THE GIFT OF COCHISE
True West|September 2021
TRUE WEST’S HISTORICAL CONSULTANT FONDLY REMEMBERS HIS MOST TREASURED BIRTHDAY GIFT.
PAUL ANDREW HUTTON

It was the autumn of 1962, and we had just returned from a two-year duty tour in Taiwan. The Old Man had decided to retire from the U.S. Air Force, the only real job he had ever held. Twenty-two years and two wars meant little to him now, but the retirement pay looked mighty attractive to a top sergeant whose stripes had been stripped away in a fog of drink and arrogance. Now he headed home to Indiana to start over in mid-life. We waited near Grissom AirForce Base, renting a rambling farmhouse outside of Kokomo, as the cogs of the bureaucracy worked their magic. It was a long wait since the Air Force had lost his paperwork and no retirement pay was forthcoming.

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