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A death in the family summons ex-marine Joe Dover  home to the Pacific Northwest from Honolulu after World War II. In California, he meets and falls in love with  Carmelita Maldonado, a beautiful Mexican-American preacher's daughter.  Unable to resist extramarital temptations, he soon finds family life slipping away. The Veteran is the story of a changing society in the 1960s and early 70s, as seen through the lens of a grim memory of war.