HERINGTON, Kan. (KSNW) — The United States Post Office in Herington has been renamed after a Kansas hero, Father Emil J. Kapaun.

It’s the latest chapter in an incredible and inspiring story of a small-town Kansas boy who grew up to become a priest, then became an Army chaplain, went to war twice, earned the Medal of Honor, and became a legend.

The newly ordained Father Kapaun celebrated his very first mass in his hometown of Pilsen in Marion County in 1940. However, it was while serving as an auxiliary chaplain at an Army airbase in nearby Herington that he made the decision to join the military.

“That’s kind of where he got his calling to become a chaplain was being out there with the servicemen and being around them. And realizing, I think, he felt he could do a lot more for the servicemen than he could at his hometown parish in Pilsen,” said Father Kapaun’s nephew, Ray Emil Kapaun. “It’s the heartland, and he loved everything about this. He was a farm boy and will always be remembered as a farm boy. You know, just a simple, laid-back person who did miraculous things, basically.”

By 1945, Father Kapaun was overseas for the tail end of World War II. In 1950, he was shipped to South Korea, where he risked his life to offer the sacraments to troops hidden in foxholes, conducted mass on the hood of a Jeep, and carried wounded soldiers on his back at the height of the Korean War.

His unit was captured by Communists.

During seven months of captivity, he became a saintly hero to the other prisoners before his death at the age of 35.

This brings us back to Herington, where two years ago, U.S. Representative Tracey Mann introduced a bill to honor this great Kansan.

“It’s fantastic to see so many people from the community. A member of Father Kapaun’s family come and join us. It’s so wonderful. And I think in the day in age when we don’t do a good job of celebrating our heroes, and you look at someone that sacrificed his own life like Father Kapaun. To do this the day after Memorial Day seems right and fitting to me,” said Rep. Mann.

“We couldn’t be more proud. As I said before, we’re woven into the fabric of the community. We deliver for America every day,” said Mark Inglett of the U.S. Postal Service. “We’ve got a war hero who served in two wars. Father Kapaun is a hero. We’ve got a lot of Kansas pride going and a lot of postal pride today. This is an awesome day for us. We’re excited.”

This latest honor comes ten years after Ray Kapaun accepted the Medal of Honor from President Obama on behalf of his uncle.

“This is the valor we honor today. An American soldier who didn’t fire a gun but who wielded the mightiest weapon of all. The love for his brothers was so pure that he was willing to die so that they might live,” said President Obama during the Medal of Honor ceremony.

And two years after Father Kapaun’s remains were returned home, 70 years after he died.

“You know, having this post office renamed after him. It just means more and more people know his name and more and more people are going to know his story, which means more and more people are going to be affected by how he led his life,” said Ray Kapaun.

Father Kapaun was named a Servant of God in 1993, and his cause for beatification and canonization to become a saint opened in 2008. His remains are entombed inside The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita.