At the end of the Korean War, I was asked to take over the printing department at the only training base in California, the Parks Air Base in Dublin, where the military police were trained for all Air Force bases.
My first week on my new base I ran into Rodney Gallion of Joe’s Branch, a childhood buddy of mine. I got him the job that he worked at for 22 years.
The printing department was in the basement of base headquarters. I had trained a couple of the eight printers working there and would lose a couple of men when they were discharged in a couple of months.
I had trouble from the first day I reported in. An older warrant officer from World War II who worked in the publication department next door, had the habit of walking into our shop like he owned the place. We were shorthanded, but he would stand around and talk to my printers for hours.
I called him into my office and told him that I did not want him to bother my men while they were working. We had lots of classified work and I did not know if he was cleared or not.
He said, “Boy, I outrank you. Who do you think you are talking to?”
Our boss upstairs was Colonel Wilson, who was my boss from my last base. I went to see him, told him what was going on, and asked him for a transfer. I found out that the old soldier, the warrant officer, had a lot of pull.
The colonel told me a new assignment had just come in and said that I could have it if I wanted to leave.
Higher headquarters wanted someone in my field to take over printing for all the Pacific at Hickam Field in Hawaii. I took the assignment.
It was one of the best moves I ever made. I got overseas pay, as Hawaii was not yet a state. My new boss liked my work, and I was promoted to tech sergeant within a few months.
I worked in that assignment overseas and stateside for the next 13 years.
(Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in Fairfield, Calif.)