After my last duty at Hickam Air Base in Hawaii, I was assigned to the largest office building in the world at that time. I was in charge of the printing department in the Pentagon.
When I walked into this place and was met by my new boss, he took me to a large room on the third floor. He opened the door and inside were about 50 people sitting in seats. The General told everyone I was their new boss.
I was just getting used to my new job when the General told me our commanding officer, the President, wanted to see me in the White House.
I was taken to the White House, and the President said that he knew I had trained many new men in the Air Force, and could I train his Air Force One’s crew how to march in formation.
When the President went to another state or country, and when his men got off of the plane, they may have a parade, and all would join in.
His men were such poor marchers he wanted to know if I could help them.
The President said he knew I had trained a lot of men while I was in the service. He asked me to train his crew to become good marchers.
The Noncommissioned Officers Academy at McCoy Air Base in Orlando, Fla., had just started a five-week course, and they told me I could join them with the Air Force One’s crew.
I trained them the five weeks, and they were so glad they could now march with the best of them.
I was asked by the academy if we would like to take a little trip with them before we went back to our base. I told them to lead us on.
Three busloads of us drove about 50 miles south to where the first shot into space was done, right in front of us, by the Air Force.
I would retire soon, but the President and the Air Force One’s crew never forgot this old boy.
(Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in California.)