2017-10-18 / Opinions

I received a call from the Pentagon


A couple of days after the terrorists attacked the Pentagon, a young sergeant who worked for me during my time at the Pentagon and who was now a civilian, called to tell me about the attack.

In 1973 he would be getting out of the military. He came into my office while I was processing for my retirement.

He wanted to know if I could get him a job in the Pentagon, as he wanted to stay in the area since he had married a lady who lived nearby. I told him I would see what I could do.

I knew the Air Force Chief of Staff who had an office in the Pentagon, and whom I’d known for over 20 years since we had been in the same headquarters at Hickam Field, Hawaii in the 1950s.

He and other officers would challenge the sergeants to a game of softball, and we always won. He always looked me up when he came to a base where I was assigned.

I went to his office to let my sergeant take over his job as a civilian when he was discharged. My friend said that he would take care of it. He told me he was going to miss me after all these years.

I recently read an article in my Air Force paper about the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, held at Fort George G. Meade in Maryland. (The first military base I walked on as a young teenager on my first day in the military.)

Senior military and civilians came together to honor those who had died, the survivors, and the families left behind.

On that day, 184 people lost their lives in the halls of the Pentagon and on American Airlines Flight #77. That was a very sad day for me.

My young sergeant, and later as a civilian, worked in my old department for over 30 years.

(Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in Fairfield, Calif.)

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