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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
Acceptable Loss: An Infantry Soldier's Perspective
Format: Mass Market Paperback|Change
Price:$8.97+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on November 7, 2010
"The Army gave us two parachutes. If the first one fails, open the emergency then when you land there will be a truck on the drop zone to bring you guys in. As I leaped from the plane, the guy behind me had his first chute fail, then his emergency chute failed and as he flew by me at 120 mph I heard him say, "I bet the truck aint there either"".

The above is a story one G.I. tells another in the book. Obviously a joke but the irony of the story is something you adopt having served time in the Army. Kregg Jorgenson takes us through his tour of Vietnam where he landed as a gung-ho, let me at em boot and left the war a year later, wiser, 10 years older with a cynicism reserved only for those who have been in combat.

Kregg volunteered for the Rangers pretty much as soon as he arrived in Vietnam. 5 man teams sent out on reconnaissance missions into hostile territory. He tells his mission stories with both humor and seriousness. He enjoyed what he did despite the fear he felt. After a spell on Ranger teams he joined the Air Cav, 1st of the 9th as a "Blue". The missions mainly involved rescuing downed chopper pilots inside enemy held territory.

He has a no nonsense way of telling his story and you can feel the gung-ho, spit, shine nature he landed in Vietnam with erode from the middle outwards as he sees friends get killed or maimed, and as he sees friends and trusted team member rotate out of Vietnam back to the world. Despite the erosion and eventual disappearance of the "John Wayne" spirit he retained his professional edge as far as doing his job. He struggles with his inner thoughts and guilt about the situation. The guilt is only magnified once he receives the Silver Star for bravery in combat. Unfortunately this was the same battle where he lost a good friend.

As his time in country and his reputation with his buddies grows and, after he is seriously injured he is offered "soft" jobs which he wants to accept but, due to his nature and his torment, he turns them down again and again. Even a serious wound to his legs doesn't help him accept a soft job. Once out the hospital he is back with his team doing what they do best, rescuing downed airmen.

I particularly enjoyed Jorgenson letting us inside his head as he deals with his thoughts and his guilt. The fear is always there but with each siren heralding a new mission the adrenaline rush overcame the fear somewhat and he'd go back out. 54 missions and 3 purple hearts later he came back home. A true hero.

This is a great book and a fast read. One worthy of your time if you are a big Vietnam none-fiction fan.
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on May 15, 2017
Well written reflecting a different time...a time when America was at war both abroad and at home. The life of an 11B 1967-1970 were very difficult and those who survive must life on for those who did not...

PS: I have stayed at the Caravalle Hotel/Saigon..and the rooftop bar/restaurant is still there but with out Spooky working the suburbs...
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on December 15, 2014
Unbelievable what these young men go through. In this book the author tells it exactly how it was for him emotionally every minute of every day and every night - through thick and thin - to hell and back. How they return with even an ounce of sanity in their souls is beyond me. Seems to me this should be recommended reading for high school history classes, required reading for college students and the rest of us should read what these men have to say because most of us probably don't have a clue what being in the heart of a war - in a life or death situation - is really like at all. People need to know who is fighting for freedom world-wide and the consequences of those wars.
FYI - I am doing a cut and paste of this review onto my review for "Hill 488" because they are both they same type of book and I have the same high opinion of both of them.
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on October 2, 2017
I have read many personal memoirs and all are great in their own right, this one is an amazing account of some of the remarkable soldiers who served during Vietnam. Having read about a cobra pilot's experience in the 1st of the 9th who never had to find his fellow pilots on the ground but covered them from above. This book is enlightening to read and gives an idea of what these soldiers went through, but for those of us who have not lived it we will never truly grasp what these soldiers sacrificed for each other.
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on January 8, 2011
Acceptable Loss is an awesome story!! I especially liked reading about the secret insertions into "no man's land" as the five-man LRRP teams operated without any support. It is edge of your seat suspense when these small groups are unknowingly trapped between large enemy forces and have to make their way to the pick-up point, precisely on time, or they will be left behind! After several of these encounters, I can see why Mr. Jorgenson transferred to the Blues. However, it wasn't any easier there as these volunteers knew they were headed for battle when the call came for help.

