Capt. Milan Kapral and Warrant Officer 2 Ales Vilim, international students from the Czech Republic, participated in the 100 year anniversary celebration of the founding of St. John’s Nepomucene Catholic Church in Dinwiddie County May 20. The festivities included a special church service, lunch, the unveiling of a memorial quilt, children’s games and crafts, and traditional accordion music with lively polka dances.
The lunch featured Czech foods made by current members of the church who are descendents of immigrants who founded the parish in 1907.
Kapral and Vilim walked through the neatly manicured parish cemetery, looking at many of the weather worn headstones which bore the names of the Czech immigrants who had come to the United States so long ago in search of a better life. The officers thought about the life of those hard working people, many who were farmers in both Dinwiddie and Prince George counties, and whose descendents still work the soil today. Both officers said they enjoyed chatting with parish members and looking through vintage prayer books and other memorabilia written in the Czech language. Kapral and Vilim are currently attending the Parachute Rigger Course at the U.S. Army Quartermaster Center and School.