A former soldier of the 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, will be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama in an April ceremony at the White House, according to the division public affairs office.

Capt. Emil Joseph Kapaun, a chaplain, served with the regiment’s Headquarters Company in the Korean War. He was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross on Aug. 18, 1951.

Kapaun, also a World War II veteran, provided medical aid and comfort to the wounded while a prisoner of war from Nov. 2, 1950, until he died from a blood clot May 23, 1951, according to information provided by the division.

Kapaun also sneaked in food and firewood to help keep the prisoners alive, becoming known as the “good thief.”

— Rose L. Thayer

Contact Rose L. Thayer at rthayer@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7463. Follow her on Twitter at KDHmilitary.

Rose L. Thayer is the military editor for the Killeen Daily Herald. She joined the paper in February 2011 as a health and military reporter. View her complete profile Here.

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