Army Chaplain Emil Kapaun was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously Thursday for his "extraordinary heroism."
"Father Kapaun," as he was known, was among the first U.S. troops on the ground in the Korean War. Fellow soldiers remember him as "a shepherd in combat boots," a "saint," and "a blessing from God."
Kapaun's nephew, Ray Kapaun, accepted the award on his behalf.
"In the chaos, dodging bullets and explosions, Father Kapaun raced between fox holes, out past the front lines and into no-man's land, dragging the wounded to safety," President Obama said during Thursday's Medal of Honor ceremony.
"When his commanders ordered an evacuation he chose to stay, gathering the injured, tending to their wounds," the president said.
Herb Miller, now 86, was injured in the fight and would have been executed by a Chinese soldier if Father Kapaun hadn't knocked him down and then carried Miller four miles to their POW camp. During captivity, Kapaun led prayer services for the men.
Obama described Kapaun as "an American soldier who didn't fire a gun, but who [carried] the mightiest weapon of all: the love for his brothers so powerful that he was willing to die so that they might live."
Although he was persecuted by Chinese soldiers for his faith, he never lost it. Father Kapaun was 35 when he died a POW.