In Burdine School and the little time I went to high school in Jenkins, I knew all my classmates and most of their families.
Then I went into the military. I went from being a young teenager to becoming a man overnight, with people I did not know from Adam. I would give anything if I’d stayed in school and got my education with my classmates.
You students, stay in school and get all the education you can get.
During my military education courses, at first I had a hard time. I was very shy and would not ask for help. The thing that saved me was having an instructor from my home state of Kentucky assigned to our class.
He saw me having the same problems he went through when he first came into the military. He took me under his wing and helped me to develop into the person I am today. I owe him an awful lot.
That man was discharged, went to law school with the veterans benefits and later became a judge in Kentucky.
Many years later I had a first sergeant working for me in the printing department at Travis Air Force Base in California, and when his dad, my first instructor and now a judge in Louisville, found out I was his son’s boss, he called me to thank me for taking care of his son.
When I reported to my new assignment in Germany and got off of the plane at Rhine Marine Air Base, I went to the NCO Club to wait for my ride to my new base and get me something to eat. My first sergeant was there playing the slot machine, and when he found out I was going to be his boss again as the non commissioned officer in charge of all printing in Europe, he was tickled pink.
We served together for the next three years, then I was assigned to the Pentagon.
Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in Fairfield, Calif.