Just back from combat, Justin, a young U.S. Marine veteran – burdened by the physical and emotional scars of war – faces a new battle to find purpose in the mundane existence of civilian life during a time of national economic strife.
Justin’s time is split between part-time studies at the local community college and working part-time hours at the local wood mill where his boss and Vietnam War veteran, Paul, offers to be a voice of support for Justin on the troubles of adjusting to life back home and co-workers invite him into their social lives.
At school, Justin finds friendship with Cheri, one of his teachers, which soon develops into romance. Cheri, new to town as well, sees in Justin a strong and intelligent man trapped by circumstances and self-doubt. The emotional toll of loss during the war shackles Justin’s ability to open himself up to Cheri and the chasm between the experiences of his life and the experiences of those around him drives Justin to drop everything and disappear into the wilderness where he can be alone and free of all the pressures.
As Justin retreats from the pressures all around him and leaves to live in the woods, the film explores in visceral and unflinching detail the hardships Justin faces with homelessness and isolation. Through it all his determination for a reclaimed sense of purpose drives him to push on with every day a new mission to find himself.