I woke up the next morning and prepared to go the office. I was just going out the door when the cell phone rang. "Hello Chip, what can I do for you?"
"It's not Chip. It's Tim. Chip cried all night. He is sure that you hate him. Do you?"
"No," I answered.
"Good, I'll tell him. Are you still on for tennis at 5:45?"
"Yes, I'll pick you guys up as soon as I can," I assured him.
"Oh, I'm not going. Lindsay is coming over and we are going bike riding. Bye." Tim clicked off.
I got to the office before anyone else, so I made coffee and was reading a rough draft of the Colonel's schedule when Lauren came in. "Lauren, how do I finalize the Colonel's schedule? There are no changes that I know of."
"I forgot to show you how to access the program. The computer on your desk is networked to mine so either of us can use the programs," Lauren answered as she explained.
It was simple enough, so we printed six copies. We put two on the Colonel's desk, she took one, handed one to me, put one on Sam's desk, and put the other copy in the file. She said, "I'll show you how to forward a copy to each of the key staff members so they know what the Colonel has planned for the day."
Only one exciting thing happened at the staff meeting that morning. One of the staff members reported a problem that the Colonel had not been made aware of. I watched his reaction. He remained calm, but there was no doubt in anyone's mind that he was extremely displeased at not having been previously advised of the problem. The rest of the staff meeting was routine with a few announcements. When everyone had gone the Colonel said, "Troy, call Sam and see how the move is going. Lauren, I have some letters I would like to dictate."
I went to my desk and called the Parsons' house. Mrs. Parsons answered. "Mrs. Parsons, this is Lieutenant Troy Nelson. Colonel Allen wanted me to call and see how the move was going."
"Hi, Troy. Tell the Colonel that the movers haven't arrived yet. Sam called the company but the truck is still unloading its previous load," she said.
"Thank you, ma'am. I'll tell the Colonel."
I interrupted the Colonel and told him what Mrs. Parsons had said. He looked at me and said, "Get me Lt. Col. Samson on the line, please, Troy."
I did as he requested. When I had Lt. Col. Samson on the line, I notified the Colonel and then dropped off when the Colonel picked up. About 15 minutes later, Colonel Samson called back and I interrupted Colonel Allen again.
When Lauren came out, I knocked on the door and reminded the Colonel that he had a meeting with General Young at 11:30.
"Thank you, Troy," he said as he got his hat and left.
After he left, Lauren looked at me and said, "I don't think I want to be in Colonel Samson's shoes if the movers don't get their act together."
She quickly prepared the letters and asked, "Is it okay if I meet Pat for lunch?"
"Why are you asking me? You outrank me. I'll man the fort, but if you see a Subway Shop bring me a sandwich and a glass of lemonade, would you?"
Lauren had been gone only about 15 minutes when she entered the office with another young lady and said, "Troy, I would like to introduce you to Patty. She is my roommate and special friend. We decided to come back with our sandwiches and eat with you. I hope you don't mind."
"Why would I mind? I'll have lunch with two beautiful ladies any day," I answered.
Patty said, "Yep, he's pretty alright, Lauren, but remember, you belong to me."
Patty came over and shook my hand, "I had to meet who Lauren is going to be cavorting with tomorrow night. I'm very protective of my territory."
I couldn't believe what I was hearing, "I think you just told me that you and Lauren are more than roommates. Am I correct? And I better be careful what I do or I might be minus some of my vital parts?"
Both women started to laugh. Lauren said, "I hope we haven't shocked you, the poor Iowa hillbilly, but we have been partners for four years."
"I am not shocked but I can't believe you felt free to tell me. After all I have known Lauren for approximately four days."
"Yeah and you never tried to put the make on me. I just felt I could trust you. Besides, Patty has just become General Young's secretary and we were hoping you could find a nice guy who wouldn't try to get her to bed if they went out for show purposes," Lauren said.
I looked at the ladies, "I think I might have met someone last night who would be willing to be an escort if one is needed. I'm sure he isn't going to take advantage of anyone and not because he is gay. He has just gone through a very rough time."
I turned to Lauren, "Do you know Lt. Ian Glenn? He is really a nice guy and I think he would make a great escort for Patty if he is willing."
Lauren thought for a minute. "He is good looking, but he always seems so sad."
"Gotta go," Patty announced. "General Young's executive officer is not as much fun as you are, Troy. He is so pompous and such a stickler for punctuality. I can't understand why the General puts up with him."
Patty had just left when Major Parsons came in the door with three pre-teenagers. "Please tell the Colonel, I won't be in this afternoon. The mover just arrived. When he saw how much furniture and how many boxes he had to load, he estimated that he wouldn't be finished until close to midnight. He left to get some lunch. He was by himself saying his helper was ill. We're on our way to get some lunch and take it back to the house since we don't have any food in the house."
The three children pulled their Dad out of the office saying, "Come on Dad, we're hungry." With that they were gone.
