When I arrived at Fort Wolters on August 27, 1964, was told that all transient quarters were taken. I went into Mineral Wells and got a room at the Holiday Inn. It was late afternoon, so I decided to wait until morning to sign in at Wolters.
Mineral Wells was not noted for its flourishing nightlife, so I went to the officers' club. I had a fine dinner, then went to the bar, which was packed, but I didn't see anyone I knew. Most of the officers were young and, I assumed, students going through flight training. There was the inevitable bevy of beautiful young women found at all service flying schools. I knew from years of experience that some would get lucky and their relationships would lead to marriage, whereas others would be disappointed when the men of their dreams completed training, never to be seen or heard from again. Not to worry, though; a new flight class would soon arrive with possibilities for new relationships.
I felt ill at ease. I was old enough to be the father of most people in the place. I had to change my attitude; I had to swim with the tide.
The next day I went to Wolters to sign in and find someone who could grant me an army aviator's rating. I had no idea who that might be or what I'd have to do. The Department of the Army hadn't given me the name of anyone to contact or an office to report to. The only orders I had were those assigning me to active duty at Fort Bragg. I concluded that my situation was absolutely insane.
I knew where flight operations was, but much had changed since I'd last seen the installation. I was troubled because I didn't see any familiar faces. I went into operations and was greeted by a civilian