"Hawkeye! " The Colonel was surprised to see him. "What are you doing here? You're the last person I expected to see get off that chopper."
"How ya doing, Colonel." Hawkeye shook the Colonel's hand. He had worked with Colonel Harrison a couple of times over the past three years. "I heard you were having a little after the war party and since I was in the neighborhood, I thought I would drop in." Hawkeye said in his usual sarcastic tone. He threw his bags in the jeep and climbed in.
"Same old Hawkeye." The Colonel laughed. "I'm glad to see you haven't lost your sense of humor." The Colonel climbed in the driver's seat and drove them down to the camp.
"I heard you were expecting casualties." Hawkeye said as the Colonel stopped the jeep in front of the office.
"Yea, and lots of them." The Colonel sighed and then climbed out of the jeep.
"How soon?" Hawkeye inquired as he jumped out of the jeep and grabbed his bags.
"Anytime. Actually, the wounded started coming in last night. I think I-Corp forgot to tell someone that the war is over. They've been fighting in the hills all day." Colonel Harrison escorted Hawkeye to his office.
"You know what I think. I think the whole thing was a practical joke that MacArthur played on the Chinese and we just got caught in it." Hawkeye sat down and put his feet up on the Colonel's desk.
"Sorry to drag you back here Hawkeye, but we're short-handed. I'm the only surgeon."
"I don't understand. Where's Charles? He should have been here two days ago."
"He's gone." The Colonel sat down.
"He's what?" Hawkeye put his feet on the floor and leaned forward toward the Colonel's desk. He couldn't believe what he had heard.
"He left for home yesterday morning before the casualties started arriving."
"That's just great, everybody gets to go home but me!" Hawkeye said angrily as he stood up.
"Not everybody." A familiar voice said.
Hawkeye turned and look behind him in disbelief. "Beej, what are you doing here?"
"The same as you, I'm guessing." He said as he dropped his bags on the floor. "What's going on here, Colonel?" BJ sat down. "I was all ready to board a plane for home, for the second time I might add, when this eager little Corporal came running up to me with an invitation to a surgery party." BJ paused. "I don't know what the hell's going on here."
"I understand how you feel Hunnicutt, but there is nothing I can do about it." The Colonel sighed. "Now, why don't you two take your stuff to the surgeons tent and then meet me back in post-op."
"Do you believe that Charles? We get sent back here and he gets sent home." Hawkeye opened the tent door and threw his stuff on the first bunk. "You know, we're never going to get out of here." He started ranting in his usual manner. "They declare a cease fire but we're still here. They tell us we can go home, but we're still here. This is never going to end." He sat down on the bunk. "I was THIS close to getting out of here!"
"You, what about me?" BJ threw his bag on the floor and sat down on his bunk. "I was almost out of here for the second time. At this rate, Erin will be a teenager before I see her again." BJ put his head in his hands.
Hawkeye gave himself an imaginary kick. No matter how much he missed his father, it couldn't compare to how much BJ missed Erin. He had missed out on Erin's entire lifetime. "Beej, I'm sorry. I know this is hard for you. Is there anything I can do?" He felt badly for his friend.
"No, but thanks. How about you? Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. I sent my dad a telegram from Kimpo to let him know I wasn't coming home and I'll try calling him later." Hawkeye looked outside at the people walking by.
BJ watched Hawkeye for a minute or two. He knew that Hawkeye wasn't thinking about his father. It was obvious he was thinking about Margaret. Every time someone walked by the tent he knew Hawkeye was looking to see if it was her. "Have you seen her yet?"