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"We were always making contacts with the enemy, and our fellows were being shot, bombs were being blown up, so I had to be cautious about how I held services. I wanted to meet the needs of most of the men there." (Audio Interview, 35:34)

   Leo Stanis
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War: World War, 1939-1945; Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Branch: Army; Navy
Unit: 25th Infantry Division; 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines
Service Location: Japan; also:
Rank: Technical Sergeant; Commander
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As an Army medic serving in occupied Japan after World War II, Leo Stanis was inspired to become a minister. In 1967, he re-joined the military, this time the Navy, as a chaplain. His service took him to Vietnam, where he teamed with a Catholic priest to recover religious relics from control of the North Vietnamese. Stanis came under fire several times and earned a Purple Heart for his wounds. He developed a unique way of getting his men to attend chapel, challenging them to a series of one-on-one basketball games, with their attendance depending on his winning.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (3 clips)
»Complete Interview  (69 min.)
»Transcript
 Other Materials
»Biography: "Chappy" The Story of Reverend Leo Stanis
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 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (3 items)
Helping a Vietnamese Catholic priest, Father Coe, rescue religious relics from North Vietnamese control. (03:53) Wounded three times, received a Purple Heart. (01:28) Challenging men to one-on-one basketball games. If he won two out of three, they'd have to go to chapel. (00:52)
  
 
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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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