Funny thing about all those lectures and living the life for our four years is that you never know when the moments will appear that say, “Can you walk the walk, and not just talk the talk?” Over the past forty years I am certain we have all had our moments, but the most difficult I have experienced actually occurred this year. Through a lengthy series of circumstances I have been put in a position where fellow employees with certain issues must check in with me monthly as a condition of their return to employment. When this monitoring period is over, that is usually it and all is well. Due to the sensitivity of these matters I must be vague, and I apologize.
I was in a German town with my crew and walked into a restaurant on a side street that was popular among our crewmembers. As we walked in I saw a person I used to monitor doing something he was not supposed to do. He did not see me, and no one else was aware of the situation. If I approached him, his career could end right there. If I did nothing the only person that would know would be me. I wrestled with this for about twenty minutes, and came to the conclusion that to do nothing would violate everything that the Academy taught me about Honor and Ethics. I did what I had to do and confronted the individual tactfully, yet clearly uncompromising as well. All has worked out and those involved in the decision making process have told me that they are not sure they would have had the courage to do what I did. You know what? I feel everyone reading this would have done exactly what I did!
Bill Van Horn
9491 South Johnson Court
Littleton, CO 80127
USAFA Class of '74 - published a book of our experiences for our 40th reunion!