Jeremy, played by Emilio Estevez, is a post-traumatic war veteran from Vietnam. Estevez' first ever acting credit was as a messenger boy in his father's Vietnam war film Apocalypse Now (1979) (the scene was cut from the film).
When Jeremy and his father have their first fight in the kitchen (just after Mr. Collier has finished his story of the report card), Jeremy walks away from his father and out of the house. If you look closely, you can see that he was standing in front of a "Home Sweet Home" sign when he heads out of the house.
In one scene, the camera slowly heads towards the dinner table. Bob (Martin Sheen) is facing the camera on the far end of the table, Maureen (Kathy Bates) is to his right, and Jeremy (Emilio Estevez) is to his left. This position of the family and the shot is lifted from another family drama film Ordinary People (1980).
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
The film makes several references to previous Vietnam movies such as Born on the Fourth of July (1989) (the reunion of the protagonist and former love interest in a café), Platoon (1986) (the tracking shot of the veteran looking at the recruit), and Full Metal Jacket (1987) (the protagonist being pressured into killing an enemy).