Matthews, a farm boy serving in Vietnam, feels sympathy for the occupants of a village where a blight has killed the rice crop. He hopes to use his own experience with scientific farming to help them grow a new crop. He also feels a kinship with the people of the village which he expresses by sharing food and playing with the children. But his fellow soldier Bookman believes that getting too close to the villagers only plays into the hands of the enemy Vietcong, and he encourages Matthews to be less empathetic and to watch out for himself and his fellow soldiers to the exclusion of the welfare of Vietnamese civilians. Both men learn hard lessons.
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>