Sergeant Jorgenson first tried to join the Marines, but the recruiter was out to lunch. Their loss was the Army’s gain. Kregg arrived in Vietnam in 1969 and joined the Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) as part of the Army Rangers. On November 17th, 1969, Kregg’s five-man team was engaged by a vastly numerical force. Two men were killed immediately. A third was incapacitated and was in desperate need of medical attention. That left only Kregg and his team leader to fight off the attacking enemy.
Outnumbered and fighting back to back, they held them off in hopes of rescue, only to be told a quick reaction force (QRF) was not available to come help them. They were told to leave their dead and evacuate with their wounded teammate to a safe pick up zone. They refused to do so. In the end, they were able to hold off the enemy long enough for a QRF to arrive and they were evacuated along with their fallen teammates. Kregg was awarded a Silver Star and a Purple Heart for his actions that day.
Thinking that a battle like that would be hard for anyone to come back from, Sgt. Jorgenson was offered a position in the rear area driving the Colonel’s jeep. A nice assignment to be sure, but Kregg turned it down. He instead volunteered for Apache Troop, a Quick Reaction Force. He did it because he didn’t want anyone to feel like he did when he heard there was no rescue available. Plus, he said he was too embarrassed to admit that at age 19, he didn’t know how to drive a manual transmission.
In his time with Apache Troop, Kregg fought in some of the most memorable battles. One of which would be the day he was shot while CBS News cameras were rolling. He was awarded one Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, a Combat Infantry Badge, and three Purple Hearts.
After Vietnam, Kregg was stationed in Germany where he served as a journalist. Upon leaving the Army, Kregg served as a firefighter before eventually joining the US Customs Service. He has also written several novels both about his time in Vietnam as well as several non-fiction pieces. He is now happily retired and living in Washington State.