When the war ends, how do you leave your best friend behindAfter losing his young family in a tragic accident, Fletcher Carson joins the flagging war effort in Vietnam Deeply depressed, he plans to die in the war But during one of his early missions, Fletcher rescues a critically wounded yellow Lab whom he nurses back to health and names Jack As Fletcher and Jack patrol and survive the forests of Vietnam, Fletcher slowly regains the will to liveAt the end of the war, the US Government announces that due to the cost of withdrawal, all US dogs serving in the war have been declared surplus military equipment and will not be transported home For the hundreds of dog handlers throughout Vietnam, whose dogs had saved countless lives, the news is greeted with shock and disbelief For Fletcher, he knows that if he abandons Jack, then he too will be lost Ordered to leave Jack behind, he refuses and so begins their journeyBased on the actual existence and abandonment of canine units in Vietnam, Gareth Crocker s Finding Jack is a novel of friendship and love under desperate circumstances that will grab your heart and won t let go


10 thoughts on “Finding Jack

  1. Paul Pessolano Paul Pessolano says:

    When the Vietnam War was winding down and the United States was evacuating material and personnel, they committed a crime that would make Michael Vick look like a saint.At that time there were thousands of war dogs soldiers that were classified as surplus military equipment and not worth the cost of transporting them back to the United States These were dogs that it was believed to have been responsible for saving somewhere in the area of ten thousand soldiers A token number were handed ov When the Vietnam War was winding down and the United States was evacuating material and personnel, they committed a crime that would make Michael Vick look like a saint.At that time there were thousands of war dogs soldiers that were classified as surplus military equipment and not worth the cost of transporting them back to the United States These were dogs that it was believed to have been responsible for saving somewhere in the area of ten thousand soldiers A token number were handed over to the South Vietnamese, but the majority were just left loose to fend for themselves.Fletcher Carson has lost his wife and young daughter in a plane crash and has become suicidal This leads him to enlist in the Army and a request for duty in Vietnam He becomes part of a reconnaissance unit The unit is returning from a mission and they find a yellow Labrador retriever that has been shot Ignoring orders to kill the Lab, Fletcher brings him back to camp and nurses him back to health.They are unable to find where the dog came from because all war dogs were tattooed and this dog has no markings The dog becomes a favorite with the members of the unit, and shows a knowledge of taking commands that a trained war dog would respond to.The dog is sent out on missions and is able to detect bombs and booby traps, and on one mission save the entire squad from certain death.When the United States sarts to pull out of Vietnam, Fletcher is told that Jack must be left behind.Fletcher devises a plan to stay behind and he and Jack plan to hike out of Vietnam through Laos to friendly Thailand Once reaching Thailand, Fletcher is hoping to find a way for them to return to the United States.A harrowing journey begins that displays the courage, friendship, and total dedication they have for each other A magnificent read that should be read by everyone, but definately be every animal lover.You will probably be smart to keep a box of Kleenex handy when reading the story


  2. Debbie Debbie says:

    This could have been a great book interesting plot about the Vietnam dog, and the main character had a gripping background But from there, it read like a made for TV movie Full of events predictable events, people that were just in the right place at the nick of time, and scenes that were supposed to move the reader that were just too contrived It s entertaining as a good quick beach read, but not if you re in the mood for a challenge.


  3. Eva Leger Eva Leger says:

    I can t review this the way I want Finding Jack is one of the best books I ve ever read I haven t been able to stop thinking about the war dogs since I read the non fiction book Always Faithful A Memoir of the Marine Dogs of WWII by William W Putney That was another one of the best books I ve ever read Finding Jack reads like non fiction I can t count the number of times my heart started thumping, me wondering what was going to happen next I haven t cried while reading many books I h I can t review this the way I want Finding Jack is one of the best books I ve ever read I haven t been able to stop thinking about the war dogs since I read the non fiction book Always Faithful A Memoir of the Marine Dogs of WWII by William W Putney That was another one of the best books I ve ever read Finding Jack reads like non fiction I can t count the number of times my heart started thumping, me wondering what was going to happen next I haven t cried while reading many books I haven t even cried while watching many movies excepting Hatchi of course I choked up numerous times during the course of this book One time I was fully sobbing.Sounds like something you don t want to read right Exactly the opposite I was dumbfounded by how I didn t want to put it down I had to know what happened next I hoped and hoped it would go the way I wanted it to go because I wasn t sure I could take something else.I want to tell friends and strangers alike they have to read this This relationship, the one between this man and his dog, are what each and every relationship between man and dog should be.I kept finding myself comparing myself Would I do that for my dog Could I do that for my dog The last isn t very fair considering I m hardly military ready and these were the types of things I was imagining But you get my drift.The only thing I wish was different about this book was the length I wish it was about 4 times as long I d have loved it if it was Crocker is a very, very talented man I sincerely hope he s going to continue to write and I d read his next book in a heartbeat I d buy it, full price, in a heartbeat those that know me know what that means Don t miss this you ll never know what you re missing Matter of fact, read both Finding Jack AND Always Faithful They re both fantastic, fantastic works of art


