2017-11-01 / News

Just wanted to talk to the Pentagon


When I was assigned to the Pentagon and was in charge of the largest communication center in the world, one of my first calls was from my old boss in Germany. He said he just wanted to tell everyone he had just talked to the Pentagon.

I had worked part time for eight years at Syar Industries in Napa, Calif., while assigned to Travis Air Force Base and would work for them again until I was 81 years old after I retired from the military. My boss at Syar would call me many times, asking me when I’d be back to work for them. He would tell his employees he had just talked to the Pentagon.

I had a call from a large company asking about one of my men who wanted a job with it. I told him that Sergeant Dickerson was one of my best workers, and was the fastest male typist that ever worked for me.

I received a call from the owner of his company, telling me he was a little nervous talking to the Pentagon, and that he was sending papers for Dickerson to fill out, and that he had the job.

Sergeant Dickerson had gone to school with the country singer Patti Page, and had introduced me to her at the NCO Club at Sampson Air Base, New York, during the Korean War when she came and sat at our table on my 22nd birthday when she was the headliner that night. She asked me to dance with her, and she sang “Tennessee Waltz” in my ear as we danced. She later gave me a birthday kiss. I was in hog heaven.

Before I retired, I got another call from Dickerson’s boss, telling me that he was the best worker he ever had, and he wanted to thank me.

Again, there’s the “phone call to the Pentagon.”

Many folks from my part of the country never knew of anyone who had worked at the Pentagon before.

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

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