This is a historical novel which chronicles the Vietnam War and its effect upon the individuals who fought in the war and those who chose not to serve. It is definitively a first-hand account of what it was like to enter manhood in the shadow of this unpopular war. The book covers the psychological costs of combat visited upon those who fought and the damage to the psyche of those who decided that the war was not worth risking their lives to serve their country. This novel covers 12 years of military service. The last active-duty mission of the main character, Blake, was the aborted attempt to rescue 53 hostages held by Iran in April 1980. The book will inform the reader of exactly what happened in the Iranian desert on that fateful day. Finally the book describes the main character's struggle to overcome posttraumatic stress in a year's worth of combat. The fact that 40 members of his squadron have their names etched in the Memorial wall in Washington never leaves him.