) officer. Who is your coordinator? Who is your victim advocate? What is his or her cell phone number? Find the information and distribute it to your Soldiers and Families. Get it in your unit newsletter, website, or Facebook page. If you are without a victim advocate, give out the DOD Safe Help Line: 877-995-5247. Make sure that people know who to contact should an incident occur. As a unit ministry team member, you also need this person on speed dial. Be sure to add this person as a contact on your phone.
2. Talk about the Army zero-tolerance policy. Tell your new service members why all people deserve respect and courtesy. As Army leaders, it is our duty to provide and maintain an environment of trust and respect for human dignity where sexual harassment will not be tolerated. Everyone deserves an environment of mutual respect, dignity, and fair treatment. Remind your experienced Soldiers what “right looks like.” You may need to stop a joke from being told at the armory or challenge wrong comments. Don’t wink at wrongs when they happen around you. Help to draw a clear line between right and wrong no matter where you are.
3. Organize a collection drive for the local YMCA, YWCA, domestic violence shelter, crisis center, medical clinic, or hospital. They frequently need clothing, toiletries, and supplies when assault victims seek emergency shelter or medical care. Make an effort to highlight the needs in your community. It also reminds Soldiers and Families that crisis centers, clinics, and shelters exist in the community. They can take comfort in knowing that resources will be available should they need future assistance.
4. Partner with local bars and nightclubs to increase awareness efforts. Have a custom hand stamp created with a catchy slogan like “respect is sexy” or a website for your prevention campaign. Collaborate with local bars to use the hand stamp for the entire month of April in honor of SAAM.
5. Engage faith-based communities. Be sure to partner with groups and organizations off post. Soldiers and Families need to hear this message outside the gate. Ask local houses of worship to address sexual assault in services, offer prayer sessions, or donate to local rape crisis centers. You can also collaborate on the collection drive mentioned in point number three.
Chaplains and chaplain assistants can make a difference at the unit level and help to create a community-wide response. Take the time to highlight SAAM this April. Your efforts can change community norms and create a better environment so that sexual violence is no longer tolerated.