"It's made me very, very angry." BJ admitted, his tone dripping with bitterness.
Hawkeye and BJ exchanged sad smiles as on screen Charles replied. "Well, it's allowed me to work fairly closely without becoming contaminated with people of vastly diverge points of view."
"Why, Charles, how very pompous of you to say." Hawkeye retorted, shooting the other man a teasing look.
"I've learned more about myself and how much I really care about people." Margaret replied thoughtfully. Then after a brief pause she added. "I feel as old as I'm ever going to get, older than I ever intended to be. And, um, I really can't wait to go home."
"I feel as old as I'm ever going to get, older than I ever intended to be. And, um, I really can't wait to go home."
Trapper and Frank both looked at Margaret with surprise at her sincere confession.
"Why Margaret Houlihan." Trapper exclaimed in a tone showing his intense surprise. "I never thought I would ever here those words from the Major who thought it was such a great honor to fight for her country."
"Neither did I." Frank echoed, his tone disgusted.
Margaret regarded both men for a moment, a soft smile playing at the corners of her mouth. "At first it was an honor to fight for my country." She admitted seriously. "To be a woman with the rank of Major in what was considered a man's army was a great honor, but after a while that novelty wore off. After about two years of that 'honor' I was ready to go home." She glanced at her fellow comrades and added. "We all were."
The others nodded their agreement as Clete asked Hawkeye. "When this is all over, when there's no more reason for you to be here, what memories will you take home with you?"
"That's easy." Hawkeye replied seriously. "The face of every kid that's come through here."
"But there must be other things that you will recall." Clete pressed, looking at Hawkeye expectantly.
"I don't know." Hawkeye responded slowly, his tone thoughtful. " I don't think that you really remember the bad stuff as much as you think you will. I think, uh, that I'll never forget the day I go home. But at the moment I can't imagine it."
"The little Korean children." Mulcahy replied with a small smile. "Their smiles amidst all this despair."
Hawkeye couldn't help but glance down at his daughters who sat on the floor at his feet eagerly watching the film being played. He was so thankful that they didn't have to grow up in the same conditions that those poor Korean children had faced ten years earlier. He sincerely hoped that none of the children in front of him ever had to witness the horrors that war caused.
"All the good times." Klinger replied seriously. "That's what I'll remember." After a short pause he added. "I think there were three."
"What these young people have, their dedication, their devotion almost, their high spirits has rubbed off on me." Potter commented, his tone full of deep admiration for his comrades. "I feel ten years younger. I'm a better doctor, and most important a better human being. And, ah, I don't have to remember that, it's part of me."
Hawkeye and BJ reached over and squeezed their former CO's shoulder affectionately while Margaret flashed him a warm smile.
On screen Radar was replying. "One day, one very bad day."
"At least that day didn't turn out as bad as we thought." Hawkeye commented, smiling at Henry. With a gentle chuckle he added. "I still can't believe that you're here. I never in a million years would have guessed that you were the surprise that Radar said was coming." Then looking at Radar he asked. "How did you ever find out that Henry was alive and well and not fish bait at the bottom of the Sea of Japan?"
"I was going to call Mrs. Colonel Blake and invite her to the party." Radar replied seriously as he related the tale. "When the number that I had for the Blake's didn't work I called the operator in Bloomington and she gave me a new listing for a Dr. Henry Blake, so I called the number." He glanced at Henry for a moment before he continued his story. "You can't imagine my surprise when the voice that responded was that of the Colonel's."
Hawkeye chuckled and glanced around the room as he replied. "Oh, I think we have a pretty good idea of how surprised you were." The others chuckled in agreement.
"Anyway, once I finally was able to speak I found out the whole story." Radar continued. "Then we hatched the idea of having his arrival be a surprise."
"Well, it was the best surprise we could have ever gotten." Trapper commented with a large smile.
"For sure." The others commented, echoing their agreement.
