I was a computer
programmer and systems analyst with the Air Force Systems Command stationed at Andrews AFB in Suitland, MD outside Washington, D.C. from 1963 to
1967. I was living in the barracks on
the base on November 22nd, 1963 when all non-military personnel and all military personnel not living on the base were required to
leave the base immediately. Those of us living on the base went directly to the flight-line where the Air Force One hangar was located, and watched
when Air Force One came back from Dallas
and landed with Jackie Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson on board.
Days later, I put my uniform on including what we called a "horse blanket" (my heavy Air Force coat) because it was the only warm clothing I had, and went to the US Capitol where President Kennedy was lying-in-state. I started at the end of the line at 11 PM. The line was about 10 people wide. I very slowly walked east in the line 12 blocks down A Street, one block south, and then west five blocks on East Capitol Street toward the capitol. By this time it was about 4 AM, the line was about 18 people wide going across both lanes of the street, my back was hurting, and I was ready to give up. Right about then, a US Navy chief was walking along the line, saw me, and said, "Airman, all military personnel in uniform go to the head of the line. Come with me." He took me to a lower doorway in the capitol, we went up a spiral stairway, and I entered the US Capitol rotunda.
Air Force One
The following two images have nothing to do with my time in the Air Force, except that I enjoy seeing the USAF Thunderbirds every chance I get.