Tommie Bauer is an ordinary young American drafted into a war to defend freedom in Southeast Asia, a war that consumes his life, as he knew it. Through the eyes of this highly trained young patriot, we discover how constant exposure to killing, death and dying poses a serious threat to the psychological, physical and emotional wellbeing of a combatant.
Day to day, while humping the thick jungles of Vietnam, Bauer escapes one day’s nightmare only to be engulfed in more gruesome ones in following days. His assigned mission is to seek and destroy the enemy. However, his immediate mission becomes the struggle to outlast the enemy while battling constant sorrow and hardship. Equally important, he must avoid occupying the next body bag tagged for appropriate disposal. He has to kill or be killed and do his part to increase the enemy body count, the bloody measure of who is “winning.” Bauer finds himself trapped in this brutal and morally confusing nether world. During his journey through hell he meets a precocious young nurse while convalescing. She unknowingly becomes the incentive Bauer needs to endure his ordeal.
This is Bauer’s story, his struggle to rationalize the need for war and the carnage it creates. He is troubled by his exposure to combat and the changes he sees within himself, which he knows might haunt him the rest of his life.