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173rd ABN jumped into Iraq

No Turning Back - Nine Years Ago, the 173rd Parachuted Into Iraq

RE: Mustard Stains (March 24, 2004)

I knew it was real when they gave us live ammo at the airfield. I knew then that there was no turning back.” - Pfc. Jerry Allen, Chosen Co. 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry (Airborne)

From Cow Pastures to Kosovo has the anniversary nailed down.  Nine years ago, 969 paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade dropped into northern Iraq to protect the north flank of the invasion of Iraq (Operation Northern Delay). 

For the combat jump, paratroopers received a bronze star (mustard stain) to put on their jump wings along with an Arrowhead device for the Iraq campaign medal (to signify that they participated in an assault).

Go to FCPTK to check out the details of the airborne assault into Iraq.