Msgr. Charles Fink poses for a photo at Calverton National Cemetery in Calverton, N.Y., May 19, 2023. Before being ordained a priest, Msgr. Fink served with the U.S. Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Purple Heart after being wounded in action. As a seminarian he wrote a poem entitled "Bury Me With Soldiers." (OSV News photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

Fifty years after the U.S. withdrew its troops from Vietnam, a New York priest told OSV News his combat experience there continues to shape his pastoral ministry.

"It gave me sympathy for the brokenness in people and the difficulties they have to face in life," said Msgr. Charles Fink, a retired priest of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York, now in residence at Notre Dame Parish in New Hyde Park, New York. "And it gave me a great sense of camaraderie with the guys with whom I served, the brotherhood of soldiers."

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