An enlisted Marine dies during an ambush in a village in Iraq; his sister is a schoolmate of Mattie; Harm and Mattie help the mother and the sister of the fallen Marine. The firefight took place due to bad intel from a local source, who disappeared; the same Marine outfit find him and get better intel; then the Marines finish their business in the village in question. The Marine Corps requests an investigation of the failure of the body armor in this case and in several other similar failures; Bud investigates; it appears that there is a problem with the quality of the armor. Harm meets a cynical, annoying TV news reporter, and he makes a deal with him. While Harm and Mattie talk about the fallen Marine, they continue to gain a better understanding of each other.