Saturday, February 04, 2006

The last M*A*S*H unit is shut down

The US military announced today that the last Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) will be shut down and donated to Pakistan. This would probably mean nothing if it hadn't been for a book, a movie and a TV series which made MASH units famous.

Richard Hooker (born: H. Richard Hornberger) wrote the novel M*A*S*H in 1968, based on his experiences in Korea as a MASH surgeon. He had no interest in selling the rights to make either the movie or the TV series but was urged to do so by an alumnist from his former prep school, producer Howard Koch.

The Army is replacing MASH units with smaller casualty surgical hospitals that sit closer to battlegrounds and the wounded, said Rear Admiral Michael LeFever, who is commanding the U.S. military's Disaster Assistance Center in Pakistan. Doctors in the new smaller units make quick decisions in the field and stabilize patients before flying them to bigger hospitals, he added.

Hmmm... I wonder what they're doing with the still?

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