It is 1941, and friends Adam, Joe, Dale, and Catherine are similar to most young adults. College, dating, and fast cars are what they know and live for. And in Chicago, Illinois, the near center of America, world conflict seems merely a distant rumor.
But as turmoil in Europe develops into full-scale war, Chicago suddenly abounds with talk of America's entering the fight. Drawn by the promise of freedom and the allure of battle, Joe and Dale join the Army, Adam the Marines, and Catherine the Naval Nurse Service. Far away from home and facing the reality of war in all its horror, they find the world a frighteningly big and unforgiving place, and what began as a quest for freedom becomes a battle to stay alive in one of the bloodiest wars of the twentieth century.