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About bryang

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  1. You've got some really cool Gulf War bring-backs! I've mounted a few of my own bring-backs in my home office.
  2. Thank you very much! I just started to read through it.
  3. I bought this from a member of a German militaria forum. I have a few ww2 German flags, however really loved that this flag came with the original capture documents and package. This flag was sent home in late November 1944 by Corporal Vernon Shafer, of the 83rd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion (under the 3rd Armored Division). Unfortunately I have no information on Corporal Shafer.
  4. Had some rear echelon MPs hassling some of our guys who were trying to board that freedom bird for the flight back CONUS. Telling our guys what they could and couldn't bring home: guys with empty AK mags told they could only have one ... couple guys had to give up russian tanker helmets ... It was all poppycock, we pretty much knew these MPs were hoarding the prizes for themselves. Rest of us had a lengthy wait before flying home, and so we all shipped most of our swag home in the mail. I sent home four or five boxes full of Iraqi uniforms, head gear, helmets, field gear, etc .. I gave a lot of it away to friends and family and strangers who had written me "any serviceman" letters. Still have plenty here at home displayed in my office.
  5. When I learned that he retired I pulled out the DCU cap from when he was a brand new Private - hadn't yet attended Ranger School - and I contacted him to see if he at least wanted to have that back as a keepsake. He replied back to me and joked that he had so much junk in his garage that his wife would kill him if he brought anything else into the house!
  6. A few years ago I made a trip to Fort Benning, GA for the graduation of my nephew from his training as a Cavalry Scout. I took time to visit the post, as I had been through there several times during the course of my career - Airborne, Pathfinder, and Jumpmaster schools. While off the base I stopped by a surplus shop next to my hotel, and picked up several modified uniforms - one DCU and three woodland BDU, as well as a DCU cap. The DCU cap bears Private rank, while two of the BDU tops bear Sergeant stripes. The cap and two of the BDU tops bear the name of the U.S. Army Ranger who had worn these. I discovered that these were significant in that they had been worn by Joseph Kapacziewski. Joe Kapacziewski served in the 3rd Ranger Battalion and made a combat jump into Iraq during the start of the war there. He was later severely wounded in northern Iraq when an insurgent managed to drop a hand grenade into the Stryker vehicle Kapacziewski was in. He eventually had his right leg amputated 10 inches below the knee and worked tirelessly to be reinstated to full combat status as an Army Ranger. He went on to serve multiple combat tours to Iraq and Afghanistan, retiring as a First Sergeant. He wrote a book titled "Back in the Fight," and has been active in wounded Veteran causes. He is the recipient of three Bronze Star medals for Valor, as well as three Purple Hearts. I managed to make contact with him on FaceBook, and Told him a bit of my own career, and I explained that I had come across these clothing items from early in his career. I offered to return them to him should he like to keep them as tokens of his service. He responded that he was pleased to have had a fellow Veteran keep them. Very down to earth and a cool guy. Here are the items of First Sergeant (retired) Joseph Kapacziewski 3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment:
  7. This was taken in '08, shortly before I retired. I was an Intelligence NCO in 5th Special Forces Group, and my son-in-law a Chemical NCO. We're with my grandson. I'm wearing the Zaire Parachutist Badge I was awarded for deploying to Zaire, central Africa back in 1987, and making parachute jumps with the Zaire Army's 31st Parachute Brigade. Zaire in now called the Democratic Republic of Congo. Though they're covered in this photo, my son-in-law is sporting Jordanian Jump Wings over his right breast pocket. I also have Kenyan and Egyptian Parachutist Wings, as well as the Egyptian Commando Badge. I submitted to Department of the Army request to accept and wear these foreign badges and subsequently received official orders for each. These are in my military records, and I have sets mounted on my office wall, with the certificates I received from the host nation for each.
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