Whitesburg KY

Lyndon Johnson remembered me

The first time I saw Vice President Johnson was in 1960 at Arlington National Cemetery when I escorted the body of the first Air Force master sergeant who had been killed in Vietnam for his funeral. The Vice President and I talked for a great while.

The second time I saw him was May 9, 1961 while he was still Vice President. He landed at Travis Air Force Base in California and stayed for a couple of hours chatting with military and civilian personnel workers.

Two of my printers and I had been on a coffee break and were standing near him on the flight line. He kept looking at me, and finally came over to me.

He said, “ Sergeant Vanover, I remember you from our talk at the Arlington Cemetery last year.” He took my had and said, “It’s good to see you again.”

Six years later in 1967, then-President Johnson stopped at Travis on his way to the funeral of the Australian Prime Minister. He got off of Air Force One and went to the VIP lounge. He were there an hour while Air Force One refueled. I did not get to see him on that trip.

(Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in Fairfield, Calif.)

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