INT. POST OP – NIGHT
Rich is LYING in bed writing a letter to his parents. He writes the date then “Dear Mom and Dad.” Potter steps INTO view and sits down next to Rich.
Howdy, Texas. (re letter) Be sure to remind them to clean up your room. You’re going home soon…Now that you’ve got that pad, we can finally have a talk. Which part of the Lone Star you hail from?
Rich scribbles “San Antonio” then hands the pad to Potter.
(handing the pad back) You don’t say. Took my medical training at Fort Sam Houston. Good ‘ole San Antone. A bowl of chili down there would keep you alive for days.
Nurse Baker walks up.
Uh, Colonel you forgot to sign this chart.
I didn’t forget. I’ll sign it on the way out. Now shoo!
Rich quickly scribbles “you okay?” on the pad and hands it to Potter, who reads it, then looks at Rich.
I guess it shows, huh?
Rich SHAKES his head yes.
It’s Mildred, my wife back home. Lovely gal. We’ve been married thirty-five years as of last Saturday. Every anniversary, no matter where I am, I manage to call her. Tell her how much I…well, you know. This year…This year I clean forgot. My thoughts are so filled with this damn war that I forgot her on our most important day. I just can’t forgive myself for missing it.
Rich scribbles “call her” on the pad, hands it to Potter, who reads.
I’d like to, son. Even picked up the phone about twenty times. But there’s just no excuse my forgetting. I don’t know what to say to her.
Potter is a little misty-eyed. Hawkeye ENTERS and approaches Rich’s bed.
Potter gets up and moves by Hawkeye.
Excuse me, Pierce.
(calling after him) Colonel?
Potter ignores him and EXITS. As Hawkeye walks away, Rich rattles the pad to get his attention. Hawkeye turns to him. Rich beckons him over.
What? What is it?
Rich scribbles “Forgot his anniversary,” and hands it to Hawkeye.
Oh, so that’s what’s been getting under Dr. Jekyll’s hide.
Charles ENTERS holding a book.
All right, Pierce, admit it. You broke into my footlocker and read through my personal diary, didn’t you, Swine?
Charles, in all the times I’ve broken into your footlocker, I never looked at your diary.
Then who drew these faces in the margins?
It’s dry reading. You need illustrations.