After surviving an ambush in Laos, a U. S. Marine of Puerto Rican heritage returns to Manhattan. Only to find that the hometown jungle is worse than the one in Asia when he has to keep his younger brother from being framed by a street gang.
Harry Lonigan grew up in a Marine Corps family and joined the corps, but didn't have the Marine spirit. In combat in South Korea, he spent most of his time protecting himself instead of his fellow soldiers. Until one battle when he was hit by a mortar blast and almost killed by Chinese Communist troops, before saving himself with instinctive Marine hand-to-hand combat.
Hooper spends years in the Marines in officer training, mostly doing paperwork. When a freak accident at a party in Tokyo sidelines a replacement to lead a combat company, Hooper is sent as a backup replacement to South Korea. Due to a mixup, all he has when he arrives at his combat post in his dress uniform, which makes him a prime target for the Chinese Communists.