It was in 1961 when I enlisted into the Air Force. Living in Quincy, Mass., at the time, 70-plus men including myself took our oath together inside the capital building in Boston. It was an exciting event because the Boston Globe wrote a front-page article about our group who enlisted at the same time and were to become USAF Air Policemen. We were named the "Minuteman Flight," enlisting on Patriot's Day, April 15, 1961.
That same day we were flown to Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio. It was a smooth flight filled with excitement by all. We shared stories of what to expect during training. It was dusk when we arrived on base. The military bus drove us to the mess hall for our first dinner. Dressed in our civilian clothes, including neckties, we were warmly welcomed and instructed to go to the tables, which had tablecloths and nice plates and silverware. It was awesome to say the least. While eating we began to make comments about how easy this was going to be, etc. Once we completed our meal, we were then ordered to form a line and exit the mess hall to the awaiting bus outside that would take us to the barracks. We were met by our new drill sergeant, who began screaming and staring at us. After that, the next five weeks seemed like hell on earth. After basic, we moved to the other side of the base to begin our Air Police training, which made basic seem easy.
It was a nice feeling at graduation. Excitement built up as to where we would be shipped out to. I received my first orders to report to the 6915th Radio Mobile Sq. in Hof, Germany. That turned out to be a nice assignment. After eight months, I was transferred to Det. 29 TUSLOG in Istanbul, where I stayed for about two years. I have many memories of Istanbul going on patrol, checking out all the off-limit areas. At times it was very tense. We were not allowed to carry firearms, only handcuffs and a billy club. We had a Turkish interpreter assigned to each of our shifts that went on patrol with us. Again, there are so many memories of Istanbul. After leaving Turkey, I was station at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, Calif. Three months later I received orders for a temporary three-month assignment to Holland. In Holland I mostly guarded F-100 fighter jets and missile bunkers. I enjoyed Holland but almost froze to death during some of the night shift's assignments. I was glad to return to Travis where I filled out the balance of my service time. It was April 1965 when I received my discharge. After four years of being a military policeman, I decided not to become a police officer. Instead I ended up becoming an accountant and a published author until I retired in 2010. My book is titled ADVANCED KNOWLEDGE by Robert A. Denman, available on Amazon.com. It is an 18-chapter sci-fi. Most of the story takes place in Turkey, which ties in to events that I experienced during my service there.