Army Chaplain honored with monument on Camp Humphreys

Ian Morgado, Life Scout in Boy Scouts of America Troop 203, speaks at the Chaplain (Capt.) Emil Kapaun Monument unveiling ceremony at USAG Humphreys, South Korea, May 27, 2022. Morgado had the idea to have the monument created as a part of the Eagle Scout program and coordinated with the USAG Humphreys Garrison command team and other element on and around the installation to have it built. (U.S. Army photos by Pfc. Hannah Stewart, 20th Public Affairs Detachment.)
Ian Morgado, Life Scout in Boy Scouts of America Troop 203, speaks at the Chaplain (Capt.) Emil Kapaun Monument unveiling ceremony at USAG Humphreys, South Korea, May 27, 2022. Morgado had the idea to have the monument created as a part of the Eagle Scout program and coordinated with the USAG Humphreys Garrison command team and other element on and around the installation to have it built. (U.S. Army photos by Pfc. Hannah Stewart, 20th Public Affairs Detachment.)

Army Chaplain honored with monument on Camp Humphreys

by Pfc. Hannah Stewart
20th Public Affairs Detachment

CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea (May 27, 2022) – Nearly 71 years to the day he died as a prisoner of war and just days before Memorial Day, Soldiers and civilians gathered for a ceremony at the 2nd Infantry Division Memorial Walk on Camp Humphreys to honor the legacy and service of Army Chaplain (Capt.) Emil Kapaun.

The memorial, a stone marker bearing the Medal of Honor recipient’s name and service campaigns in two wars, was unveiled by Maj. Gen. David Lesperance, 2nd Infantry Division commander, Col. Seth Graves, Camp Humphreys garrison commander, and Ian Morgado, a Life Scout in Boy Scouts of America Troop 203.


Col. Seth Graves, U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys commander, speaks during the Chaplain (Capt.) Emil Kapaun Monument unveiling ceremony at USAG Humphreys, South Korea, May 27, 2022. Graves provided support for the monument’s placement on the memorial trail here. 

Morgado, a self-described fan of history, first conceived the idea to establish a monument for Kapaun in late Summer 2021.

“Everyone who serves in the military has their own history,” said Morgado, explaining how monuments help subsequent generations understand history’s important and influential people. “This monument is very important because it re-enforces that idea.”

It wasn’t long after Morgado thought to erect a monument that he began the process of working with the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division leadership, Camp Humphreys garrison, and numerous other entities to fund and emplace it.


(from left) U.S. Army Maj. Gen. David Lesperance, 2nd Infantry Division commanding general, Life Scout Ian Morgado, Boy Scouts of America Troop 203, and U.S. Army Col. Seth Graves, commander of U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys, unveil the Chaplain (Capt.) Emil Kapaun Monument during a ceremony at USAG Humphreys, South Korea, May 27, 2022. The monument pays tribute to Kapaun, who served in the Korean War in 1950 and was inducted into the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes in 2013. 

Kapaun was a Roman Catholic priest who served in World War II and the Korean War. During the Korean War, he was taken as a prisoner of war during the Battle of Unsan after refusing to evacuate against overwhelming numbers. He lived out the rest of his life performing mass for others in Prison Camp #5 and earning the description of “bravest man I ever knew” from a fellow POW. Kapaun died on May 23, 1951 and was buried at the camp where he worked to help fellow captives. After decades of being listed as unaccounted for, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced positive identification of Kapaun’s remains in May 2021.

The monument to Kapaun is part of an ever-maturing memorial developed to honor the memory of Soldiers who served in the Warrior Division and the Korean conflict.

“The intent of the 2ID Regimental Walk is to allow the community of Camp Humphreys to see the history and the participants that held roles during these events,” said Maj. David Nelson, U.S. Eighth Army.


Benefactors and coordinators of the Chaplain (Capt.) Emil Kapaun Monument pose for a photo at USAG Humphreys, South Korea, May 27, 2022. Kapaun was an Army chaplain who served in the Korean War in 1950 and was inducted into the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes in 2013. 

 

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