I've started to rewatch M*A*S*H, and I'm absolutely in love with it. Right now, I consider it the best show I'm watching, and that means something.

Last night, I fast-forwarded to some of the more sensitive episodes and I was struck by Trapper's homesickness. In fact, I wrote this at about two in the morning, because I couldn't get it out of my head.

I can't imagine how horrible it must be to be fighting in a war you don't support, in a strange land, far away from your wife and your children. I hope I never know.

Anyway, this is my interpretation. I guess it sort of follows episode 2x23, "Mail Call", where Trapper receives a letter and a picture from home and contemplates deserting the army to see them again.


John "Trapper" McIntyre stared at the picture of his two young girls in his hand. God, it had been so long… Cathy was five now, Becky four. He'd missed both their birthdays now. He'd sent them a postcard with happy faces and bright colours (they did like their colours), accompanied by a more serious letter to his wife, but it didn't make up for not seeing the excitement on his daughter's faces as they blew out the candles on their birthday cakes, their delight at seeing the presents…

Some nights, he'd shoot up in bed after a dream so vivid he could've sworn he could smell the sweet smell of his wife's cooking, and he'd miss them so much it physically hurt. He'd feel a kind of nausea in his stomach and he'd be lightheaded, and when that happened he had to calm himself down with thoughts of being reunited with them when this damn war would be over.

Sometimes, he'd take a walk in the night, watch the stars and remember that 20,000 miles from here, his wife and his daughters could see the same stars, and he'd imagine them watching the sky as well and thinking about him. Maybe, if they all thought about each other, his wish could come true.

And when he'd return to the Swamp, Hawkeye would be there with a drink, or a listening ear, or both. On those occasions it was hard to recognize the day-to-day, sarcastic, frivolous Hawkeye in the man he was at night.

Sometimes, he was ready to simply walk out of that godforsaken camp. He just wanted to see his girls again, kiss his wife and forget about blood and war. He'd been halfway through packing twice before Hawkeye had stopped him with logic and strength and empty reassurances.

He wanted to hold his girls in his arms, watch them play, hear them talk. He wanted to read them their bedtime stories and watch them fall asleep, sensing a child's blind trust in her father. He missed their hugs and their smiles. He missed being a father to them.

He wanted to make love to his wife, over and over again, until he'd forgotten all the mess he was in now.
He just wanted to go home.

Hawkeye watched his friend with quiet sympathy as he stared at the picture in his hands. It was easy to forget that Trapper had a family back home; he rarely talked of them and certainly shared some of Hawkeye's interest in the nurses. But looking at him now, watching Trapper gaze wistfully at the picture of his daughters, Hawkeye was reminded of the fact that Trapper was, at heart, a family man – who'd been without his family for far too long. A man who simply missed his wife and his children.

A man who just wanted to go home.