Army Ranger vet representing Sox at All-Star Game
By Jacob Thorpe
SEATTLE -- In a profession of heroes, Joe "Kap" Kapacziewski stands out. The soldier underwent 42 surgeries on his leg after a grenade explosion badly wounded Kapacziewski in Iraq in 2005. Still, the doctors couldn't fix his leg and were forced to amputate. That sacrifice made Kapacziewski a hero. It's what he did next that will make him a legend.
With a prosthetic limb where his right leg used to be, Kapacziewski returned to active combat with the Army Airborne Rangers, the first ever to do so after an amputation.
Kapacziewski went on to serve five additional combat deployments, and in 2010, he saved a fellow soldier's life by dragging the wounded warrior to safety despite heavy enemy gunfire. Now Kapacziewski mentors other veterans with Challenged Athletes Foundation's Operation Rebound.
For that extraordinary bravery and service, Kapacziewski was recognized on Wednesday when Major League Baseball and People Magazine announced him as the Red Sox's representative among the 30 winners of their "Tribute for Heroes" campaign. This nationwide initiative aims to honor service members while supporting Welcome Back Veterans, which addresses the needs of veterans returning from combat.
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