Young Mike, dreamed of being a soldier. When he joined the Pennsylvania National Guard during the Great Depression, peacetime military service seemed like a breeze. One year after his discharge, he was drafted into an expanding National Army that was preparing to enter the greatest conflict in human history.
Trained as a sniper, combat experience earns him a reputation for courage under fire. Involvement in key battles and “special missions” win him hero status in Italy, but all is lost when a military court wrongly convicts him of desertion and sentences him to life at hard labor. Incarcerated in the Loire Disciplinary Training Center for military criminals, he endures harsh treatment and witnesses the hanging of six American soldiers.
Freed by a JAG review in 1945, he returns to duty in Belgium where he meets Irena, a Holocaust survivor. Separated after a short affair, an unusual series of events brings them together in America where their personal issues and toxic relationship produce disturbing consequences for seven unwitting children who inherit the transgenerational effects of hidden wounds.