October 1, 1971, my family and I were living in the Amelia Earhart Hotel in Wiesbaden, Germany, after the military had picked up our household goods. I drove my car to the port for shipment stateside.
My replacement had taken over my job at noncommissioned officer in charge of all offset printing in Europe. He was having a hard time in his new assignment. During his 18-year career, he had never had this much responsibility and this many workers.
He had worked for me before in the States. He was a good printer, but was having a lot of trouble with the large workload. I came in every morning to help him with his duties.
I had been in the military all my adult life, and was thinking about retirement. I had a job waiting for me in California. I only took the Pentagon assignment to please my wife. She wanted us to be near her family for the first time in my career.
In our last couple of days, I would take my young son Randy to the base mess hall. All the cooks knew me and would fix us anything we wanted to eat. They hated to see me leave. I left a lot of friends in Germany; my kids also left a lot of friends, both military and Germans.
My general asked me to stay another year.
October 5, 1971, my family and I boarded a plane at Rhein Main Air Base and left Germany.