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War souvenirs...or items Brought Back


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At the end of the first Gulf War I brought home a mobility bag full of iraqi flags, bayonets, AK mags, berets, a couple helmets, an RPG sight, some insignia...piece of tile from Saddam's palace in Sersink, a gas mask...gave most of it away but kept one of everything for myself. In Bosnia, I brought home a JNA overcoat, and a single Yugoslav Air Force button I found laying on the ground...plus the usual tourity soveniers from both places.

 

 

 

Mark sends

Mark Conrad, MSgt, USAF (Ret)

"Poor is the nation that has no Heroes...shameful is the one having them that forgets."

The Miami Valley Military History Museum: http://www.mvmhm.com
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No actually I gave them to people in my unit who didn't get to deploy...I gave a bayonet, helmet and flag to my Squadron Commander to put in the unit display case...

 

Mark sends

Mark Conrad, MSgt, USAF (Ret)

"Poor is the nation that has no Heroes...shameful is the one having them that forgets."

The Miami Valley Military History Museum: http://www.mvmhm.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Miami-Valley-Military-History-Museum/111268115594349
Official Partner of the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration: www.vietnamwar50th.com
Official Partner of the United States of America World War I Centennial: www.worldwar1centennial.org

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Uniform, helmet, poncho, some misc insignias, AK chest rig, floor tile fragments from Saddam's Palace, strands of crystals from a chandelier of Saddam's Palace

-Brig
GySgt/USMC/0369
RSU-Quantico


"FOR OUR TOMORROWS, THEY GAVE THEIR TODAYS"
RIP
Sgt Jesse 'Jeff Nasty' Balthaser
Sgt John P Huling
Cpl Carlos 'Gilo Monster' Gilorozco
Cpl Stephen C 'Socks' Sockalosky
LCpl Joshua A 'Scottie' Scott
LCpl Jason Lee 'Birdman' Frye
LCpl Nicolas B Morrison
LCpl Jon T Hicks
LCpl Osbrany 'Oz' Montes De Oca
Pvt Lewis T D Calapini
'The SOI 5'

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  • 1 year later...

Nothing I could keep, but we found had two K98 Mausers in the TOC when we occupied (FOB near BIAP). The Battalion Commander wanted one for the unit museum, I chose the 1940 Mauser (carried alot, shot little - bore was excellent but no finish left at all).

 

The BDE JAG made me the guinea pig, since they wanted to take home an AK. Long story short, the legal packet was 1" thick and the rifle had to be demilled (rod welded in both the muzzle and breach). Still had to carry it home in a locked case, as it was added to our sensitive items roster.

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Brought back like 3 foot lockers full of stuff. Helmets, bayonets, insignia, uniforms, flags, etc. Gave away a ton and sold a bunch on eBay back in 04 or so when it was all still fairly new and people wanted it. Kept a few odds and ends. Mainly patches, insignia, a helmet or 2 and a bunch of medals that were found while clearing out the "Green Zone" back in 03.

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After Desert Storm, I brought home an Iraqi uniform, helmet, canteen and cup, a magazine pouch, and a piece of an 8" artillery round (ours). I also had an Iraqi gas mask, decon kit, and AK magazines with arabic writing on them, but all that was stolen by the customs inspectors. I had a Kuwaiti flag from a deployment post Desert Storm, but the movers stole that. From OIF, I brought back a bunch of Iraqi constitutional referendum ballots (Oct 2005). And I also brought home some Iraqi dinars from both Desert Storm and OIF. As a matter of fact, I always brought back coins and paper currency from every country I visited.

Semper Fi,
Scott

(formerly known as "NS13Jarhead")
USMC (Ret) 1980-2007

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  • 4 weeks later...

After the cease fire in 91, I did what all good soldiers do. I went snooping for souvenirs. I came away with multiple RG uniforms, an Iraqi CVC helmet, a duffle bag, a couple of ammo cans, various pieces of field gear and some odds and ends like a pack of Iraqi cigarettes.

 

The piece that got away was in a command trailer I came across. One wall was covered in maps with pins marking units and other important info. I couldn't figure out how to get all the maps down and keep everything together, so I left them. I did get a smaller Iraqi military map though.

Jerry Wise,SGT.,TXARNG,RET.

 

 

The highest obligation and privilege of citizenship is that of bearing arms for one's country-G.S. Patton

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  • 4 weeks later...

After Desert Storm, I brought home an Iraqi uniform, helmet, canteen and cup, a magazine pouch, and a piece of an 8" artillery round (ours). I also had an Iraqi gas mask, decon kit, and AK magazines with arabic writing on them, but all that was stolen by the customs inspectors. I had a Kuwaiti flag from a deployment post Desert Storm, but the movers stole that. From OIF, I brought back a bunch of Iraqi constitutional referendum ballots (Oct 2005). And I also brought home some Iraqi dinars from both Desert Storm and OIF. As a matter of fact, I always brought back coins and paper currency from every country I visited.

 

The AK mags were prohibited items as they were considered parts of weapons systems (stocks were not - go figure), and gas masks and decon kits were prohibited items too, due to concerns that they could have had chemical contamination while in Iraqi use.

