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Publisher's Summary

Father Vincent Robert Capodanno was a US Navy chaplain killed in Vietnam in 1967 with his Marine search unit in Operation Swift. Outnumbered 2,500 to 500 Marines, he was killed protecting a corpsman who was administering first aid to a soldier.

Father Capodanno received the Congressional Medal of Honor, the Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts. Even though wounded, he refused to leave the battle area to assist his grunts. He was the most recognized and respected chaplain in that war; memorials and buildings throughout the world are named after him. This is a hero.

©2000 Rev Daniel L Mode (P)2016 James Gilboy

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kingsley
  • Henely Brook, Australia
  • 06-15-16

Faith and Valor

This book tells the story of Father Vincent Robert Capodanno, a Catholic preist and US Marines chaplain. It covers his time with the marines, as well has his story preceding that time (what brought him to both being a priest and to being a Vietnam chaplain), and finally his legacy.

It is not a war book, with details of troops movements or battles (although they are discussed where relating to the story. It is not a book about the errors of the Vietnam war. It is a story of one man's faith and his work to help encourage and engage those going through a hard time.

The story is an interesting and personal one, going into detail on Capodanno's beliefs, thoughts and why he performed the actions he did. It quotes from family and friends who knew him, highlighting the great man of character he was.

I am not Catholic, so was a little apprehensive at how overt the Catholic message in this book might be. I did not find it overbearing. It did not shy away from his faith and how that impacted him. It did hot shy away from explaining what his beliefs were and presenting a clear "gospel picture". But it was not preachy.

The information about his legacy - with many buildings, chapels and a warship or two named after him is also interesting, showing the ongoing impact this one man had.

Narration by Kevin Spalding is very good. Other works that i have heard read by him have been more traditional "war books" detailing the battles and actions of soldiers. So this is in the same vein but a bit of a departure.

Spalding reads consistently and clearly. while this is a non-fiction work, where there is quotes or people speaking (via written records etc) he changes his voice to help differentiate them from the main narration. This is a fine line to tread with non-fiction as these are not characters but the words of real people. Spalding treads this line perfectly adding the right level of differentiation without making the people into 'characters'.

This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of audiobookboom dot com.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Joseph
  • SHERWOOD, WI, United States
  • 05-27-16

Not exactly the way I recall it...

If you could sum up The Grunt Padre in three words, what would they be?

Vince is a saint.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Fr. Vince

Which character – as performed by CAPT Kevin F Spalding USNR-Ret – was your favorite?

Fr. Vince

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Certainly!

Any additional comments?

Though the events are not exactly the way I recall them, they are close enough. Fr. Vince was my friend. We struggled with the same command idiocy.Lt. Col Hilgardner demanded his priest and doctor accompany him to the field. (Read his book "Highpockets" to learn why. For a hint his formulative years were significantly altered by priests and physicians and usually not to his liking). Fr, Vince motives were pure. This was not a "suicide by combat". Vince was at 1/5 the day before he died saying Mass. I will never forget that Mass. He left with a shirt of mine. His was dirty trying to get on a chopper going to Operation Swift. Delta company had been ambushed. Bravo company went to help. Then it turned into a regimental expansion. Vince was fearless. Tried all afternoon to get on a chopper but they were taking only combatants. Ultimately they took him. I would not have gone where he went. God rest his soul.

Lt. J. E. Pilon, MD USNR (Ret)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • EP
  • Walnut Creek, CA United States
  • 05-30-16

Disciple of Christ in Uniform

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This audiobook provides a short biography of Father Vincent Capodanno, a United States Navy Roman Catholic chaplain and a posthumous recipient of the Medal of Honor for his selfless and heroic actions during the Vietnam War.

Being Roman Catholic myself, I found Father Capodanno's life to be an inspiring account of what it means to be Christian. Father Capodanno demonstrates the power and beauty of Christian service, and in my opinion, he helps illustrate why Christ's message is the Ultimate Truth.

Any additional comments?

I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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A new and powerful rendition

If you could sum up The Grunt Padre in three words, what would they be?

Powerful, eloquent, inspiring

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Grunt Padre?

When Father Capodanno realized God's plan for him was for him to serve God and others as a Navy chaplain.

Which scene was your favorite?