  4. Julie Markham Julie Markham says:

    I just had to read this story after skimming this passage on the dust jacketFletcher and Jack are a team, and like the hundreds of other U.S military dogs and their handlers in Vietnam, they serve their country, saving countless lives To the men, these dogs are heroes But at the end of the war, the U.S government announces that all dogs serving in the war have been declared surplus military equipment and will not be transported home Ordered to leave Jack behind, Fletcher refuses, and s I just had to read this story after skimming this passage on the dust jacketFletcher and Jack are a team, and like the hundreds of other U.S military dogs and their handlers in Vietnam, they serve their country, saving countless lives To the men, these dogs are heroes But at the end of the war, the U.S government announces that all dogs serving in the war have been declared surplus military equipment and will not be transported home Ordered to leave Jack behind, Fletcher refuses, and so begins the journey of two friends who will go to the ends of the earth to save each otherI hate to be critical of a book that deals with such touching subject matter, but the majority of it was full of combat situations I wanted to knowabout the dogs and adeeply developed focus of Fletcher and Jack s relationship I just felt short changed


  5. Naomi Naomi says:

    Crocker s book is a reason why I love debut authors and tend to seek them out This book sucked me in almost immediately It is a beautiful story about man s relationship with dog in a harrowing setting I am actually shocked that it was written during the time of the Vietnam War versus the Iraq Afghan War, since the issue of military leadership ordering the destruction of dogs and soldiers not listening and shipping them back to the US thank God is an issue which continues today I loved this Crocker s book is a reason why I love debut authors and tend to seek them out This book sucked me in almost immediately It is a beautiful story about man s relationship with dog in a harrowing setting I am actually shocked that it was written during the time of the Vietnam War versus the Iraq Afghan War, since the issue of military leadership ordering the destruction of dogs and soldiers not listening and shipping them back to the US thank God is an issue which continues today I loved this book as much as I loved From Baghdad, With Love A Marine, the War, and a Dog Named Lava and From Baghdad to America Library Edition Life Lessons from a Dog Named Lava There have been multiple times I have been on the verge of tears.Beautiful debut, Mr Crocker..if your debut is this good, I can t wait to see what we readers can be expecting in the future from you


  6. Lizzy Lizzy says:

    This book was kind of sappy, despite the Vietnam War setting I think it would have beeninteresting to read about the lives of the real helper dogs than Jack the miracle dog who survives hilariously improbably numbers of injuries and not only that, fully recovers from them The main character doesn t have much of a personality, and is kind of Marty Stu ish view spoiler let s go do one last mission to save this guy who helped me escape let s save this potentially dangerous dog hide This book was kind of sappy, despite the Vietnam War setting I think it would have beeninteresting to read about the lives of the real helper dogs than Jack the miracle dog who survives hilariously improbably numbers of injuries and not only that, fully recovers from them The main character doesn t have much of a personality, and is kind of Marty Stu ish view spoiler let s go do one last mission to save this guy who helped me escape let s save this potentially dangerous dog hide spoiler The ending is sad, but in the view spoiler dog dies at the end of the book hide spoiler way, not because Jack is some immortal character I ll think about forever The story is soap opera ish, with too much Deus Ex Machina to be worthwhile, and some goofy dialogue It s a pretty cliche Vietnam story, with all the old character stereotypes Ainteresting read would have been a historical non fiction book, I think, with interviews, and pictures Real life stories, in this sort of situation, would probably be farinteresting and emotional


  7. Darren Darren says:

    I got this book from the store book exchange at the store that I have coffee at It was a good book It was well written It had a tear jerker ending for sure It is about a dog that was shot in the Vietnam war by a American soldier I hope to readbooks by this author.


  8. Debbie Debbie says:

    Finding JackGareth CrockerSt Martin s Press290 pagesA tragic accident takes away the very heart of Fletcher Carson, his wife and daughter After their deaths he tries but finds he just can t cope with living without them, after a failed attempt at ending it all he decides to try suicide by war It s late 1972 and the war in Vietnam is almost over, we re loosingandboys everyday and many question the cost of their sacrifice, here at home we protest daily and treat our home bound soldi Finding JackGareth CrockerSt Martin s Press290 pagesA tragic accident takes away the very heart of Fletcher Carson, his wife and daughter After their deaths he tries but finds he just can t cope with living without them, after a failed attempt at ending it all he decides to try suicide by war It s late 1972 and the war in Vietnam is almost over, we re loosingandboys everyday and many question the cost of their sacrifice, here at home we protest daily and treat our home bound soldiers not with fanfare but with barbs and shouts, but in the field orders must still be followed and that s where we find Fletcher While on patrol his platoon finds an injured Labrador retriever, the Lieutenant orders him shot, but Fletcher won t have it The dog is ultimately taken back to base where he becomes muchthan a pet, but an invaluable asset protecting the men out on patrol Then the news comes the war is over, there is cheering and celebration until the final edict is announced, one that will change forever the lives of a few good men and one brave dog Gareth Crocker made me relive my youth and not all pleasant memories I remember being in high school in the early 70 s hearing horror stories of big brother s, uncles and sometimes father s of my classmates coming home from war, but not completely as they were never the same again, and then there were the stories of the ones that never came back But the one thing I didn t know about was the fate of the thousands of war dogs in which only a fraction came home, most were euthanized and some were left to their own devices when the US pulled out of Vietnam This is the fictional tale of one of the lucky ones, a tale that will make you laugh and make you cry, but it s a tale that had to be told, it s an important lesson to learn and Mr Crocker does a wonderful job of telling it He tells it, not in prose and flowery dialogue, but in a narrative that takes you into the jungles, on the bases and into the minds of the men who were there He gives us colorful characters that he builds up and then takes away from us, not because he s cruel but because that s the way it was and he gives us characters that survive, that sacrificed and made it through and those are the characters that will stay with you long after the novel ends This is a love story about a boy and a dog, it s a second coming of age story of someone who lost his way and found it again at the end of a leash It s about camaraderie and deep friendship, about doing the right thing, it s about fate and it s ultimately about faith in the face of terror and destruction.Is this an easy book to read, no You will cry a few tears Is it worth those tears, definitely All in all this is a feel good book, even though you have to wade through some pain It s a novel for all ages, for all walks of life, it s a testament to those who give voice to those who have none to those who do the right thing


  9. Asha Seth Asha Seth says:

    I couldn t put it down.When the war ends, how do you leave your best friend behind After losing his young family in a tragic accident, Fletcher Carson joins the flagging war effort in Vietnam Deeply depressed, he plans to die in the war But during one of his early missions, Fletcher rescues a critically wounded yellow Lab whom he nurses back to health and names Jack As Fletcher and Jack patrol and survive the forests of Vietnam, Fletcher slowly regains the will to live At the end of the war I couldn t put it down.When the war ends, how do you leave your best friend behind After losing his young family in a tragic accident, Fletcher Carson joins the flagging war effort in Vietnam Deeply depressed, he plans to die in the war But during one of his early missions, Fletcher rescues a critically wounded yellow Lab whom he nurses back to health and names Jack As Fletcher and Jack patrol and survive the forests of Vietnam, Fletcher slowly regains the will to live At the end of the war, the U.S Government announces that due to the cost of withdrawal, all U.S dogs serving in the war have been declared surplus military equipment and will not be transported home For the hundreds of dog handlers throughout Vietnam, whose dogs had saved countless lives, the news is greeted with shock and disbelief.For Fletcher, he knows that if he abandons Jack, then he too will be lost Ordered to leave Jack behind, he refuses and so begins their journey.Based on the actual existence and abandonment of canine units in Vietnam, Gareth Crocker s Finding Jack is a novel of friendship and love under desperate circumstances that will grab your heart and won t let go


  10. Kathy Kathy says:

    I would give this WONDERFUL FOOK 10 STARS It broke my heard and mended my heart and it will always be one of my most favorite books of all time.Fletcher Carson volunteers for Viet Nam service You will find out why once you read the book Once in Viet Nam, Fletcher finds a dog, a yellow lab, which he names JACK Man and dog become one, with JACK finding trip wires and saving the lives of THE FAT LADY PLATOON.I won t spoil the heart breaking story for you but rest assured this story is a WIN I would give this WONDERFUL FOOK 10 STARS It broke my heard and mended my heart and it will always be one of my most favorite books of all time.Fletcher Carson volunteers for Viet Nam service You will find out why once you read the book Once in Viet Nam, Fletcher finds a dog, a yellow lab, which he names JACK Man and dog become one, with JACK finding trip wires and saving the lives of THE FAT LADY PLATOON.I won t spoil the heart breaking story for you but rest assured this story is a WINNER