Rick Fredericksen's firsthand, behind the scenes accounting of the Vietnam MIA/POW issue is fascinating, compelling. and well written. As a Vietnam vet who followed the events covered in his book, I was surprised at how much I had forgotten, but he brought it all back to life, while providing a multitude of fascinating details and background heretofore unknown to me and no doubt to most Americans..
I can think of no other newsman who could have taken us back in time to those historic years when both official and unofficial efforts were being made in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos to account for more than 2,000 Americans still missing long after the war ended.
Fredericksen lived and worked in the region and continually traversed those countries with the delegations, covering this epic story with an unsurpassed knowledge and depth and was a constant on the scene unlike some reporters who were in and out of Southeast Asia sporadically. Adding to Fredericksen's credibility is the fact that he is a Vietnam vet who reported on the Vietnam conflict as war news anchor for the American Forces Vietnam Network (AFVN) in old Saigon where I was privileged to serve with him.
In his accounting, Fredericksen masterfully weaves in such historic events as the Tet Offensive, the My Lai Massacre, and the courageous Vietnamese (known as the Boat People) who risked their lives in escaping after the fall of South Vietnam..Additionally, he reports on the status of the socialist republic economically, politically, and diplomatically during the long MIA/POW negotiations, providing snapshots of its gradual awakening to the fact that the old communist model had mired Vietnam into a quagmire that only the western world was capable of providing a lifeline toward sustainability.
This is a must-read for Vietnam war vets and POW/MIA families.