Original U.S. Vietnam War Green Beret Special Forces Task Force 957 Uniform Grouping

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. Dating from the Vietnam war this is an excellent condition uniform group of Captain STEVE YEDINAK who served in the Green Beret Special Forces during the Vietnam War in the 1960s. There is a wonderful article about him and his service in Vietnam as a Green Beret that was published in the Newport News, Virginia Daily Press which can be found at this link. Below is the article:

Steve Yedinak said the lessons he learned from his father in the woods of the Pacific Northwest kept him alive during the Vietnam War nearly 50 years ago.

"You go out and you fish and hunt and learn to be patient, learn to keep quiet and walk without disturbing the branches," he said, with his voice dropping below a whisper. "Those are exactly the ingredients we teach young guerrillas — the Green Berets."

Yedinak,a 75-year-old Newport News resident, engaged the Viet Cong in the type of guerrilla warfare that American troops found difficult to counter. "We were like animals — you had to be that way to survive," he said.
On his first tour in-country in 1966, he and his squad blended into the jungle and fought deep in dangerous territory where there was no hope for reinforcements, medical attention or evacuation.

His squad didn't flex the typical American military muscle shown in war epics or recruitment materials. They went for subtler tactics. Their weapons of choice were claymores and homemade booby traps.

And his squad was unique.

At the time, Yedinak was a recently promoted captain in the Army Special Forces — the Green Berets — and the only American in the group. He led a team of about 15 Cambodian soldiers on various missions that brought them face to face with the Viet Cong.

One mission sent the squad to locate enemy bases or camps, where they would radio the location for bombing raids. Another operation sent them to recover a device from a crashed U2 spy plane before the Viet Cong could start sifting through the wreckage. The device scrambled enemy radar, creating an opportunity for bombers to come in undetected — at the time, the enemy didn't know the device existed. Yedinak said the mission, Operation Black Box, was classified for 30 years after its completion.

Yedinak and 14 other Green Berets were the only members of Task Force 957 — the original batch who led the Cambodian guerrilla units. The task force was created by Gen. William Westmoreland, the man in command of American forces in Vietnam, as an experiment that ended up being wildly successful, according to Yedinak.

In about a month, Yedinak's mobile guerrilla unit engaged the enemy 52 times and knocked out 15 locations, he said, adding that their success and the success of other members of Task Force 957 led to the implementation of these units throughout Vietnam.

"The Cambodians were excellent soldiers … muscled, very jovial, very friendly and vicious. They could be vicious," Yedinak said.

The viciousness he observed in the jungle was necessary for survival. Yedinak said they regularly took prisoners who they interrogated to discover other enemy locations.

Two years after the end of his first tour, Yedinak returned to Vietnam, but he doesn't talk too much about that experience — it wasn't as exciting as the year he spent as a guerrilla. He made a career out of the military and served for 26 years until he retired as a lieutenant colonel.

Yedinak looks back fondly on his Army experience and displays immense pride in his Vietnam War service. He often sports the lightning bolt insignia of Task Force 957 on a leather vest, necklace and set of earrings.

He doesn't hesitate to say he enjoyed combat, but memories of the jungle still haunt him.

"When you look back on everything, it can be hard to reconcile what you did," Yedinak said. For decades, he kept stories of guerrilla fighting to himself until he set down to write. His memories spilled into a memoir titled "Hard to Forget," which chronicles the gruesome reality of his time in the war.

Since then, writing has become therapeutic for Yedinak and a way that he has found to help other veterans cope with their PTSD. For every war story he has, there's a story of him helping a fellow veteran who was struggling — and he loves telling those just as much.

He recalled Leon, a friend from high school who was a Marine in Vietnam, calling him up a while after "Hard to Forget" was published in 1998. Leon, who lives in California, had read "Hard to Forget" six times because "every time he read it, he said he felt better about himself and his service," Yedinak said.

Leon came to Virginia, and he and Yedinak drove up to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. Yedinak had only visited the memorial a few years prior. Leon had never been, and his therapist and members of his therapy group didn't think he was ready to go. But Leon decided it was time.

When they arrived at the monument, they sat in the car and looked at the wall. "Leon, are you ready to cross the street?" Yedinak asked. Leon responded that he didn't think he could ever approach the wall. So they sat a bit longer before approaching the monument.

"He went up and found his friends and pointed them out," Yedinak said. For Leon, this was a step in his recovery. Now, with Yedinak's encouragement, Leon is writing his own memoir to come to terms with his experience in Vietnam.

Yedinak spends a lot of time at bases and at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Hampton, where he meets men and women coming back from the Middle East.

"I think we Vietnam vets have been instrumental in helping veterans return from Afghanistan and Iraq and be more welcome in our society," he said, remembering seeing college students burn American flags when he returned the United States after his first tour.

Yedinak is also an author and wrote the book; Hard to Forget : An American with the Mobile Guerrilla Force in Vietnam. Welcome to Mobile Guerrilla Force (MGF): Prepare to be outmanned, outgunned, and deep in enemy territory--with no chance of artillery support or medevac. . . . In 1966, U.S. Army Captain and Green Beret Steven M. Yedinak volunteered to lead what became the Mobile Guerrilla Force, one of the most effective fighting forces ever assembled for duty in Vietnam. Now the top secret missions conducted by the MGF have finally been declassified, allowing him to reveal the secrets behind MGF's harrowing maneuvers. Unlike the LRRPs' five-day "walks in the woods," the MGF Green Berets led well-trained, superbly disciplined Cambodian guerrillas deep into the North Vietnamese Army's secret base areas for four to six weeks at a time without artillery or close air support, and with damn little hope of a helicopter medevac. In the highly successful Blackjack-31 mission alone, the Mobile Guerrilla Force survived fifty-two enemy engagements while capturing prisoners, booby-trapping base camps, and gathering intelligence on NVA movements. Yedinak shares a heart-pounding, intensely personal account of the war they waged and the peace he ultimately sought.

Included in the set are the following items:

- Green Beret with identification tag that reads Cpt. Yedinak.

- Field Jacket with Airborne patch, Special Forces patch, Air borne wings patch, and name patch that reads YEDINAK. Jacket is lined, has four pocket front and full working zipper.

- Four pocket field shirt with Airborne patch, Special Forces patch, Air borne wings patch, and name patch that reads YEDINAK.

- Two pocket field shirt with Airborne patch, Special Forces patch, Air borne wings patch, and name patch that reads YEDINAK.

- 2 x Men's Combat Tropical Trousers.

All items offered in very good to excellent condition. A hard to find Special Forces uniform group from an elite member of the legendary Green Berets!

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