O'Reilly Farm, Ottumwa, Iowa
July 27, 2003
It has been fifty years since the Korean Police Action was put to rest. The former members of the 4077th were gathered at the O'Reilly farms to celebrate the day they came home, well most of them. Trapper left before the war had ended, as did Radar and Frank, and well Henry his story was sad. They reminisced all day long about the times during the war, the good and the bad. They remembered the day Henry died, and the day they met B.J., Colonel Potter, and Charles. They laughed at all the silly pranks Hawk and Trapper played and then the one Hawk, B.J. Charles, and even Margaret played. They looked at photographs and sang and danced. No one could believe that it had been that long. It seemed like only yesterday when Robert Pierpoint announced that the armistice was signed at Panmunjom declaring that the cease-fire would mean the end of the war. Today's was a special day for the Klinger's; they celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary. Everyone's hair had become gray well except for Hawk and Margaret they wouldn't dare let their looks go. The men had all become very distinguished, some of them retired and spending times on the golf course and others well getting "Crabapple Cove to say aahh!" It is funny how things turn out, and how many people actually did what they said they were going to do after the war, or how some had a complete change of heart. They all recalled their final dinner together. Charles went on to do as he planned, Potter did the same as well as B.J. and Hawkeye with one exception he found a love other than medicine, his Margaret. Klinger stayed in Korea, after all those years just trying to get out. Fr. Mulcahy was no longer father, but a father and grandfather who had suffered temporary hearing loss in Korea and taught at a deaf school and coached CYO boxing. Even those who were not there at the end of the war were amazed at the outcomes of their friends and themselves. Trapper had done a total 180 and had become a one- woman man. Frank still after fifty years hadn't changed, though he was governor of Indiana, no one understood how that one happened, and Radar grew up, got married, had children, and grandchildren, and became a veterinarian. It's amazing after all these years how things change for the better, for the worse or not even at all. That day so long ago, no one wanted to say goodbye, and even today they still didn't even though they all still see each other on a regular basis, it just wasn't the same. Their children had all grown up and had children of their own and even had grandchildren. Nowhere in the world could you find a group of people, old war buddies, who are as close as they are.