Vietnam War Story (1987–1988)
29 Aug. 1987The Mine
K.C. arrives at a Marine firebase in Vietnam, a presumed "cherry," or new guy. He turns out to be a veteran fighter returning to the field after serious wounds. K.C. alienates everyone in his platoon as he refuses either friendship or help. On patrol, K.C. further angers his fellow Marines by his reluctance to look out for anyone but himself. While crossing rice paddies, K.C. apparently steps on a pressure-triggered mine which doesn't explode, but may if he steps off of it. In the broiling sun, K.C. must stand on the mine without relief until a demolition team can ...
Zadig is a Marine who has lost his leg in combat. In a stateside hospital, he peppers his companions with corny jokes and makes a light-hearted nuisance of himself to the staff. His fellow patients, including Olson, Henderson, Mazelli, and Harris, are also amputees or equally seriously-injured men, and their losses have largely made them despondent and depressed, despite Zadig's efforts to keep things light. A tragic turn of events makes everyone on the ward see things in a new light.
29 Aug. 1987The Pass
Three American soldiers on a pass in a Vietnamese town try to come to terms with the exigencies of war. Two are hardened combat veterans, while one is a rear-echelon clerk who yearns for action. They drink, fornicate, and fight in a Vietnamese bar until a pair of crises arises.
20 Jul. 1988An Old Ghost Walks the Earth
Matthews, a farm boy serving in Vietnam, feels sympathy for the occupants of a village where a blight has killed the rice crop. He hopes to use his own experience with scientific farming to help them grow a new crop. He also feels a kinship with the people of the village which he expresses by sharing food and playing with the children. But his fellow soldier Bookman believes that getting too close to the villagers only plays into the hands of the enemy Vietcong, and he encourages Matthews to be less empathetic and to watch out for himself and his fellow soldiers to ...
20 Jul. 1988R & R
Didi Sommers has been anxiously awaiting the arrival of her husband of one year on his return from a seven-month tour in Vietnam. But Marine Lieutenant Russell Sommers seems distant when he joins her for R&R ("rest & recuperation") in Hawaii. He is unwilling to converse in any depth or to engage in any intimacy with his wife, and Didi wonders if she has done something wrong. As their 7-day R&R seems to waste away, Didi implores Russell to talk to her. When he finally does, she begins to understand how much he risks by leaving the war zone to come "rest and recuperate"...
3 Aug. 1988The Fragging
Captain Phelan commands a company of paratroopers in Vietnam, but his men have no faith in him. They hold him responsible for the unusually large number of casualties the unit has suffered, certain that he is an incompetent who will get them all killed eventually. A group of the soldiers tries to convince Payton to join them in fragging (assassinating) Phelan. At first Payton resists, but his grief over the loss of his best friend causes him to reconsider. But there's something about Captain Phelan that his men don't know.
10 Aug. 1988Separated
Malone is a slacker. He's a lazy Marine, always looking for a way out of work, a way to get someone else to handle responsibility. He's a thorn in his sergeant's side and an irritant to his fellow Marines, especially the ones he shares perimeter guard with in a bunker at a firebase in Vietnam. While setting up an ambush on patrol, Malone gets separated from his unit when a firefight breaks out. He is left behind and must make his way back to base alone. Once there, he must figure a way back into the base in the dead of night without being mistaken for the enemy -- the...
17 Aug. 1988Dusk to Dawn
Dale Destel is home on leave from Marine boot camp in 1963. The Vietnam war he is likely to be shipped out to is barely known back home, with most of the people in Dale's hometown uncertain where in the world it is. Dale and his friends and family celebrate at a party in honor of his shipping out, and while most of the people Dale knows seem either oblivious or ignorant of the war, Dale has an increasing foreboding about what will happen to him when he arrives there. A late-night visit to a bar and an angry bartender give Dale a new insight into what his future might ...
21 Aug. 1988The Promise
Nurse lieutenant Mary Lyle arrives at a medical unit in Vietnam as the triage unit is inundated with casualties. With only a background in pediatrics, she is unprepared for the level of violence and mayhem displayed in the injuries of the incoming wounded. Nurse Meg Taylor has no patience for Mary's shocked response nor for her inexperience in a trauma room. Meg warns Mary not to get close to the wounded soldiers, not to engage too personally with them, that subduing emotional connection is the only way to survive and to do the job well. But Meg has trouble taking her...