I recently received a call from a young airman I trained many years ago into the printing career field. At that time in his life, he did not know what he wanted to do with his life.
Growing up, his father was a schoolteacher in a little town in Kentucky where he taught until he retired.
This young man dropped out of college and joined the Air Force during the Vietnam War. He was assigned to Germany. We played sports together at Travis Air Force Base, California. He was our high scorer on our basketball team.
I’m sitting at my desk in Germany, and this airman walks into my office a couple of months after I was assigned as noncommissioned officer in charge ( NCOIC) of printing for Europe. He told me that I was not getting away from him that easily.
He worked for me the rest of his four-year enlistment.
I talked him into taking courses and finishing college. I also introduced him to a young lady who was in the military who worked in another department for me. I later gave her away at their wedding when her mother could not make the trip from Virginia.
The call he made to me was to thank me for helping him get his education, promoting him three times, being the best boss he ever had, and introducing him to his future wife.
He had just retired as a professor of a major college in the East. He told me that I really turned his life around.
I told him I was very proud of him, and to keep in touch with me.
Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in Fairfield, Cal.