The Spirit of an Angel (Dedications, page 1 of 2)

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To my wife, Vicki; who, for me, puts the stars in the sky.


Father Vincent Capodanno

A special commemoration to Father Vincent Capodanno who, on September 4, 1967, was killed in Vietnam combat during Operation Swift. I am thankful to God I was blessed to have been able to share a small portion of his life in a remote area near Chu Lai, South Vietnam.

During our idle time in Vietnam my buddies and I would spend our time talking about going home or what we would do when we got home. Constantly, that was all we talked about: the girls we knew, the cars we drove, the places we would hang out, and on and on.

I was sure Father Capodanno never had those thoughts. His thoughts were there, in Vietnam. Thinking and striving to help others.

He was either in Chu Lai at his Chapel or in the hospital visiting the injured. When he wasn't in Chu Lai he was with the Marines out in combat; always serving God, and the Marines; never thinking of himself or his own safety.

I remember on one occasion when we were on an operation. We were sweeping a field walking in a line formation. About fifteen yards from me two Marines had tripped some type of land mind and were seriously injured. Out of nowhere Father Capodanno climbed a fence ran out in front of everyone and was the first person to arrive at their side. He gave no thought to his own life, only that he knew he had to get to them to serve them with the faith that he so truly believed.

I knew then that he was a special person. It was as though he was our Father watching over us, like a Guardian Angel that was there for our time of need. Not thinking about going home, only thinking of us.

Shortly after I returned home I had learned that he was killed during Operation Swift. As I read the details of his death I knew he was doing what he had done so often, he was helping and comforting others.

Not a day goes by that I do not think about Father Capodanno. He is with me daily; he is my way, my life, and my guardian. We, the Marines that were blessed to know him were truly blessed by an Angel. He continues to be with us, and will be until our final destination home, when we all will be together again.


To all the war veterans of past, present, and future with a special dedication to all my fellow Vietnam veterans.


To my mom and dad, Hazel & Robert

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