The story begins in 1971 when two young U.S. Army medics from different socioeconomic backgrounds meet while working in a military hospital in Germany.Their friendship lasts for over 10 years after their time in Germany and is illustrated by the highs and lows of their personal and professional activities in and after discharge from military service. American values of young people were somewhat different than those of people of similar ages in the 21st century; in fact, the 1970s was popularized as the "Me" decade. Many of today's modern conveniences did not exist then, and in fact, they communicated with each other when they were many miles apart by cassette tapes or letters. While they were in the military they learned to do as a good a job as possible at work; off duty, or on weekends or vacations, traveling (even to different countries) or partying in some way was usually the norm. Their lives gradually went in different directions as a result of the choices they made. By the time they were 30, the route to mature stability via achieving good-paying jobs, good cars, good homes to live in and marriage/family was not an express to success, but more like taking a local train.