By EVERETT VANOVER
In the late ‘50s, at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., I got home from work and my wife asked me to call Mary Ellen Mullins, a friend of ours from Bold Camp and my wife’s bowling buddy on her church team. Her husband was a master sergeant working on airplanes on base.
Mary Ellen told me a cousin of hers was trying to get to Pound on emergency leave because his grandmother, who raised him, had passed away and he was trying to get there for the funeral.
I called a friend of mine at our command post that took care of and knew where all of our aircraft were at all times, and we got the young airman a flight from Hickam Air Base, Hawaii, to Travis and he had a flight from Travis to Wright Patterson Field, Ohio, the closest they could get him to Pound.
Much later I got a call from the young airman and he had made it to Travis and I could tell he was crying when he told me he was bumped from the flight to Ohio by a general that was flying home on leave.
I asked him to put me on the phone with the person who bumped him from his flight. A young officer got on the phone to me from the aerial port and I told him who I was. I then told him that if the young man did not get on that flight with his emergency leave order that I would call my commander and that he was going to be in a lot of trouble, and I hung up.
The young airman called me back in a very short time and told me he was on the flight to Ohio and thanked me from the bottom of his heart. It pays to know people in high places.