I opted for a one-year assignment in Korea with a return to Fort Rucker. Mike, Patty, and Jean were married by the time I left, so Ethel had only John to care for. She arranged to stay with her parents while I was gone. It was a perfect chance for John to get to know his grandparents, and they were delighted to have their daughter and grandson coming for an extended visit.
I had no idea what kind of assignment I'd be given in Korea until I received a call from Ron Perry. He was a captain when we were assigned to Special Forces in 1964. Ron was now a colonel working with the UH-60 Blackhawk program.
" Mike, I hear you're headed for a year's tour in Korea. I've got a friend over there who could use an experienced aviation safety officer. Are you interested?"
"Ron, I'm not familiar with the army's aviation setup in Korea. Who's the friend and why would he want me?"
"The commander of the 2d Infantry Division is Major General Morris J. Brady. He's had some bad experiences with his aviation units. He lost five aircraft and had three fatalities recently."
"Ron, that's not bad luck, that's a disaster. What's he been doing to correct the situation, and why do you think I could help him?"
"I know him and I know you. You're unforgiving bastards who have reputations for kicking ass when necessary. You both get things done." He asked me again if I was interested.
"Maybe. How does he feel about me being his aviation safety officer?"
" Mike, he's asked me for help, and I think you can do the job for him. If you agree, I'll let him know you'll take the assignment."