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Richard Perry is a young man trying to hold on to his dreams amidst his troubled neighborhood, Harlem, New York City. Though highly intellectual, Perry cannot afford to attend college and thus enlists in the United States Army when his basketball career is ended early by an injury. Little does he know that the Vietnam conflict is about to escalate to gruesome levels. Amid philosophical reflections and a dire struggle to maintain their humanity, a bleak but realistic depiction of combat gradually unfolds for the young soldiers far from home. Careless military leadership, brutal guerrilla resistance, and American war crimes are just a few of the horrors young Perry witnesses firsthand. With no end in sight to the war, the men wonder if any will return home at all.