It is 1943, and the war has come home to Loring, Mississippi. As German POWs labor in the cotton fields, the local draft board sends boys into uniform, and families receive flags and condolences. But for Dan Timms, just shy of 18, the war is his ticket out of town and away from the ghosts that haunt him. As he peddles goods from a rolling store for his profiteer uncle, Dan tries to understand his friend L.C., a young man who, on account of his skin, feels like a prisoner himself. But one day, Dan spots Marty Stark who has just returned from Italy, mysteriously reassigned to guard the POWs he was once trained to kill. As Dan soon learns, Marty's war is far from over and threatens to erupt again.