For Some Veterans The Real War Begins When They Return Home.
A Sense of Purpose: Fighting For Our Lives focuses on two characters - Army veteran SGT. DIANE TORRES and CAPTAIN JAKE NIXON.
Diane is a medic, who returns home from Afghanistan. She struggles to learn how to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder and assimilate back into society after she has been sexual assaulted by her commanding officer.
One evening when Diane is out enjoying herself with a few drinks at a bar that is close to the military base, and she has a little too much to drink, she is offered a ride back to the base by her commanding officer, CAPTAIN JAKE NIXON and three Army Sergeants. But Nixon, and the three soldiers, have other plans for Diane. Back at the base she is raped by Nixon while the other men cheer him on. Devastated by the attack, she turns to her best friend, SABRINA SMITH, who is also an Army medic. Badly bruised with lacerations, Sabrina gives Diane medical attention.
Distraught, Diane begs Nixon for a discharge, but he refuses. Eventually, she takes matters into her own hands when she attempts to go AWOL. That plan is foiled by Nixon when he catches Diane and orders her back to the military base.
Diane finally gets her discharge when her mother is killed in a car accident. Once home, Diane finds out she is pregnant. Dealing with post-traumatic
stress disorder stemming from the rape, she doesn’t know how to deal with the emotional turmoil and the fact that she is caring the unborn child of a rapist. She struggles to figure out if she wants to keep the baby or abort it.
Practically every night, Diane can be found drinking at her neighborhood bar, Paddy Whacks Pub. Angry and bitter, she gets arrested one evening for beating up a guy who flirts with her in the pub.
Depression overcomes Diane and she attempts to commit suicide one evening by blowing her brains out with a gun. In a quick moment, she adverts the gun and doesn’t go through with it. Still, she is admitted into a mental health facility for observation.
Meanwhile, Sabrina tracks down Captain Nixon and confesses that she has been stalking him for the sole purpose to make him pay for what he did to Diane. A heated exchange occurs in a restaurant between the two of them which leads the waitress to threaten to call the police. Sabrina leaves with the promise that Nixon will “get his.”
Eventually, Diane changes for the better and learns the tools to cope with PTSD when she starts going to counseling with PASTOR HALEY MITCHELL. She also takes riding lessons at the Bill Pickett Riding Academy and finds peace and relaxation grooming her horse at the stables. Overtime, Diane actually looks forward to becoming a mother despite how she got pregnant.
Nixon continues to be a cocky, arrogant ass until he learns he has stage four prostate cancer. It is at this time of reflection that it is revealed that Nixon also suffers from PTSD as a result of the horrors of war. In a raid on an Afghan village, Nixon kills a young boy. He never gets over this and has constant nightmares.
Now, with only a short time to live, he wants to make things right. First, Nixon confesses to his best friend, MIKE BEASON, that he is a serial rapist. Mike, who is a veteran, was sexually assaulted by his commanding officer when he was in bootcamp. Although, they have been friends for twenty years, Mike, who suffers from PTSD, wants nothing to do with Nixon even after he learns Nixon is dying.
Nixon, still searching for forgiveness, meets with Diane. However, the encounter between the two of them changes both of their lives forever when one of them ends up dead.