By Brad Bong
Eight months after 9/11. President Bush deploys troops into Afghanistan. 9 soldiers are discharged under Don’t Ask; Don’t Tell”.
17 year old Avery Blake is an average high schooler. Shy, soft-spoken, but with a golden voice that could stop a room. But, behind his ocean-blues eyes lies a secret he’s aching for the confidence to share. Avery’s gay. Even his Ivy League-bound best friend, Maddison pretends not to see who he really is.
Suddenly, Avery’s ailing father, James, is rushed to the hospital. And his mother, Becky is drowning in hospital bills she can’t pay. When it’s revealed that Becky’s been hiding James’ rapidly declining Multiple Sclerosis, Avery is desperate to help, But, Becky’s flailing need for control has her enlisting Avery into the Army National Guard. After all, the G.I. bill could offset the piling debt, leaving enough for Avery’s college fund.
At Basic Training, meek and closeted Avery is no match for Drill Sergeants Cox, and Wright who will stop at nothing to humiliate, break and re-build their recruits. The demands of military life close tighter around Avery; and his presence is tested on every level. Even his battle buddy, Private Bowman, seems to harbor the same dark secret as their relationship grows more and more complicated.
Once Avery’s home life spirals out of control, his Army career is on the rise. Avery now has to face the toughest questions of his life: Can he keep his sexual identity a secret? Which is more brave: continued silence, or self-declaration? And, are the costs worth it?
“Based on Actual Events”