Rick North has never spent much time on reflection. For twenty-five years, he has immersed his body and soul in the US Air Force as a forward-looking, self-assured officer. Yet in Norths early life, there were no absolutes. Now, as he lies in a hospital bed in Southeast Asia, the victim of a futile war, he begins to contemplate his past as he is carried further and further away from the only life he has known.
Raised by illiterate Polish grandparents, North develops the independence and insatiable curiosity that eventually leads him on an adventurous journey through World War II, where he flies in the Italian campaign and transforms into a steely-eyed, decorated fighter pilot. As he rises in the ranks to colonel, he edges closer to bureaucracy and some of its leaders, dimming his once idealistic views. But after he reluctantly volunteers for the Vietnam War, he is shot down in Laos and saved in a daring rescuean event that alters his life forever.
Based on a true story, Throw a Nickel on the Grass shares one mans incredible and challenging journey through life and war, and his ultimate discovery of true happiness.