My worst assignment? That’s easy — it has to be the Pentagon. I’ve never had a job where you almost had to fight your way through the war protestors to get to your duty station.
I found you were not safe when you got inside the Pentagon.
I had not been there long when I was in my office at the Communications Center, sitting at my desk when a bomb went off in the men’s bathroom across the hall from my office, and knocked me out of my chair.
A female janitor had a bomb in her mop bucket and set it off inside a commode.
We were on the third floor, and the first, second and third floor bathrooms are built on top of each other. When the bomb went off the water went straight down. What a mess.
The alarm went off and the Pentagon went to total lockdown. The fire and police trucks are run by electricity and are kept inside the Pentagon.
Our Communications Center, in the largest wing of the Pentagon, was shut down for the first time since anyone could remember. My people, myself included, did not know what had happened.
When the first-floor elevator was opened up by our police force, there was the lady janitor, standing there with her mop bucket.
My people and the two young officers who did our decoding were looking at me for guidance. I knew then that I was in trouble.
I went into the office of our commander, who was gone for the day. He had some papers under glass on his desk that told what to do in case of what had happened.
I moved a couple of knobs and our Communications Center came alive. My people told everyone I was a hero.
I knew then that I would not be working at the Pentagon.
Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in Fairfield, Calif.