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Back in the Fight: The Explosive Memoir of a Special Operator Who Never Gave Up Hardcover – May 7, 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 102 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In October 2005, Kapacziewski, a U.S. Army Ranger on duty in Iraq, sustained an injury that would have taken most soldiers out of combat forever: an enemy’s hand grenade bounced through his vehicle’s open hatch and exploded, nearly destroying his right leg below the knee. After dozens of surgeries, Kapacziewski kept his leg, but because he wasn’t able to use it the way he wanted to, he opted to have it removed, replaced with a prosthetic, so he could return to active duty. Although he probably could have written an entire book about his injury and recovery, he chose instead to write about his career as a Ranger, taking us back to basic training and showing how his military career shaped him, turned him into the kind of man who would choose to have his own leg amputated. The injury itself occurs about two-thirds of the way through the book, which makes perfect narrative sense: we need to understand who Kapacziewski is if we’re to understand the decision he made. Readers of combat memoirs should be urged to seek this one out. --David Pitt

Review

“SFC Joe Kapacziewski and his wife, Kim, tell their incredible story of perseverance and determination over ten years of war. Joe's personal courage in overcoming the loss of his leg and returning to combat to lead soldiers is phenomenal. For over 200 years, men and women like Joe and Kim have made this nation great.” ―General Ray Odierno

“Military buffs will relish this fast-paced account of youthful yearnings for military service, brutal Ranger training, and page after page of camaraderie, horseplay, grim humor, and vivid nuts-and-bolts action. Even readers lukewarm to military memoirs will admire the fierce dedication required to be the first Ranger to go to war with a prosthetic limb.” ―Publishers Weekly

“A bold, raw, and authentic account of unparalleled intestinal fortitude of an American Ranger that grips you like a flying arm bar. Destined to be the defining work of American warrior spirit in the War on Terror era. Make no mistake, the U.S. Army Rangers made Joe Kap a killer man―nobody offers apologies or excuses, it’s what Rangers have done for centuries.” ―Dalton Fury, New York Times bestselling author of Kill Bin Laden and Black Site

“Sergeant Kap is living proof that all Special Operations men are cut from the same cloth regardless of branch of service. Kap's decision to serve alongside his fellow Rangers after having his leg amputated is an incredible story of determination. Back in the Fight will force people to reevaluate what's truly possible in their own lives. The exemplary lessons in this book are something every American should read about. I'm going to make sure my own children read his story.” ―Brandon Webb, New York Times bestselling author of The Red Circle and editor-in-chief of SOFREP.com

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (May 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250010616
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250010612
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #728,942 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Gregory A. Walker on May 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a retired SOF operator and someone blessed to have worked as a senior Wounded Warrior advocate for SOCOM's Care Coalition I am extremely pleased to see Joe Kapacziewki's story published.

Our SOF Wounded, Injured or Ill are remarkable human beings in every respect. The most seriously Wounded, Injured or Ill - those folks I worked with daily for four years - take being an elite Soldier, Sailor, Marine or Airman to new heights where courage and compassion are concerned.

Their spouses and families demonstrate no less of a need, a wish, a desire and a burning goal to "Never Ever Quit" when it comes to meaningful recovery, rehabilitation and a "New Normal" and new life.

SFC Kapacziewski's story is well written, well presented and its message is clear. Never give up Hope and never leave a fallen comrade, to include yourself, behind.

The author's story is but one of thousands to date of our Wounded/Injured/Ill setting the example as to what it takes to "Get back into the fight" and stay there. Joe's story is the same story as is Ranger Jordan Bressler's...Ranger Steven Walter's...Ranger Ben Rye's...Ranger Chip Bryant's...Ranger Victor Sassoon's and Ranger Leroy Petry's (MOH).

And each of these heroes and Wounded Warriors has a counterpart in the Special Forces/SEAL/MARSOF/ARSOF communities whose stories are equally both legendary and motivational.

With all the "I love me - I'm so badass" books we've seen to date from a segment of the SOF community "Back In The Fight" is a refreshing, welcome and needed book that presents the best we have to offer in terms of that unique spirit in a Warrior and in the Warrior family that refuses to just lay down and die.

It's a "Commander's Library" addition to my bookshelve and should be to yours.

De Oppresso Liber -

Greg Walker (Retired)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The man is humble to the core. With all the War garbage reads on the market its refreshing to hear it honestly and from his standpoint. Having met this exceptional man and his brave wife I can only.....they humble me and make me proud. Excellent read. Honest and straight forward.
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Format: Hardcover
Last night I finished this incredible book.... #1 thank you to Sgt. Joe & Kimberly for both of your service and sacrifices! I enjoyed the book and it helped me learn alot about the Ranger motto "Rangers Lead The Way!" I can tell from the story that Sgt. Joe is the kind man that never gives up. I now also know why his men talk so highly of him; see because Sgt. Joe is one hell of a leader! Gen. William T. Sherman once said, "War is hell!" and now I truly understand that statement after reading this book. In the book Sgt. Joe explains some of the situations he and his teams have experienced while in the fight and I can honestly say we are safer today because of Sgt. Joe and his men.

All Americans owe every servicemen and women our greatest appreciation we can offer them. Kimberly your added touch to this story was perfect. It truly makes the book a good read for women and men. Also thank you both for your continued support of Operation One Voice..... Tom, Jr.

[...]
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Need to figure out how to have goals?

Read this account of how to come to personal life decisions and you can apply the methods to your own challenges. Joseph is a winner. He tells a story of commitment and ingenuity that should be required reading for anyone trying to find their path forward.

This is far more than a war hero's story.
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This should be read by every 7th grader. Our country would be a much better place if we had more Joe "Kaps " around. The book was very well written. Congratulations on a job well done and thank you for your service.
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Those of us who have volunteered for U.S. Military Service, but not belonged to elite outfits like the Rangers, Special Forces, Navy Seals, or Marine Recon, have been known to jibe and kid our fellow soldiers who jump out of perfectly good airplanes. It is done mostly out of a sense of envy of the intestinal fortitude and absolute dedication to duty constantly shown by these men as we wonder if we would have the inner courage to face what they do on a continual basis. Occasionally you come across a man than stands a bit taller among the ranks of worthy men. Joe Kapacziewski stands tall among those we proudly call American warriors. A wise man once said, "Argue for your limitations and sure enough they are yours". Sgt. Joe Kapacziewski argued long and hard against those who tried to put limitations on him and his ability to continue to soldier after suffering devastating bodily damage. His story is heroic in that he would not allow himself to be "put out to pasture" as a "has been" Ranger just because he lost a leg. Joe was blessed with a wonderful, caring wife that understood his being an active combat Ranger is who he is and what drove him to prevail against tremendous odds to return to combat. His story is an inspiration to all, and particularly to those who have lost limbs, showing that with faith, drive, and determination you can surely prevail.
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I originally had my doubts about this book because of the price, but I'm really glad I took the plunge. It's an excellent product and well worth the money. Obviously this generation of warriors has an amazing story to tell, and as is the norm with stories coming out of the Global War on Terror, they're high quality stuff written by intelligent and talented people. What gives this book its own identity is how the author's wounds and recovery were handled- just as bravely as all his training and combat. We get to see how he and his family face all their new challenges together, and I particularly found that part most inspiring. I'd of course recommend this book to anybody, military and civilian (like myself). Before I go, thanks, Cap, for a great book, and thanks to all our brothers and sisters in uniform for keeping our world free- you're free to read the books you want, and say what you want about that book, publicly. True North Strong and Free!
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