Father Capodanno's arrival in Vietnam when he recognized his destiny.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Both emotions resulted from the reading, but the overall emotion was the recognition that the best led life involves service to others despite the suffering and sacrifice which Father Capodanno exemplified.

Any additional comments?

This is an eloquent rendition of the biography of a hero for our ages. The inclusion of Archbishop Timothy Broglio's remarks contribute a timely update to this account of Father Capodanno's virtuous life and heroic death which have led his becoming a model of service and a Servant of God.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A powerful testament to the life of an inspiring Military chaplain

I found this book was very easy to listen to and was very compelling. It speaks not just to the sacrifice of Servant of God Vincent Cappadanno, but also to all of our veterans from the Vietnam war. I found that Mr. Spaulding also captured to tone of the book, presenting me with a narrative I could not put down! I highly recommend this book.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Reg
  • McKinney, TX
  • 01-25-17

Truly A Padre for the Men

Father Vincent Capodanno was a truly inspired and inspiring man. He saw what our boys went through in Vietnam and supported them in the aftermath of the horrifying events they lived through. And when they didn't live he was there to administer last rites and give comfort to the dying.

My father is a Vietnam veteran. I know that these soldiers, especially, the volunteers like my dad, were convinced they were helping to bring freedom and democracy to the Vietnam people. They felt they were part of a bigger movement to spread democracy throughout the world. And when they came home, they were reviled, spit on, and not taken care of by the Veterans Administration. So when I heard Father Vince watch the Vietnamese vote and listened to his thoughts on their determination and bravery to vote while being shelled...it really hit home for me. This is what my father was experiencing and fighting for. It was truly impactful to understand the emotions of Father Capodanno, the soldiers, and the Vietnamese.

The first 3 hours of this book are about Father Capodanno's childhood, education, and training in the Catholic church. Once he gets to Vietnam, the narrative really picks up and becomes very interesting to listen to. Well worth a credit and may give some insight to what your father, brother, uncle, cousin is feeling who has just returned from Iraq or Afghanistan.
It made me want to thank every soldier who ever fought for the sacrifice they gave. And thank the clergymen who go with them to offer so much comfort. I now understand why Father Capodanno insisted on going to the worst expected battles and being there for 'his Marines'.

Kevin Spalding has an excellent voice for this type of narration. He is a soldier himself, so he was able to bring the right tone to the material. I don't think it would have had the same impact without him narrating this listen.

I received this audiobook for free through Audiobook Boom! in exchange for an honest review.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Outstanding

Would you listen to The Grunt Padre again? Why?

I had read this book and was happy to see it was put in audio format. Capt. Spalding did an excellent job. I would, and probably will listen to it again. Being former military Capt. Spalding has a grasp of the terminology used in the narrative and his voice is pleasant to listen to. Well worth it for those who don't have time to read a physical book and do a lot of travelling like me.Norman FulkersonAuthor: An American Knight: The Life of Col. John Ripley

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Grunt Padre?

The narration of his death.

What about CAPT Kevin F Spalding USNR-Ret’s performance did you like?

I did.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Saint in our time

Would you consider the audio edition of The Grunt Padre to be better than the print version?

Did not read the printed version

Who was your favorite character and why?

Fr. Vince due to his selfless regard for humanity

Which scene was your favorite?

Father Capodanno's arrival in Vietnam when he recognized his destiny

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

The Grunt Padre

Any additional comments?

I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Saint in our time

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes

What does CAPT Kevin F Spalding USNR-Ret bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Kevin Spalding's military background brings a true appreciation for the service of the Marines and the Chaplain Corps during Vietnam. His deliberate reverence for the story is evident, especially during the portions of the story describing combat operations.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It brought back a lot of memories of my time in the Marines, and especially on deployment. The Chaplains that served with the Marines were true lifesavers, and will always hold a special place for me. Any Marine will shed a tear while listening to the selfless service displayed by Father Capodanno.

Any additional comments?

I really liked how thorough the author was in relaying Father Capodanno's life story. It made Father Capodanno larger than life as we see his accomplishments in life spanned far beyond the battlefield.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Selfless heroism at its best

If you could sum up The Grunt Padre in three words, what would they be?

Selfless, Heroic, and influential

Who was your favorite character and why?

Fr. Vince due to his selfless regard for humanity.

Any additional comments?

"I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom."