Buddy and his family are living a wonderful life on a small ranch in New Mexico until Buddy’s father takes ill and the family is forced to sell and move to Colorado. They settle in the mile high city of Denver so Buddy’s father can be close to the military hospital. The family is forced into poverty when Buddy’s father dies and Buddy faces life as a fatherless boy. He grieves for his father and rebels against his mother. He runs the streets and forms strong relationships with other boys. The share many adventures and grew up together through the great depression. Buddy finds himself in a leadership role amongst the boys in his neighborhood and draws many together to form a gang. The war breaks out in Europe and the Pacific and the boys get swept up in the patriotism. They head to the west coast to join the merchant Marines. Buddy finds that he is too young and lies about his age to get signed up. He finds a job on a Danish merchant ship and sails the pacific. After leaving ship on the East coast he rejoins his friends and they join the Army Air Force. He is stationed in Hawaii and then is transferred back to Denver to finish his tour of duty.
The story addresses many of the challenges that young boys and girls faced when growing up in that turbulent time of the Great Depression and War II.

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