This story takes place right after ‘Good-bye, Farewell & Amen'.
July 30, 1953 -- Kimpo Air Base - Korea
It was 6:00 a.m. Captain Hawkeye Pierce sat on a bench outside a hanger at the Kimpo Airport waiting for his flight back to the states. The war was finally over and after three years in hell, he was going home at last. He started thinking about all the things he missed about home, his father, his friends, hot and cold running water and lobster. Great big juicy lobster. His thoughts of home were interrupted by the sound of someone calling his name. "Captain Pierce, Captain B.F. Pierce."
"I'm Pierce." Hawkeye stood up. "What can I do for you, Corporal."
"This just came for you, sir." The eager Corporal handed Hawkeye a piece of paper.
"What's this?" Hawkeye took the paper from the Corporal and looked at it with disbelief.
"Orders from I-Corp. They need you at the 8063rd."
"This is some kind of joke! You can't be serious." Hawkeye shook his head in disbelief. "Corporal, in case you hadn't heard, the war is over."
"No joke, sir. There are still some minor skirmishes going on in the area and they're expecting heavy casualties. They need a surgeon and you're it. There's a chopper waiting over there." The corporal pointed in the direction of a chopper that was waiting to take off.
A Lieutenant walked up to Hawkeye and saluted. "Are you Pierce?"
"Yeah." Hawkeye looked at the Lieutenant and saluted with a wave of his fingers.
"Sir, your plane is ready to leave."
"Thank you, Lieutenant." Hawkeye picked up his bags. "Corporal, you can tell I-Corp for me that they can take their orders and stuff it. I'm going home." He shouted. "It's not enough that I have spent three years of my life in this Hell Hole. Now they want to send me back." He paused. "No, sir. You can tell I-Corp they can find someone else." That said, he walked toward the waiting airplane.
"But Captain Pierce," the corporal shouted after him but Hawkeye ignored him and kept walking. He was halfway to the plane when he stopped. He knew that he couldn't go, not with wounded on the way. No matter how much he hated Korea and the army for sending him there, he was a doctor above all else and he knew that if he didn't go, those soldiers could die. "Corporal," he shouted as he turned and walked toward the waiting chopper, "I need you to send a telegram for me?"
"To Dr. Daniel Pierce -- Crabapple Cove, Maine. Dear Dad. Stop. Departure delayed. Stop. Will call soon. Stop. Your son, Hawkeye. Stop." Hawkeye looked up at the corporal. "You got that?"
"Good, send it as soon as you can." He climbed into the chopper and off he went to return to the nightmare he had just left.
During the short flight to the 8063rd Hawkeye wasn't thinking about going home but about the one person he thought he would never see again, Margaret Houlihan. He smiled slightly at the thought of seeing her. It had only been a day since they had said good-bye at the 4077th but it seemed like an eternity. He had tried not to think about her, tried not to think about how much he cared about her. He kept telling himself they were friends and only friends. But he knew that wasn't true. He had feelings for her that ran much deeper than friendship. He loved her. He had loved her for a long time. Ever since that night they spent together in that burned out hut. Damn! He thought to himself. We're friends and that's all we will ever be. He tried thinking about other things like his father and home but everything brought him back to her. So he just sat there and watched the landscape below fly by.
"How much further, Lieutenant?" He finally asked the pilot.
"No far, sir. The 8063rd is just over the next hill." The pilot responded. "We should be landing in just a few minutes."
Hawkeye continued to watch below. As they flew over the hill he could see the chopper pad and the camp compound of the 8063rd. As they got closer, Hawkeye saw a jeep waiting and the commanding officer, Colonel William Harrison, siting in the driver's seat. The chopper landed and he climbed out of the chopper with his bags. He walked over to the jeep ducking his head down to avoid the chopper blades.