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Your Turn: Dr. Benjamin Franklin 'Hawkeye' Pierce

From MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors by Richard Hooker
Movie directed by Robert Altman
M*A*S*H television series created by H. Richard Hornberger

By Maureen Cruz

Brilliant and irreverent, Dr. Benjamin Franklin 'Hawkeye' Pierce was the voice of a generation at war — a generation and a war I was too young to understand when I was introduced to M*A*S*H at the age of about 10.

A womanizing, insufferably arrogant, borderline alcoholic, Hawkeye was a sight to behold. He had no patience for bureaucracy, no respect for authority and no capacity for commitment to any one woman. He was the Army's (and every father's) worst nightmare.

But he was also an adoring son, a loyal friend, and a doctor passionately dedicated to his patients — whatever side of the war they happened to be on. He was incapable of being anything other than brutally honest. He stood up for justice, for mercy, for life itself.

He was (almost) everything I ever wanted to be.

I raise my martini to you, dear Hawkeye. And I don't even drink.

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