On screen Hawkeye's voice could be heard over the din of other camp activity. "...blood and it's all red and there's an awful lot of it leaking out around here."
"There's no way to summarize what you've just seen and heard save to say that God willing all these exceptional people will be going home one day." Clete Roberts commented in conclusion. "Let us hope that neither they, nor any others will ever have to assemble for such a purpose again. Goodnight."
As the screen went dark Hawkeye murmured "Amen." In agreement to Clete's final words. The others echoed their agreement.
After the film finished Radar stood up and faced his friends. "We have one final bit of entertainment for you folks. It's in the form of a home movie and it was prepared by Klinger and Soon-Lee. So, without further ado, I'll let Klinger introduce it."
Setting the projector going Klinger commented. "Ladies and gentlemen, I'm proud to present the first ever Max Klinger Fashion Extravaganza."
"The what?" The audience exclaimed in surprise and then exploded in hearty laughter as they watched their old friend step through a doorway dressed in a Scarlet O'Hara gown, complete with hat, purse and parasol.
"I don't believe it!" Hawkeye exclaimed as his body shook with uncontrolled laughter. "This is incredible!" Trapper remarked, his eyes wide with disbelief as he again succumbed to hearty laughter.
"This is insane!" BJ chimed in as his laughter mingled with his friends'.
Klinger's voice cut through the riotous roar as his other self started showing off his attire. "This outfit is a must for any loony Corporal in search of a Section Eight discharge. Complete with ruffles and frills its bound to convince any commanding officer that you've lost your mind."
"Almost any commanding officer!" Potter exclaimed as the crowd applauded in appreciation as Klinger disappeared through the door.
A moment later he reappeared dressed in a nurse's uniform and high heeled shoes. "When you work in a hospital you need to be sure to have the appropriate uniform." Klinger continued. "No crazy corpsman is properly dressed without a classic nurse's uniform. And it's also a great hit with the patients as well." At that moment Soon-Lee stepped over to her husband dressed in a bathrobe, a bandage wrapped around her head. Leaning up she planted a kiss on his cheek and then smiled at the camera. Again the crowd applauded as the Lebanese model disappeared through the door, this time his arm wrapped tightly around Soon-Lee's waist.
Klinger was delighted that his little fashion show was receiving such an eager reception. He'd hoped that his friend's would appreciate it.
"On those beautiful romantic evenings, the crazy Corporal will want to be sure to have this little backless beauty." Klinger continued his dialogue as his on screen self appeared wearing a backless black dress and a string of beautiful pearls.
"Just make sure to shave your back!" Hawkeye exclaimed as Klinger turned his back to the camera to show the lack of material and the overabundance of hair.
"And if dresses don't work in convincing your CO your lack of sanity." The narrator continued. "Surely he can't resist the power of God." As the onscreen Klinger appeared through the doors dressed in a stripped robe carrying a tablet and staff and sporting a long white beard.
"Moses, right!" Potter exclaimed as laughter exploded around him. When he could finally speak again he admitted. "I don't know, Klinger that outfit may have gotten you that Section Eight."
"It's got my vote." Sydney chimed in with a hearty chuckle.
"Are you serious, sirs?" Klinger exclaimed, his tone rising with distress. "You mean you would have actually given it to me if I'd have shown you that outfit?"
"What? Are you crazy?" Sydney exclaimed, pretending to be surprised he'd even think such a thing.
"Figures!" Klinger chuckled, realizing he'd been had.
The others chuckled in amusement at the joke. The laughter was suddenly interrupted by a sharp yelp from Margaret, which caught everyone, including herself by surprise.
"Margaret are you okay?" Hawkeye asked in a concerned tone. Margaret didn't reply at first, keeping her eyes and her fists tightly clenched. "Margaret?" Hawkeye pressed, his blue eyes brimming over with concern.
When Margaret could finally speak she opened her eyes and looked at her husband. With a gentle smile she announced. "I think somebody is about to become a daddy again."