I am also a Vietnam Infantry veteran and author, and can relate to those instances when the author walked point, as I did for much of my tour; much of it hit home. There is nothing glorified about war, and Kregg was able to show this all through his novel. I truly enjoyed his story. It was very easy to read, and made me feel like I was right there beside him; heart pounding and wondering if we were going to survive. Acceptable loss kept me up a little longer that I should have on some nights, but I found myself yearning for it upon my return home the next evening.

Acceptable Loss deserves five stars and a place within the top twenty of my all time best Vietnam novels. Great job Kregg!

John Podlaski, author
Cherries - A Vietnam War Novel
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on September 4, 2014
Instead of detailing battles Mr. Jorgenson details his thoughts and feelings about his general situation in Viet Nam. I realize he was only 18 years old during this time but many of his actions cause me not to like him very much by the end of the book. If you are looking for a battle action book this one is not for you. If you're interested in the emotional aspect of an 18 year old going to war this book will be appealing.
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on June 22, 2011
The insights provided by the author are the most authentic I have read. For sure his maturity as he wrote this decades after he live it informed the thoughts he expresses as contemporaneous to the action but much of what he says he thought and felt found it's way into those of us who made the same journey. I doubt very much that men who did not share the experience of close combat will appreciate Kregg Jorgenson's book: the REMFs will either act as though they do or those who were political will take parts of it to "validate" their beliefs. I came into country in early 1966 as a Marine 2d Lt and left in August '68 as a Captain. Although I spent all of my time as a platoon leader and then company commander in I Corps, I spent very little time on point. The hold the war got on many of us, the addiction to it was compelling, dark and inexplicable to others. The politics and "big picture" were irrelevant: our reality was the Now, within a very small area.

If you were there, read this book.

Tom Eagen
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on March 14, 2016
Jorgenson's personal experiences in Vietnam first as an 'FNG' who volunteers for the LRRP's (Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol)/Rangers to transferring to the 'Blues' after being wounded for a third time is a great read for military enthusiasts. To anyone fascinated as I am with the US involvement in Vietnam, this book puts you in his boots and the hair-raising combat and patrols that took him deep into enemy territory in 5 man squads.
After his last patrol with the LRRP's ends in disaster with 2 of his squad KIA and himself and nearly everyone wounded, he narrowly escapes and receives the Silver Star. He then transfers to the 'Blues' who rescue downed helicopter crews. As an added bonus, you can youtube the CBS field report that he writes about escorting on a mission where he's wounded for the 4th time.
It's definitely a good read that'll keep you turning page after page.
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on January 22, 2013
This book is more than a memoir of someone's war experience. It's complete and does several things well. Meet your author who enters the war a virgin with everything to learn but not knowing squat. Following him as he's thrusted into a shooting and dying war. Follow as he begins to make sense of surviving. Reading, you can't help but bond with the main character and begin to a transformation, from eager to learn, take chances and confront bravery as friend or foe. As his war continues we see a young soldier transform where he attempts to understand the politics of war which is where the title comes from. Jorgensen wraps up the book very well when he talks about what really happens when surviving men and buddy's rotate out. He discusses the horrors of war and the need of dealing with death. It a well written book that allows readers full circle look at a combat infantryman life.
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on July 19, 2009
I served with the 1st Cav. Div. A 2/20 ARA at Tay Ninh Vietnam during the time period described by the author. As a matter of fact, we were stationed right next door to each other. Our unit had the first generation of Cobra attack helicopters and our pilots flew many fire support missions for the 1/9 Blues. Mr. Jorgenson describes in great detail, and very accurately, what the Blues were all about and what a 19 year old was expected to do. He also describes the range of emotions a combat solider feels before, during and after contact with the enemy. This book is actually like "being there" and the only thing missing is the smell of the jungle. This book should be on the required reading list for every high school student in the country.
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