In June 1950, the war started in Korea, and we were shorthanded of men and war equipment. Training bases had to be opened all over the U.S. to train men to go to war.
In December 1950 at the age of 21, I was assigned the newly established Sampson Air Force Base in Geneva, N.Y. to open the print shop.
Getting directions to this new base took some doing. It had been closed since World War II as a Navy base. I was one of the first to arrive. Only the mess hall, barracks and headquarters were in use.
This was part of my 27- year military career. Printing ended up being my specialty and we printed such things as secret war plans, various military forms, and orders for the men after training to their next assignment.
After the Korean War, Sampson Air Force Base closed and moved to other bases. First, Parks Air Force Base, Calif., in 1957, in charge of all printing on the West Coast and the Far East, for 11 years.
From there, my military career took me to Lindsey Air Station in Germany for three years, where I was in charge of all offset presses in Europe.
In December 1971, I went to work at the Pentagon Message Center and retired from there after 14 months.
I went back to California and worked at the printing department I had set up for a company eight years before I went overseas. I worked there until I was 81 years old.
Ink has played a big role in my life.
Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in Fairfield, Calif.