Born too late
It was the worst time our country had seen for a long time. It wasn't being called a war and yet villages were being bombed, men were being sent away from home to fight and people were dying.
I had just finished Nursing school when I learned that I would be sent overseas to help in a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital Unit, otherwise known as a MASH unit. I was petrified and yet proud to be able to help the doctors save the brave soldiers who were fighting the enemy.
Upon completing a short training session I was thrown in with others who were preparing to join the thousands of Americans who had been sent to Korea. The barracks were buzzing with excitement as our departure date grew close. Rumors of a handsome, young surgeon with an eye for the ladies made it's round. Every young woman in camp had heard about the famous Dr. Benjamin" Hawkeye" Pierce. Talk of his flirtatious ways, his roving eye, his wild sense of humor and his brilliant surgical work was on almost every nurses lips.
Everyone wondered if he really was as naughty as the rumors had made him out to be.
When the word came down that I would be joining the 4077, I was frightened to say the least. Not only did they have Hawkeye Pierce, but they also had the reputation for being one of the best MASH units and they were closest to the front lines. The one saving grace was there was talk of that " police action " not lasting much longer.
When I first arrived it was in the middle of a rush of casualties so there was no real welcome. Immediately I was thrown into my work. The first 36 hours in my new home away from home were spent on my feet helping out wherever I could. A funny little man did his best to show me around but there was not much time for pleasantries. When it finally settled down all I wanted to do was sleep for as long as possible. However, after only a four hour nap, I was awakened by the head nurse and shown around the camp.
Margaret Houlihan was a nice enough person but was more of an Army soldier than any man I had ever met. She knew her job and she did it, no questions asked, no excuses allowed. Still I did see a soft side to her now and then during my brief stay. The commander of this unit was a gentle older man who stood for no nonsense in the operating room but could tell a joke that would have tears running down your face in the middle of the compound. The company clerk, who I spoke of earlier was an ethnic man who took great pride in being different. He seemed to slip in and out of more places unseen than anyone can imagine. Yet when he wanted you to know he was there, he could not be missed!
The doctors were all hard working and very good at what they did,still there was one that stood out above all the others ; the elusive Dr. Benjamin Franklin Pierce, otherwise known as Hawkeye.
It wasn't long before I learned that the rumors preceding my visit were not far from wrong. He was indeed a charmer and a ladies man to boot. Yet his accomplishments as a doctor was far more outstanding than I imagined.