|Corporal Howard Owens|
Corporal Howard Owens, not very excited about receiving his Purple Heart--it's his second one.
|Rank:||Corporal (E-3), U.S. Army|
|Job/Role in Unit:||wounded soldier who arrives at the 4077th|
|First appeared in:||"Smilin' Jack" (Season 4)|
|Last appeared in:||N/A, one-time appearance|
|Appeared on/or in:||M*A*S*H|
|Played by:||Dennis Kort|
About Corporal OwensEdit
As the episode opens, Corporal Howard Owens is travelling in a jeep with two other soldiers when they come under fire. They take refuge at the side of the road but Owens is hit. He is brought to the battalion aid station where he is given first aid and then airlifted to the 4077th by Lieutenant Smilin' Jack Mitchell.
After the operation, Owens is resting in Post Op when Frank comes in to wake him. B.J., who is on duty in Post Op protests that Owens needs sleep but Frank says that "some things are a leedle more important than sleep." Frank then reads Owens a citation and presents him with a Purple Heart. Owens doesn't appear very interested and tells Frank it is his second one.
Later, Owens seeks to talk to B.J. alone. He tells B.J. that he is terrified of returning to the war--which seems likely because he is recovering well. It is the second time he has been wounded. "Why don't I quit? Go AWOL? I just keep going back." He wonders if he has a death-wish but B.J. assures him he is not the self-destructive type.
Their conversation is interrupted when Radar comes in to tell B.J. that Smilin' Jack has just lifted off in his chopper against orders in order to ferry more wounded. B.J. rushes off and asks Radar to talk to Owens. "We were just talking about fear," B.J. says. "That's my best thing," Radar tells Owens.
Owens tells Radar how he has become conditioned to the sounds at the front. He startles when he hears a twig snap because he thinks some enemy troops are sneaking up to slit his throat. When he was at the 121st Evac hospital (during his previous injury) he found that the nurses wore rubber soled shoes which made exactly the same sound as the sneakers worn by the Chinese troops. Every time he heard the shoes squeak, he thought the Chinese troops were attacking. He couldn't sleep in the hospital at all.
Radar offers him his lucky four leafed clover. It's a little squished because he had it in his pocket when a jeep ran over him, "But mostly it works though." Owens is grateful and thanks Radar but asks if he can spare it. Radar says yes as he reckons Owens needs more luck than him.
A few days later, Owens leaves the MASH with Smilin' Jack (who has been grounded). Radar says his goodbye, advising him to stay low.