Early one morning I got a phone call from my wife at the base hospital at Travis Air Force Base, telling me our one-year-old son was very sick and that she had been there for some time at the emergency sick call. She wanted me to come to the hospital and help her with our son.
I asked her where she was calling from, and she said she was in a doctor’s office and he let her use the phone. I asked her to read the nameplate on his desk. I knew most of the doctors assigned to our hospital.
When she told me his name I knew that I had just called him the day before, and knew that he had just been promoted to major. I had the orders on my desk to be printed and couldn’t tell him, because he might get me in trouble for telling him early.
I asked to speak to him, and when he found out who I was he said, “Sgt. Vanover, what can I do for you?”
I told him that my young son needed to be examined by a doctor to see what was wrong with him. He told me that my son would be taken care of.
My wife later called me from our quarters on base to tell me our son was asleep in his bed and was feeling fine. She said that the doctor picked up our son, took him into a room, examined him and then put him in a tub of water with ice cubes.
After I finished talking to my wife, I picked up the office promotions, printed them, and took the first 10 copies to the base hospital. I walked up to the office of the doctor who had helped my son, and handed them to him.
I never saw anyone as happy as my new friend, the doctor. I had never met him in person before, but had talked with him on the phone.
During peacetime, promotions were very hard to come by. The doctor knew he was very lucky.