Hawkeye was joking around with the nurses in the mess hall when a solemn Potter walked in. "Pierce, my office, pronto."
"Has anyone ever told you you're quite the buzz kill?"
Hawkeye looked around awkwardly and with his tail tucked between his legs he followed the colonel to his office.
"What's going on? You caught me on a good day. Had two, possibly three dates lined up for the night."
"Hawkeye, sit down. You're going to hate me for what I'm about to say. Here have some scotch. I think you'll need it."
Hawkeye was now curious as to what had happened for the colonel to act like this. "Is this some kind of joke? I have to say your timing is mighty bad."
"Son," Potter started. When it started off like that then Hawkeye knew that Potter was serious.
"Do you want the good news or the bad news first?"
"Am I going home?" Hawkeye asked hopefully.
"As a matter of fact, you are."
Hawkeye jumped up and down, nearly spilling both of their drinks in the process.
"Sit down, son. Don't you want to know the reason you're going home?"
"Not particularly. And if you ask me if I care what the reason the answer will be the same."
"Son, there's no easy way to break this to you. Do you remember the reason Radar left?"
"Yeah, the lucky dog..."
"Do you call a hardship discharge lucky?"
Suddenly serious, it was starting to sink in what Potter was trying to tell him. "Are you trying to say that I'm also leaving on a hardship discharge?"
With tears in his eyes, Potter nodded.
No more words were spoken. None were needed. Hawkeye knew what this meant...he was needed at home. His father was gone, and for the first time in his life, he was speechless.