At Fort Bragg, newspaper reporter George Beckworth (David Janssen) is at a Special Forces briefing about the American military involvement in the war in Vietnam. The briefing (at Gabriel Demonstration Area, named for Sgt. Jimmy Gabriel, first SF soldier killed in Vietnam) includes a demonstration and explanation of the whys and wherefores of participating in that Asian civil war. Skeptical civilians and journalists are told that multinational Communism is what the U.S. will be fighting in Vietnam; proof: weapons and equipment, captured from North Vietnamese soldiers and Viet Cong guerrillas, originating in Communist Russia, Communist Czechoslovakia, and Communist China. Despite that, Beckworth remains skeptical about the value of intervening in Vietnam's civil war. When told by another Green Beret that he does not know whereof he speaks, as he has not been to Vietnam, reporter Beckworth accepts the soldier's challenge, and agrees to go and bear witness. In South Vietnam, Beckworth arrives at an American Army camp where he witnesses the humanitarian aspect (irrigation ditches, bandages, candy for children) of the Special Forces mission, still, he remains skeptical of the U.S.'s need to be there. He changes his mind after a ferocious North Vietnamese Army attack upon the SF camp, admitting he probably will be fired from the newspaper for filing a story supporting the American war. After that battle, Beckworth temporarily disappears from the story, while Col. Mike Kirby (John Wayne) leads a team of Green Berets, Montangards(Degar), and ARVN soldiers on a top-secret kidnap mission capturing a very important NVA field commander, who lives, eats, and drinks very well, in a guarded mansion, while the common people go hungry, cold, and naked. Near the end of the story, Beckworth is briefly seen, carrying his portable typewriter and a duffel bag, joining a troop headed for the front.