A lot of events took place during the 11 years I was in charge of printing here at Travis Air Base, Calif. Travis is the largest military air transportation base in the world.
Elvis Presley landed his plane here to visit his then-girlfriend, Priscilla, who was my daughter’s classmate at the new high school on base. Priscilla lived a few blocks from our house. Her stepfather was in my outfit and worked in base operations next door to my office. Elvis made at least three trips here and the kids on base would go by Priscilla’s house to see if they could see Elvis.
As we all know, Elvis talked her parents into letting him take her back to Memphis, Tenn., and letting her finish school there.
When the Cuban trouble started, I had to move into the print shop with some of my printers, and work and sleep there until the trouble was over.
We printed war plans of what we would do if the U.S.S.R. brought its ships to Cuba. The Air Force took over a couple of highways in southern Florida to be used as runways for our planes if we went to war.
Then our president had us stand down.
During the Vietnam War, all equipment, supplies and personnel left from Travis Air Base on their way overseas. All returning troops came back to the states by way of Travis.
Our hospital, which was the second largest in the Air Force, was full of wounded troops from Vietnam. I was picked to escort the body of the first Air Force master sergeant who was killed in Vietnam, along with his wife and teenaged daughter, to Arlington Cemetery for burial.
That was a sad time for me and for his wife and daughter. During that war we had a lot of protestors at our main gates that tied up traffic for miles. My headquarters ran the base, and as a recent graduate of the Non-Commissioned Offi- cers Academy, my boss put me in charge of our airmen for a parade for the returning troops from Vietnam.
I lost a lot of my friends in that war, and some of those who returned will never be the same. At my Disabled American Veterans meetings, some of our members are not doing well.