Whitesburg KY

Last 30 days in Germany

I was coming to the end of my three-year assignment at Lindsey Air Station, located in the center of Wiesbaden, Germany. We had no planes or runways; it was the garden spot of Germany.

Lindsey Headquarters was the largest building in the Air Force, and commanded all Air Force bases in Europe. I was the noncommissioned officer in charge (NCOIC) of all printing in Europe.

During my last 30 days, my replacement had arrived and after the first few days with him, I knew he was going to have a hard time filling my shoes. He had worked for me many years ago.

My general wanted me to stay another year, but my wife would have none of that talk. I would be assigned to the Pentagon near where her only brother and a couple of her sisters lived and worked.

She had not seen them in three years, and saw very little of them the 11 years we were in California.

I had to take our car to the port for shipment to Dover

Air Base in Delaware for my family when we arrived stateside.

The last five days my household goods were picked up at our quarters, and we moved into the Amelia Earhart hotel in Wiesbaden.

My printers gave my family and me a trip down the Rhine River on a tour boat. My boss had a big party at work for me. Many of these guys had worked for me for over 10 years

Our last day, they took us to Rhine Main Air Base for our flight to Dover Air Base in Delaware. My family waited at the terminal while I went outside the gates to pick up our car.

We drove to Springfield, Va., to my wife’s sister’s home. My wife and kids stayed a few days with her and I drove to Jenkins to see my parents.

It was nice to be home, but my Pentagon assignment was a big disappointment. After a year I retired after 27 years in the military and took a job waiting for me in California.

Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in Fairfield, Calif.

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