George Beckworth (David Janssen) is a journalist who is learning about what is going on in Vietnam. He doesn't think that the Americans should be over there fighting. He is very skeptical even when Sgt Muldoon (Aldo Ray) is trying to explain the connections of the communists and it's infiltration of Vietnam. Propaganda is what he is thinking but in reality all is true and probably more.
Beckworth finds Col. Mike Kirby (John Wayne) and asks some questions. Kirby asks Beckworth if he had ever been in Southeast Asia and his reply was no. Well that is all Kirby had to hear and he walked away.
Col. Kirby would be on his way to Vietnam and put together two special forces teams. One was a replacement group for a base camp. The other was for a counter guerrilla team. While putting together these two teams Kirby runs across a scrounger by the name of Sgt. Peterson (Jim Hutton). Kirby is impressed and puts him on his team.
Once they are settled in Kirby finds out that he has a guest coming with him. One George Beckworth, journalist, has made his way over to Vietnam to see for himself what is going on. Kirby is not happy but he will live with it.
Kirby meets up with Col. Cai (Jack Soo) and once at base camp he meets up with Capt. Nim (George Takei). Kirby immediately makes changes at camp and just as he thinks they are good the camp is attacked.
Sgt. Peterson has taken up with a little boy and his dog. Hamchuck (Craig Jue) is an orphan and immediately latches on to Peterson. The following stories of the movie are most disturbing. Not so much for the fact that they can be real but it brings the story home.
The war in 1968 could have gone both ways. We could have lost and it was really starting to hit home with some Americans that we didn't need to be there. This movie was almost propaganda in itself.
Directors Ray Kellogg and John Wayne were able to bring us back to the war. They wanted us to be touched by what we saw. Unfortunately, it did hit home and we were touched. For some enlistment was up, for others people started protesting more. Either way this movie touched many lives and in many ways.