Fighter jets blanket the Afghanistan sky. Smoke from the Taliban's mortars hangs in the air. As a convoy presses on and the drivers negotiate a turn, a series of IEDs explode. First Lieutenant John Wagner and his brother and junior officer, Peter, are among the casualties. After he discovers Peter's bloody corpse, Lieutenant Wagner rushes into the nearby mountains and takes cover in a ditch. As he clenches his submachine gun, he quickly realizes it is jammed. Lieutenant Wagner is officially immersed in the horrors of war.
Wagner is painfully aware of Afghanistan's challenging landscape, the Taliban's way of fighting, and the difficulties of war. As he lies in the mountains in a state of passive lucidity, Wagner's life flashes back to him revealing his coming-of-age journey in small town America where proving his manhood is a daily goal. As he attempts to repair his weapon while reflecting on his life before war, Wagner wonders how he transformed from a history teacher in a tiny community to a soldier trained to kill innocent civilians in a foreign land.
In this compelling military tale that demonstrates the futility of war and addresses the issue of conflict resolution, Wagner must face his enemy in a dark cave in the mountains of Afghanistan in order to discover forgiveness and peace.