In the late 1960s the war was not going well for us in Viet Nam. They were asking for volunteers in the Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit.
The military were taking men from a lot of career fields and sending them to their school in Colorado for 14 weeks of training. When they found out that I had not been overseas in over 10 years, they picked me.
The military found out in my old records that I had volunteered for the Air Commandos during the Korean War in early 1950. They wanted me to go to the E.O.D. training and then I would be sent to Viet Nam as a supervisor of an Ordinance Disposal team.
I had just returned from Arlington Cemetery, where I took the body of an Air Force master sergeant who was killed in Viet Nam, and knew that I did not want to go to the war zone.
I had over 20 years of service at that time and knew I could pick my own assignments because of the time I had already served. I went to our personnel office and talked to the officer-in-charge, an old Kentucky buddy I knew for many years. He informed me that I would either have to retire or take an overseas assignment.
With me being a top supervisor in the printing career field, I could only go to three places: Europe, the Pentagon, or Travis Air Base, where I was now.
I told my friend that I would take the assignment to Europe because I had never been to that part of the world. A few days later he called me to tell me that I would be in charge of all the printing in Europe and would be assigned to Lindsey Air Station, Wiesbaden, Germany, for three years.
I received my orders within 30 days.
I was later told that the printing department at Travis missed this old Kentucky boy. The first year in Germany, eight of my printers from Travis asked to be assigned to me at Lindsey Air Station.