Some folks from Letcher and Wise counties have been in touch with me and want me to write more about home than about all the places I have served in the military and have lived.
These people don’t realize that I have been away from home since January 1946, except for leave time, and before and after my tours overseas.
Counting the eight times I was in Hawaii before it became a state, I’ve had 11 overseas tours.
I love the mountains of Letcher County. Most of my kin are from southwestern Virginia and eastern Kentucky.
I miss my friends, classmates and kinfolks very much. If I were younger, I would be living there now.
It has surprised me to find out that some of the good people of Letcher County think that I have done a fair job of writing stores for The Mountain Eagle these last couple of years.
The only thing I ever wrote before was reports on the people who worked for me and the reports I had to write for the Inspector General’s office after I was asked to go on a tour with their team to our bases all over the world to see what we could help them with.
Over the years I have tried to keep in touch with people back home, but later in my life my late wife took over writing to my parents and kin. I went many years without writing home.
I have served through many wars, and my being in charge of printing for the headquarters that ran our base, and sometimes our whole command, took up most of my time.
During wartime we were always open 24/ 7, and I was key personnel that was always on call, day or night.
I sometimes got a call from my boss to be at the flight line to take off for some other part of the world that was having trouble with their printing equipment.
I have had the Jenkins Police Department come to the head of Can Branch to tell me to call my base at Travis while I was on leave.
One time, while my basketball team was playing a game on another base in California, this big Military Police officer came to the gym and told me my base wanted me back there now, and that a plane was standing by to take me to Travis Air Force Base.
I was one of the few men in the Air Force who could repair most of the printing equipment used by the military.
I have been putting ink on paper for almost 65 years, and worked until I was 81 years old. I would do it all over again.
Miss the military and all the camaraderie with the men. I get together with other veterans every chance I get .
My last job tells me it is costing them an arm and a leg for the cost of their printing needs since I retired. They would like for me to come back to work for them.
I will be 83 on Thanksgiving Day. I think my printing days are over.