By Ray Stern
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The prostitutes slept around, dreaming they'd find an American who would marry them and bring them back to the States, Finkel says.
"Want to see a picture of an LBFM? I just happen to have one right here." Not waiting for an answer, he pops up and into the next room, returning with a large oil painting of a reclining nude. A very young nude.
"And for $8, that teenager is yours. And everyone else's on the base. I didn't like watching those people die."
He returns the painting to its hiding place; that's one souvenir his nurses won't let him display.
The Finkels moved on to Honolulu, where Brian completed his OB/GYN residency at Tripler Army Medical Center. It was an intense experience. Finkel recalls an episode where he delivered a stillborn baby and left it for the nurses to deal with. The hospital wasn't air conditioned and the windows were open, so by the time Finkel noticed that no one had taken care of the corpse it was covered in ants.
His worst delivery? He delivered a Korean woman's healthy baby, then left to do another. The problem came in when this "soft-butch dyke nurse," as Finkel describes her, insisted that the mother breast feed immediately.
"I deliver the baby and leave her with an intern. I said, 'Sew her up.' And Soft Butch comes in, she says, 'She's going to breast feed right now!' I said, 'I don't really want you to do that. I have six other deliveries I'm attending. I don't want you to do that--oh, fuck--do what you want.'
"Ten minutes later, I get a code blue to the delivery room. The Korean lady fell asleep and suffocated the baby when it was on her tit. Just put the kid on her tit, left the kid alone, and the kid's got this tit stuck up its mouth, and it can't breathe 'cause she fell asleep, and the kid's dead."
Yeah, Finkel's done and seen it all.
"Back in the good old days, honey, I could open a woman in less than a minute and a half," he boasts.
Finkel's supervisor at Tripler, retired Army Colonel Sam Chaney, remembers his former charge as a hard worker with a "different" personality. The two last spoke this spring when Finkel called Chaney, who now lives in San Antonio, to tell him to watch him on an upcoming edition of 20/20.
Much of Finkel's time in Hawaii was spent performing abortions.
"It was while I was working on the abortion floor that I learned that women will do whatever it takes to have an abortion," Finkel recalls.
The air-evac units came in twice a week, carrying American military personnel and family members from all over the Pacific.
"There'd be at least five or ten women a week that would leave their families in Korea or Japan or the Philippines or Okinawa, get on an airplane, cross three time zones, fly 8,000 miles or more each way just to see me and get their abortion," Finkel says.
He had no problem doing abortions, but Finkel dreamed of someday opening a practice where he could deliver babies and perform intricate, high-risk obstetrical procedures that would gain him renown in the medical community.
So after stints in Maine and Florida, Finkel left active duty in 1982 to settle in Phoenix, Arizona, with his young family and start a private practice in gynecology and obstetrics.
"This is where I keep all my toys," says Brian Finkel, twisting the dial of a safe that contains guns. The safe is in the closet off the master bathroom in his north Phoenix home, a custom-built, two-story job with that dusty pink cookie-cutter feel.
The family basset hound reclines on a nearby bath mat.
Diana, Finkel's wife, is downstairs cooking dinner.
After a few false starts, the safe door swings open, and the show begins. This guy even calls his guns "sweetheart."
"Got a Tech 9. Every gynecologist needs a Tech 9." Here's his first semi-automatic, "so I could have more rounds, 'cause they were bringing me more Christians."
There's a Smith and Wesson .40 and a few rifles, "for crowd control down at the office."
"Ya ever looked down a gun?" he asks. "C'mon, it's fun. . . . Pretend the Catholic hordes are after you."
Here's a Chinese assault rifle. "You know why I bought this one? Because I could. . . . And I also have armor-piercing bullets."
Leslie, Finkel's 17-year-old, bell-bottomed daughter, bounds up the stairs and announces she's going to the movies. They haggle over curfew, she's off, and Finkel is back to his sweethearts.
Here's the "classic girl chick gun" he bought for Diana. And here, he says, is his pride and joy: a handmade FBI sniper rifle. Finkel sets it up on the bed, points it toward the window, starts fiddling.
After a while he rises, puts the gun away and secures the metal shield that rolls down over the window, covering it completely.
"I'm not supposed to have the windows open after dark," Finkel says. "Becky doesn't like it."
Becky is Detective Becky Buckley, Phoenix Police Department, assigned to be a liaison between Finkel and the pro-lifers. After an abortion doctor was murdered last fall in New York, Finkel asked the police for some help. (Buckley declined to comment.)