Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Back in the Fight

Back in the Fight

The Explosive Memoir of a Special Operator Who Never Gave Up

Sergeant First Class Joseph Kapacziewski and Charles W. Sasser

St. Martin's Press




The inspiring and thrilling combat memoir of the only Army Ranger serving in direct combat operations with a prosthetic limb.

On October 3, 2005, Kapacziewski and his soldiers were coming to the end of their tour in Northern Iraq when their convoy was attacked by enemy fighters. A grenade fell through the gunner's hatch and exploded, shattering Kapacziewski's right leg below the knee, damaging his right hip, and severing a nerve and artery in his right arm.

He endured more than forty surgeries, but his right leg still wasn't healing as he had hoped, so in March 2007, Kapacziewski chose to have it amputated with one goal in mind: to return to the line and serve alongside his fellow Rangers. One year after his surgery, Kapacziewski accomplished his goal: he was put back on the line, as a squad leader of his Army Ranger Regiment.

On April 19, 2010, during his ninth combat deployment (and fifth after losing his leg), Kapacziewski's patrol ran into an ambush outside a village in eastern Afghanistan. After a fellow Ranger fell to withering enemy fire, shot through the belly, Sergeant Kap and another soldier dragged him seventy-five yards to safety and administered first aid that saved his life while heavy machineguns tried to kill them. His actions earned him an Army Commendation Medal with "V" for Valor. He had previously been awarded a Bronze Star for Valor—and a total of three Purple Hearts for combat wounds.

Back in the Fight is an inspiring and thrilling tale readers will never forget.



If there was one thing U.S. Army Rangers were good at—other than killing terrorists who needed killing—it was walking long distances with obscene weight on our backs. Busting balls, in soldier jargon....


Praise for Back in the Fight

“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

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Sergeant First Class Joseph Kapacziewski and Charles W. Sasser

SFC JOE KAPACZIEWSKI is the only amputee in Army Rangers history to return to combat, serving nine tours in the Middle East. On May 24, 2011, he became the first enlisted soldier ever to receive the No Greater Sacrifice Freedom Award, given to individuals who epitomize selfless service to the nation. Since losing his leg, he has completed three triathlons and finished the New York Marathon twice. When not deployed to war zones, he often visits wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Medical Center and Brooke Army Hospital in San Antonio.
CHARLES W. SASSER served in the U.S. Army Special Forces, the Green Berets, for thirteen years, and has spent time in Vietnam and Central America as a war correspondent. He has been a full-time freelance writer/journalist since 1979 and has over 30 published books to his name. He lives in Oklahoma.

Joseph Kapacziewski

Joseph Kapacziewski

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Charles W. Sasser

U.S. Army


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St. Martin's Press

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