Al Lupo, an eighteen year old college freshman with a passion for football, lives in a small town near Pittsburgh. He is living with his father's dream-playing football when he is drafted. His world falls apart as he loses his girlfriend and is deprived of his chance to please his father. To avoid serving in Vietnam, Al joins the Navy. Yet, he is ordered to serve on fifty-foot SWIFT boat in the dangerous brown-water rivers of the Vietnam delta, which puts him in the middle of war. He is faced with the learning new skills, excelling despite the disdain of officers for enlisted men, living through daily uncertainties, and surviving the war.