Doctor Benjamin Pierce, also known as Hawkeye, stepped out of the cab and into the hot, August sunshine. He paid the driver and looked at the crumpled paper in his hand. The address matched that of the small yellow house in front of him. He had just arrived in Yakima, Washington the day before, August first 1953. He surveyed the house before him. The grass was freshly trimmed and bordered with a quaint, white picket fence. Red carnations bordered the walkway and a large apple tree stood in the middle of the lawn, a swing hanging from it. Hawkeye opened the gate, but stepped back quickly as a small, border collie, puppy bounded towards him. He patted the dog's head gently and walked to the front door, knocking lightly before straitening his brown tie.
Hawkeye knocked again, and turned around in surprise as a young boy and girl bounced in the yard and headed for the tree.
"Are you looking for Miss Maggie?" the boy asked, Hawkeye guessed him to be around ten years of age.
"Margaret Houlihan." Hawkeye confirmed, smiling at Margaret's new title. "Is she home?"
"Yeah but she's in the backyard so she won't hear ya knockin'." The boy pulled himself into the tree and plucked and small apple off and bit into it.
"Are you a soldier?" he asked. Hawkeye laughed happily.
"Not anymore," Hawkeye said smiling to himself.
"Oh, well okay. You can go around through the gate, she won't mind."
Hawkeye smiled his thanks and walked around to the side fence. He opened it quietly and slipped around the house.
Hawkeye tentatively poked his head around the corner, his eyes searching for Margaret. He spotted her next to a barbecue, wearing white pedal pushers and a pink top.
"Come on Hawkeye, hurry up your dinner is ready." She shouted. Hawkeye stared at her back in surprise. That certainly wasn't the reaction he was expecting.
Suddenly the Border collie dashed around the corner, running to Margaret who poured some dry dog food into a small bowl.
"There you go Hawk," she said, patting the small dog's head.
Hawkeye Pierce grinned broadly. "What did he do to get a name like that?"
Margaret spun around, her mouth hanging wide open. All the color drained from her face as she leaned up against the wall for balance.
Hawkeye hurried to her, wrapping his arms around her in a comforting embrace. Margaret burst into tears, clinging to him helplessly. She couldn't believe that he was here, holding her like this. It had been over a year since she had seen him; it had been a year since that horrible night.