Crabapple Cove, Maine
June 1972

"Congratulations B.J.!"

"Thanks Aunt Mary."

"So what are you going to do now?"

"Well, Mom and Dad aren't too crazy about this but I'm going to West Point."

"Oh my god, did you tell Dad?"

"Not yet."

"He'll be so proud."

"That's what Mom said."

"There's my grandson, the graduate."

"Hi Pop!"

"Well I'm going to go and get some food, your parents paid a lot of money for this party, so when you get a chance eat something. Dad you need anything?"

"No Mary I'm fine."

"I will, thanks Aunt Mary."

"So your mother tells me you've got some good news."

"I've been accepted to West Point."


"I'm going."

"That's my grandson, B.J. this is the best decision you've made yet."

Col. Alvin "Howitzer" Houlihan hugged his grandson and the two walked in the Pierce house to get something to eat. In the kitchen Hawkeye and his childhood friend Toby Wilder were discussing B.J.'s decision to go to West Point.

"I don't want him to go, but he insisted he wants to have a career in the military and they'll pay for his med school."

"Hawk, he'll be fine, what's Margaret say?"

"She's got mixed feelings, she still has that Major Houlihan side that she can't let go of and then there is the mother side of her who wants to shield her son from every harm out there."

"Hawk, I'm glad I had four girls, but I fortunately don't know what war is like, and I can't begin to imagine what you and Margaret must have witnessed."

"I just don't want him to have to go to war and not come home like some of the boys in this town, but I have to let him pursue his dream, Toby lets just pray he doesn't turn into some military clown like his grandfather."

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