By week eleven, our final week, we were beginning to see new faces around the barracks. It was the members of a new “baby flight,” entering the pipeline. It was nice to see some different people after nearly three-months.

The night before graduation, after I learned I was going to pass the coarse material, I decided to celebrate by getting drunk. I was sitting at the bar in the club, sucking at my third or fourth beer, when a petite blond asked if I’d like to dance.

A slow song was emanating from the jukebox at the time. Without hesitating I jumped from the bar stool and said yes to the woman in standing in front of me.

Her name was Velva and she was from New York State. We danced close to each other through that song and the two that followed not worried about whether the music was fast or slow.

By the end of the third song we had decided we wanted each other physically. We wasted no time crossing the commons to my barracks room.

Velva was eight years older than me I would soon learn. Furthermore she has two children back in New York as well as a husband.

I didn’t let her stats sway me.

Velva left well after curfew and as I was drifting in and out of sleep. I begged her to stay, but she was worried she’d get caught in the men’s section of the barracks after hours and get in trouble.

Later that morning, after our formal graduation ceremony, I was scheduled to leave the base for my permanent duty sight. Somehow, Velva found me and she wrapped her arms around me as tight as she could and she quietly cried into my shoulder.

All I could do was hold her just as tightly.

Then it was time to go, as a cabbie stepped into the hallway announcing her was there to take me to the airport. And like that I never saw Velva again.


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