On Monday morning I was to report to my First Sergeant’s office. I got plenty drunk that weekend, determined to give the outward appearance that I was unaffected. Inwardly I was devastated. My mind was beset with fear; I couldn’t stop wondering what was in store for me. I couldn’t tell if I was shaking from withdrawal or from sheer panic when the hour of my reckoning arrived and I dressed for my meeting with the Commander and First Sergeant. The main supply building was about a three mile walk from the dormitory; the walk was welcome on this day. Anxiety was high as I approached the loading dock and made my way to the personnel office. I was told that the Shirt (slang for First Sergeant,) was in Colonel Grubb’s office waiting for me. It was a short distance to the Commander’s office, and I was instantly before my judge and jury, being told to take my place before them. I was certain they could see my blood course underneath my pale skin, watch my heart beat beneath my camouflage top and smell the fear emanate from my pores, along with the alcohol that I’d consumed the night before. The Shirt spoke first. He instructed me to hand over my line badge. Surely he had misspoken; a line badge is necessary for access to the flight line, which is where my work area was located. I loved my job, and it would seem he was taking it from me. I worked in one of the the Aircraft Generation Squadrons, ordering and issuing aircraft parts to the mechanics who put our jets in the air. I was part of the lifeblood of the mission, right in the thick of the cold war. He simply couldn’t do this to me. But he could, and he was. I reached inside my top and unclipped the badge from it’s place close to my breast, taking it from where it hung around my neck. Tears started to fall from my eyes and down my cheeks as I pushed it across the table toward him. I was sure he was going to take my career next.