About "Buzz" Brighton[edit | edit source]
Colonel Brighton is a celebrated infantry commander. Featured in Stars and Stripes, he is tough and aggressive. Although hit by a sniper bullet, he only wants to be treated quickly and returned to his unit. He even wants to keep the bullet as a souvenir. He is also a "ringbanger". In conversation, he would bang his ring on a table to make a point and also to tell others that he is a West Point graduate. As Hawkeye observed, it is a reminder that he is a quarterback in the war and all the others are just water boys.
He is a frequent customer of the MASH. As Hawkeye puts it, every time he yells "Charge!", the surgery is standing room only. Looking after his regiment is like "making a house call at Custer's Last Stand". But Brighton is not concerned about excessive casualties. If a few good men have to be sacrificed to take a hill, that is merely the price that has to be paid. He feels that the war will not last forever and he only has a short while to score a feel points for himself.
Hawkeye and Trapper conclude that they must delay Brighton's return to his unit to try to reduce the suffering he is causing. However Frank and Margaret believe there is nothing wrong with him and want him discharged. Radar's research also indicates that he is super fit. At West Point, Brighton broke the all-time record for never being on sick call. However Radar also discovers that Brighton is none too good a commander - his regiment has had twice the number of casualties as any other unit while taking only half the ground.
Hearing this, Hawkeye and Trapper decide that Brighton needs to be sent home. They cook up an elaborate scheme to convince "Buzz" that he is suffering from battle fatigue and needs to return stateside for a rest. How this is done and how they finally succeed forms the main plot of the episode.