When I received orders for Germany I would be leaving the printing department that I had set up 11 years earlier.
My headquarters had moved back from overseas and took command of Travis and all bases in the Far East. I was to put all printing equipment under one roof and become their first consolidated printing supervisor.
My family and I would be leaving a lot of friends and my printers I had trained when they got out of basic training. My kids would leave all the kids they went to school with all those years.
My one-man print shop I set up years ago for this company would lock their doors until I returned in three years to work there full time when I retired.
In Germany, I was working in the Air Force headquarters as noncommissioned officer in charge (NCOIC) of all offset printing in Europe.
One morning I’m sitting at my desk and I look up and one of my printers from Travis was standing in front of me, grinning from ear to ear. He tells me that he would not be the only one who would be coming to Germany, that most of the printers had put in for duty in Germany to be with their old boss again.
This young airman started dating one of my female military workers in one of my other departments. They came to me later to tell me that they wanted to get married, and wanted my help.
Her mother could not come from the States for the wedding, and she wanted me to give her away. I agreed to do as they wished. Many days I practiced saying, “I give this young lady away for her mother in the States.”
When asked at the church on base, “Who gives this lady away?” I froze for a few seconds, until my wife poked me in the ribs. I said, “I do, for her mother, who is in the United States.”
I was so glad when everything was over with. I had been so nervous I could hardly talk.
(Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in Fairfi eld, Calf.)