Zachary Cannon joined the Navy to get trained as a radiology tech, a skill he could use to get a job and support his family after his enlistment. But the needs of the Navy take priority, and much to his surprise, he was given orders to the Fleet Marine Force as a corpsman to an infantry battalion deploying to Iraq. As part of a rifle squad in Ramadi, Zach joins the Marines on patrol, in assaults, and on security duty, facing the same dangers and hardships. Ramadi is a hotbed of insurgent activity in 2006, and Zach's medical skills are put to the test as he witnesses death and injuries. Faced with snipers, full insurgent attacks, IEDs, rockets and mortars, and the never-ending heat, he cannot be a simple observer, there to treat his Marines. Navy or not, he quickly realizes that he is expected to be a full member of his squad, a combat corpsman.