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Where to Begin?

Article about: Books are a fabby way to get started and won't break the bank. Hunt through thrift stores and yard sales - part of the fun is in the searching - and buy what catches your fancy. One of the m

  1. #1

    Default Where to Begin?

    Long story short, I was a US Army medic in Iraq. I have a fascination for 2 things when it comes to military history: Medical, and Flight.

    I'm not overly certain on Medical, but I know flight things (i.e badges) can be rather expensive. I am just starting off and wondering where is a good place to start without breaking the bank? So far I have a few things:

    Iodine Vial (full) from WW2
    Medical Locket
    Pilots Log Book from Vietnam
    Great War Medal from WW1
    1929 Nurenburg Pin
    and my favorite, a medical corp Tie Clasp from WW2 era (so I've been told).

    Anyways, I want to build shadow boxes with badges for medical and one for flight badges. All countries. Then I want to fill my shelfs with other items. They don't have to be strictly med or flight, but just not really sure where to start without breaking the bank. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2


    Think about what you like, or what about the era holds your fascination. What era do you like? There are still medic kits from ww2 around, jungle med kits, the prices on those are all over the place, so if you do your research and look around you can find deals. Obviously the modern stuff is the easiest to find.

    47th MP Co/47th Inf Div 1983-1988
    583rd Ord Co 59th Ord Bde Muenster, W Germany
    Looking for P37 ammo pouch with No4 bayo frog

  3. #3


    Hi Cadillac ..Pete put you on the right course......collect what intrigues it..display it..write about it..and teach about it. You will become more your own research of these particular items. Thats when a Hobby is born. Looking forward to any photos and displays. Remember that it is you that represents the artifacts. You are the steward. Regards Larry
    It is not the size of a Collection in History that matters......Its the size of your Passion for it!! - Larry C

    One never knows what tree roots push to the surface of what laid buried before the tree was planted - Larry C

    “The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” - Winston Churchill

  4. #4


    Hello Cadillac, some sound advice from Larry and Pete thus far. Once you do settle on a collecting objective remember that quality always trumps quantity. Of course, quality costs, but you will be much more satisfied in the long run having a smaller collection of blue chip pieces than a large collection of common and less interesting items. So take it slow and easy. Secondly, the best bit of advice I received when starting out was to discipline myself and build up a cash reserve. Keep it set aside. One of the worst things that happens to collectors is being strapped for cash just as a primo piece pops up for sale. Having the necessary artillery stashed awaiting a target is one of the wisest steps you will take. Hey, I know it's not easy to do, but being prepared is always a good thing.

    Best wishes in your collecting pursuits, and welcome to the 'sickness'.

    All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own and should not be mistaken for medical and/or legal advice.

    "Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

  5. #5


    Thanks! I really appreciate the input. I think to start my collection, I am going to save up to get a really good set of Flight Surgeon or Flight Nurse Wings. That covers the best of both worlds of what I want. Now I just need to start researching because I know that they all have multiple manufacturers and such.

  6. #6


    Literature might also be a way to go ...
    There are various books by medics etc covering many wars ...

  7. #7


    Oh absolutely. I am not limiting myself to just badges, they are just one of my favorite things. I LOVE history. My goal is to have a medical kit from the Civil War, WW1, WW2, and Vietnam to add to my own personal kit from Iraq. I also want to find one of the Medic Arm Bands (I absolutely LOVE those, but have no idea if there is any value in real vs fake of those, or even how to find real ones of those. I really do love anything medical, and anything aviation. Literature from medics, old medic guide books, etc would be awesome. A helmet with the medic cross on it (Though they were never issued that way, just painted on by the medics themselves) would also be awesome. I'm so excited to start collecting haha.

    If I could find a real WW2 or earlier medic armband, I would pick one of those up in a hearbeat though.

  8. #8


    First you read, then you read some more. Maybe watch some original youtube videos you find interesting. So after a while you will notice what part of history you like more than the other.

    Then you have a good start, a good lead- aaand you dont have to buy crates of items you will regret you purchased.

    Collect ROA, Cossack, Schuma and other WW2 Volunteer militaria.

    "Be Humble and kind, for you may find that it was Odin you entertained"

  9. #9


    Quote by TrondK View Post
    First you read, then you read some more. Maybe watch some original youtube videos you find interesting. So after a while you will notice what part of history you like more than the other.

    Then you have a good start, a good lead- aaand you dont have to buy crates of items you will regret you purchased.

    Sounds like you may have experience with that? haha

  10. #10


    "Collecting is a means by which one relieves a basic sense of incompletion brought on by unfulfilled childhood needs,” Herzinger said. “It functions as a form of wish fulfillment, which eases deep-rooted uncertainties and existential dread.”

    ... but the pills didn't work so what was one supposed to do
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

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