Teenager Maddie (Hayden Panettiere from Raising Helen) wishes her father, a Navy commander (Bill Pullman), wasn't away from home so much. In September 2001, she goes on the Tiger Cruise—an annual event in which sailors' family members join them aboard ship for a week—in hopes of convincing him to quit the service. But suddenly America comes under terrorist attack, and Maddie realizes that Dad's job on the aircraft carrier outranks domestic concerns.
With all the talk about duty, much of it set to stirring music, this TV movie sometimes comes across like a recruiting pitch. Pullman, however, is consistently effective as an officer who does fine at directing the crew and reassuring the nervous civilians but is less than articulate when it's time to communicate with his daughter.