This is again a movie whose film adaption was made. John Tyree, a Staff Sergeant in the United States Army is lying on the ground in combat gear with multiple gunshot wounds to his body. Coins begin to fall over him as, in a voiceover, he recalls a childhood trip to the U.S. Mint. He compares himself to a coin in the United States Military, and states that the last thing he thought about before he blacked out was "you".
In 2001, John is on leave when he meets Savannah Lynn Curtis, a college student on spring break. Over the course of two weeks, Savannah and John fall in love. John meets Savannah's family, her neighbor, Tim Wheddon, and Tim's son Alan who has Autism.
Savannah meets John's father, a reclusive man who is only interested in coins. John tells Savannah his father's obsession with coins interfered with their relationship, and they are not close. Savannah mentions to John that his father, like Alan, may have Autism. This upsets John, who gets into a fight with Savannah's neighbor, Randy and, in the process, accidentally punches Tim. John apologizes to Tim, leaves Savannah a note, and they spend one last day together. After his leave ends, John and Savannah begin a long-distance relationship through letters. Even though John planned on leaving the army, the September 11 attacks conflict him, and he ultimately chooses to re-enlist.
Over the next two years, John and Savannah correspond through letters. Ultimately, Savannah sends John a Dear John letter, informing him that she has become engaged to someone else. John, deeply depressed by the news, burns her letters.
Thereafter, John is shot several times by an enemy and, even though encouraged to return home, re-enlists. For the next four years, John takes part in many missions. While waiting to receive orders on his unit's next deployment, John is informed that his father had a stroke. When John arrives at the hospital, the doctor informs him that his father is in grave condition. John, feeling guilty that he was not there, asks the doctor if the outcome would have been different if John had been there with his father. The doctor does not think so, and John writes a letter to his father, which he reads to him at the hospital. It is then that the viewers learn that John's voiceover at the beginning of the film was from this letter, in which he told his father that the first thing to cross his mind after he was shot was coins, and the last thing to cross his mind before he lost consciousness was his dad, ultimately the most important thing in his life. Shortly thereafter, his father dies