The Vietnam war coincided with great social change: The sexual revolution, the emergence of psychedelic drugs, the erosion of traditional marriage and the feminist movement all created new social conflicts. Ted Cochran, at seventeen estranged from his traditional family, finds solace in the new social ideas. But shocked by the moral failures of the adults he encounters in this new world, he becomes confused about his own values and attachments. In spite of inner conflict, and thinking he can make the life he wants after the war, Ted enlists in the Navy. Like most of the young men he trains with, he faces a reality he could not have imagined.