Fred Smith pays tribute to fallen Marine chaplain, Medal of Honor recipient

For Memorial Day weekend, the Staten Island, N.Y., website remembers Congressional Medal of Honor recipient and Marine chaplain Father Vincent Capodanno, who was known for fearlessly navigating the battlefields of Vietnam to give medical aid and a last bit of comfort to his fellow Marines. On May 20, Father Vincent was honored with a "Sacrifice Window" at a memorial chapel in the National Museum of the Marine Corps. Among those who paid tribute was a young lieutenant who witnessed the priest in action:

Fred Smith, chairman, president and CEO of FedEx Corporation, served with Chaplain Capodanno and recounted during the ceremony how the chaplain nearly lost his hand to shrapnel as he tended to the wounded, but refused care so that medical supplies could go to his injured Marines.

The Maryknoll missionary and U.S. Navy chaplain was killed by a sniper on Sept. 4, 1967, at age 38, as he ministered to a Marine in Qui Son Valley. The "grunt padre" was hit 27 times in the back, neck and head. Despite the passage of years, his legacy lives on through the countless lives he touched.

In addition to the Medal of Honor, Father Capodanno was awarded the Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts.

In 2006, the Roman Catholic Church also provided an everlasting honor to the chaplain, declaring him a Servant of God, the first step on the road to sainthood.


I have never been prouder of Fred Smith--he has always been high on my esteem list for everything that he has done for Memphis, but this is is over the top. It shows incredible character to honour someone so selfless. Thank you, Fred.

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