It was about ten minutes after they left that the Colonel walked in and went into his office. I followed him and told him what Major Parsons had said. I had left the door open and the Colonel called out, "Get Lt. Col. Samson on the phone and tell him I want him in the office now."
As I walked out of the office, Lauren looked at me and mouthed, "He's on his way."
Colonel Allen walked out and said, "Lauren, you know Sam and Eleanor's children. How would you like to take care of them until about six o'clock?"
She answered, "I really enjoy them and I am sure that I can keep them occupied for some time."
"Good, go take the children off their hands so Sam and Eleanor can concentrate on the movers. I can assure you that they will be packed out by no later than seven o'clock. Do whatever you need to do and I will make sure that you are reimbursed for your expenses. I hope you don't mind," The Colonel said as Lieutenant Colonel Sampson walked in.
Lauren waved, "I'll see you all tomorrow."
Lt. Col. Samson followed Colonel Allen into his office and it wasn't long before the phone lights were lit up. Five minutes later Lt. Col. Samson came out not looking very happy and said, "Colonel Allen would like to talk to you."
I knocked and Colonel Allen said, "Troy, please bring me a cup of plain black coffee."
I got him the coffee and he looked at me and said, "Troy, I hate days like this, I seem to be doing everyone's work. See what you can do to keep my blood pressure from going any higher."
I was working at the desk when there was a knock on the office door. I thought that was odd since everyone else always just seemed to walk into the office. I said, "Come in please."
The door opened and a very good-looking airman second-class entered. He came and stood in front of my desk. "How may I help you Airman Henderson?" I asked after looking at his nametag.
"Sir, I would like to talk to Colonel Allen," he said shyly.
"Might I know why, so I can tell the Colonel?" I asked.
He looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, "Sir, I am frightened. My squadron commander keeps trying to get me to show him my private parts. He says that he wants to show me what love is all about. He hadn't ever touched me until today but he makes me feel dirty."
"I went to the First Sergeant and he told me that I was imagining things. I am afraid to go back to the office because Major Bishop is always near me. Today when he touched my genital area I became really frightened."
"Airman Henderson, please sit down. I will get you a cola before I talk to the Colonel," I assured him.
I went to the Colonel's door and knocked. When the colonel answered, I went in and closed the door. "Colonel, there is a young airman in the office requesting to see you. He is very upset. He feels that his squadron commander is sexually harassing him. I think he is telling the truth."
The Colonel got up and accompanied me into the front office. Airman Henderson was sitting in the chair with his head in his hands sobbing.
Colonel Allen went to Airman Henderson, "Airman Henderson, please come into my office. Do you mind if Lieutenant Nelson comes in with us?"
Airman looked around and saw that I was the only other person in the room and shook his head no.
After I had set the warning buzzer so we would know if anyone entered the office, I went into the Colonel's office with my notepad. The Colonel looked at Airman Henderson, "Airman Henderson, I want you to tell me why you think that you are being sexually harassed, but first, tell me who your squadron commander is."
"Major Bishop, sir," Airman Henderson answered.
"Troy, get Major Bishop on the phone and tell him I want to see him as soon as possible, but don't tell him anything about why," the Colonel ordered.
I went to make the call only to learn that the Squadron Commander and the First Sergeant had gone to inspect the barracks and weren't expected back until the next morning.
I told the Colonel and I could see that he was not happy. "Leave a message that I want to see to see Major Bishop at 9:30 in the morning. Then come back and take notes on Tony's entire story."
I did as he said and when I returned, the Colonel asked, "Does the Major inspect the barracks often?"
"Sir, in the six months that I have worked in his office, he has never done it that I know of. Usually the First Sergeant does it in the morning."
Colonel Allen asked, "Tony, when did this harassing start?"
"Sir, it started right after I started working in the Major's office as a clerk. One day I went to the bathroom and was using a urinal when Major Bishop came in and stood beside me. He seemed to be looking at my body especially my penis. I got a funny feeling but nothing was said. Then he came back into the office and stood with his tongue darting in and out of his mouth groping himself right in front of me."
"It seemed that every time I would go to the bathroom, he would also come in and then he started talking about what a nice body I had and how he would like to see all of it. I was so uncomfortable that I stopped going to the bathroom when he was around. He came to my desk and said, 'I bet I can really make you feel good.'"
"On Monday he stopped by my desk and whispered, 'Why don't you go to the bathroom with me?'"
"I told him that I didn't need to go the bathroom, but he wasn't about to give up. He whispered, 'I'll make it worth your while.'"
"I shook my head and went to talk to the First Sergeant and asked for a transfer. He looked at me with a funny look and asked why. I told him what was happening. He just started to laugh. He said that I must be imagining things, that Major Bishop is happily married and has two children."
"Reluctantly, I went back to work. Yesterday, I was waiting for the bus after work. Major Bishop drove up and said, 'Hop in Tony. I'll give you a ride to the barracks.' He leaned over and started to open the door."
