In October, 1968, I reported to Germany as the noncommissioned officer in charge (NOIC) of all printing in Europe.
My first two trips to the base laundry, my uniforms disappeared.
My printers and I only wore our uniforms on special occasions like parades or reporting to our boss. We always wore fatigues, our work clothes, while working.
I talked to the German lady who ran the place, and she said a Vanover man picked up my uniforms and signed for them. I got his name and went looking for him.
I drove to his barracks and went inside. It was late in the day, and I knew he would be there unless he worked nights.
This young boy was sitting on his footlocker, reading his mail from home. The name Vanover was on his locker, and when he saw my name on my fatigues, he knew he was in trouble.
I gave him a good chewing out and told him that if he ever took another one of my uniforms he would be in the guardhouse.
We talked for some time. He was 19 years old from California, with no rank.
He never took another one of my uniforms.
(Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in Fairfield, Calif.)