Since high school, Matt had not done well keeping in touch with his childhood best friend, Mike Clark, who had been a corpsman and functioned as an operating room scrub tech at the 85th Evacuation Hospital in Vietnam. Mike was now a certified operating room tech at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and was sought after by the hospital surgeons for the difficult cases due to his Vietnam experience and unflappability.
Mike had dark hair with a sturdy muscled build on a five-foot-ten frame. He was intelligent, observant, and had excellent powers of deduction. The sciences were his favorite subjects in school and becoming a chemical engineer was considered. His complexion was ruddy from all the time he spent outdoors, hunting, and fishing.
He and Matt had grown up a few blocks apart in the Milwaukee suburb of Brookfield and had played football on its high school team. Matt was a blocking back that opened space for Mike as the tailback to run through. They were tight and inseparable until they attended separate two-year community colleges. Following their college graduations in 1969, both had immediately volunteered for the Army to fight in Vietnam. Neither knew where the other went for basic and specialty training. Letters from home informed Matt that Mike was a corpsman in Vietnam. Matt had considered himself lucky to be finally out of the boonies and at the 12th Evac.
Time passed, families grew, and careers evolved. Up until now, they had communicated infrequently until Matt, in August of 1983, considered returning home to Wisconsin and accepted a position as the assistant editor of the Milwaukee Inquirer. By this time, Mike was the Chief of Support Services for cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and was delighted to have Matt back in his life.
They immediately rekindled their close relationship. Mike became a mentor and advised Matt and his family on housing, banking, lawyers, and schools. I
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