"Just then, one of my friends pulled up in his car and yelled, 'Come on Tony, let's go.' So I told the major that I would see him the next day and walked to my friend's car."
"This morning I was sitting at my desk, working and Major Bishop frowned at me as he walked by. When he came back after lunch, I was the only other person in the office. He looked at me and told me to bring the folders on the new people that are being assigned tomorrow and a cup of coffee into his office."
"I got the things he requested and walked into his office as he had instructed. Major Bishop was standing at a file cabinet just inside the door. When I entered, he shut the door and told me to put the things on his desk."
"I walked to his desk and put the things down, but before I could turn around to leave, he had his arms around me and was touching me all over. When he grabbed my testicles and penis, I felt like I had bugs all over me. He whispered in my ear, 'You are so beautiful. Please meet me after work and we'll go for a ride.'"
"He let go of me and I went back to my desk. I told my supervisor that I wasn't feeling well and asked permission to see if I could get some help. I left the office and just walked around until I decided to come here. I am sorry to bother you, Sir; but I just didn't know where else to turn since the First Sergeant had already told me I was imagining things. I don't want to go back there. I am frightened, Sir."
Col. Allen got up and came around his desk. "Tony, you have made some very serious charges, but I believe you. There is no reason why you should make up a story like this."
The Colonel seemed to be thinking, then he turned to me, "Troy, call the base hotel and see if you can get a room there for Tony tonight."
I did as I was told, was able to get a room, and I informed the Colonel. He then turned to Tony and asked, "Tony, do you have a car?"
"Yes sir, it's at the barracks since I usually catch a ride with one of my friends or ride the bus. It's easier than trying to find somewhere to park." Tony answered.
"Good!" said Colonel Allen. Then he turned to me and, "Troy, Airman Henderson looks about your size. Think you have some clothes that he could borrow for tonight?"
"Sure sir," I answered.
Colonel Allen looked pensive, "Here's what I want you both to do. Troy, you take Tony to get his car then take him to your suite and get him dressed into some civilian clothes so that no one asks any questions when you get him registered at the base hotel. Make sure that he has everything he needs. And you might as well get into your tennis clothes while he is changing."
The Colonel turned back to Tony, "Tony, will you be okay for tonight? I don't want you to talk to anybody on base tonight not even your best friends. You can go off base if you would like to get something to eat or do something. I just think it would not be wise if too many people were to see you."
"Sir, I'll be fine. I think I might just grab a bite at a drive-thru because I am not very hungry. Then I could come back to my room and watch a baseball game on television," Airman Henderson answered.
"Tomorrow morning I want you to wait in the hotel room until Troy picks you up at 0800. He'll go with you to your room so you can get your clean uniform and take it back to the hotel to change. I want both of you back here in the morning before the Major arrives. Any questions?" the Colonel asked.
Tony and I both shook our heads no.
"Move out smartly then. Troy, you can just go to the tennis courts when you can and I'll make sure the guys get there."
Tony and I left and went to my car, which was close by now that I was an Executive Officer. We drove in silence until we got to the barracks area and I asked him directions to his vehicle. He directed me to his truck. As he was getting out, I said, "Why don't you follow me to my BOQ room?"
We went to the Q and I asked, "What kind of clothes would you like?"
"A pair of jeans and tee shirt would be great," Tony answered.
I pulled a pair of jeans out of the closet and handed them to him, "You might want to try them on to make sure they fit. The bathroom is right over there."
"This is fine," Tony said as he took off his uniform pants, folded them, and laid them on the chair. When I came back in he had his tee shirt and the jeans on.
"Those jeans look better on you than they do on me. Here is a dress pullover shirt that should look good on you. I have some clean briefs and a pair of deck shoes if you want to try them," I said.
"That would be great if they fit. Somehow military shoes don't seem to go," Tony answered.
I got them and they fit, "Why don't you put the outfit on so that people won't ask too many questions? I will put your clothes in my trunk until morning. I'll change into my tennis things and then we'll be ready to get you checked in. Are you sure you have everything that you need?"
"Yep, this is how I dress when Betsy and I go out," Tony said.
"Who is Betsy?" I asked
"Betsy is my fiancée. We plan to get married next year after she is graduated from nursing school."
We went to the hotel, finished the necessary paperwork, and I escorted him to his room. He opened the door and he was impressed. I asked, "Tony are you going to be okay?"
"Yes sir, I already feel better but I am scared about what might happen tomorrow."
"Okay, dude, I'll see you in the morning bright and early," I informed him.
"Eight o'clock isn't early, sir. I am still used to getting up at four thirty to take care of the animals," he laughed.
This chapter gives us a bit more insight into how things are going to go, I think. It looks to me as if Troy is going to do just fine. Somehow I think Tony will be fine as will. I think that Major is in for a rude awakening.
Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher