Early winter of 1963, 18-year-old Marine "Birdlace" Eddie and his fellows are about to get shipped off to Vietnam. On the night party before their departure, they decide to play a dirty game called 'Dogfight': who can find and bring the most ugly women to the party, wins all of the other soldier's money. Eddie encounters Rose, a waitress from a coffee shop - not "ugly enough", but rather plain, shy and mysterious; he decides to invite her to the party. Suspicious at first, but Rose finally agrees to accompany him - but then she learns what the party is really about. However by this time Eddie realizes his true feelings for her, so he follows her home, trying to make amends.