Zack (James Garner) is an Army officer nearing retirement who arrives at his new post in Georgia with his wife (Shirley Jones), son Billy (C. Thomas Howell), and hobby on a trailer, a restored Sherman tank he putters around with. One evening, Zack goes into town where he strikes up a
conversation with Sarah (Jenilee Harrison), a 17-year-old prostitute who works for the local crimelord, who also happens to be the local law enforcement officer, Sheriff Buelton (G.D. Spradlin). When one of Buelton's henchman slaps Sarah around a little in front of Zack, he decks the guy. Buelton
is angry now, so he arranges to have Billy set up for a drug bust and sent to a harsh pris...