 

I am not surprised Customs took them out, as a result of what i noted. I am more surprised your unit didn't have you cull that stuff out during the pre-rotation gear inspections; most units were pretty particular as they didn't want their people or units held up in Customs, the concern being that finding contraband on one might lead to more extensive searches of all.

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Most of my stuff is in storage after our house was destroyed in a storm but here are some pics of a couple of things...

 

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Jerry Wise,SGT.,TXARNG,RET.

 

 

The highest obligation and privilege of citizenship is that of bearing arms for one's country-G.S. Patton

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After Desert Storm, I brought home an Iraqi uniform, helmet, canteen and cup, a magazine pouch, and a piece of an 8" artillery round (ours). I also had an Iraqi gas mask, decon kit, and AK magazines with arabic writing on them, but all that was stolen by the customs inspectors. I had a Kuwaiti flag from a deployment post Desert Storm, but the movers stole that. From OIF, I brought back a bunch of Iraqi constitutional referendum ballots (Oct 2005). And I also brought home some Iraqi dinars from both Desert Storm and OIF. As a matter of fact, I always brought back coins and paper currency from every country I visited.

Before we left Saudi arabia after Desert Storm, we were told we could not take home any magazines larger than 30 rounders. Broke my heart, as I had a 75 round drum for an AK. I put it in the amnesty box, since it wasn't worth the trouble it would have caused had I been caught.

 

But my Chinese chest rig made it safely home with the 3 magazines in their respective pouches. Of course, my bringbacks were all packed safely in my 113. No sticky fingered Customs Agents had the opportunity to "confiscate" them.

Jerry Wise,SGT.,TXARNG,RET.

 

 

The highest obligation and privilege of citizenship is that of bearing arms for one's country-G.S. Patton

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Before we left Saudi arabia after Desert Storm, we were told we could not take home any magazines larger than 30 rounders. Broke my heart, as I had a 75 round drum for an AK. I put it in the amnesty box, since it wasn't worth the trouble it would have caused had I been caught.

 

But my Chinese chest rig made it safely home with the 3 magazines in their respective pouches. Of course, my bringbacks were all packed safely in my 113. No sticky fingered Customs Agents had the opportunity to "confiscate" them.

Ha, my M113 floor boards were packed to the gills with mine and several other guys worth of stuff. When we were coming back in 03. :)

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I was in Desert Storm and OIF 1 and 2. From DS I still have a license plate, a couple of Iraqi berets and helmets and an RG uniform. From OIF, I cleared over $40,000.00 in e-Bay sales (my portion) in items I sent to a friend for selling. I shipped about 8 large water boxes a week for nearly 14 months. Still have about 20 uniforms of various types, 30-40 berets, about 15 helmets and a large collection of insignia and field gear. After the initial cash out I did e-Bay from late 04 through 2012 with the remaining items. I used many of the items to write several articles for Military Trader Magazine. They were on insignia, helmets, berets, and the Republican Guard. I still have several AK mags, bayonets, and artillery sights as well. Never really had an issue with shipping other than some inconsistencies in policy at the time. Didn't try for weapons, though I had many and even carried a 1944 dated British Sterling that came from a raid on the home of an hvt. Scott

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  • 1 month later...

I went into Kuwait during the ground offensive (First Gulf War) and shipped home several Iraqi helmets, some uniforms and field gear, as well as picked up U.S.-dropped surrender leaflets. I even have a set of Iraqi leaflets meant to try and get the U.S./Coalition to fear the Iraqi military and surrender.

 

I gave a lot away to friends and family, as well as to a few "Any Soldier" letter writers I had corresponded with.

 

I brought home from Iraq War several Iraqi pistol holsters and a helmet I literally pulled from a pile of cow manure - appears to be a vintage Russian helmet, which I believe may have been Iranian at one time.

 

I've got some of my bring-backs mounted in my "man cave," with the rest stored away in the garage.

 

 

 

 

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My "man cave."

 

The red arrow in the first photo is pointing to what believe may have once been an Iranian helmet - possibly an Iraqi 'bring-back' from the Iran-Iraq War. Just my guess, however.

 

 

The second photo is of some of my 'bring-back' helmets on the wall. In the foreground I've displayed the 'bring-back' helmet my father brought home from Vietnam, over a framed display of some other items he brought home - 'morale' patches, money and PSYOP leaflet. Beside it is one of the Iraqi helmets I brought home from the Gulf War, over a framed display of 'morale' patches, money and PSYOP stuff. The photo in between the two is of me in 1980, with my father, the day I graduated Army Basic Training (I was 17).

 

 

 

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I brought back the usual stuff from Desert Storm, but the neatest bring-backs were from my son from Afghanistan (OEF); a Martini-Henry rifle which he gave to me, and a Martini-Henry carbine that he kept himself. Came out of a weapons cache that the 10th Mountain blew up and then went in to make sure all the weapons were destroyed. These were relatively undamaged and he was able to bring them home because they were antique; the rifle was made in 1878. Neat old rifle but I'd never fire it; not safe given that it was in an explosion and fire.

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The steel helmet is likely a Polish WZ-53. They were used by Iraq from the 1980-88 war with Iran through OIF 1. I would need to see the liner to be certain. Looks like a great collection! Thanks for posting, Scott

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