In My Time” by Dick Cheney and Liz Cheney) and have come across a couple of striking parallels that kept me awake the last couple of nights. In 1968 The Cheney’s moved from Wyoming to Annandale, Virginia in the same apartment complex my wife and I lived. We were literally neighbors with the Cheney’s although did not know them or that fact until I read about it in the book. When I mentioned that to Diane she pointed out that one morning when she was leaving for work there were limousines and either Secret Service or FBI agents in the parking lot of our complex although she didn’t think about it at the time and went on to work. They moved in when Mr. Cheney was starting his first Federal Government job as a low-level congressional staffer. During that time I was winding down my tour as a Marine in Vietnam. Since I worked in an office there I knew the ropes so to speak on how to request a duty station and exactly when to make the request before rotating out of country. I requested Quantico, Virginia as that was my duty station before I left for Vietnam and I was familiar with the area. I was promoted to Sergeant (E5) just prior to leaving Vietnam which is noteworthy as I had only been in the service two and one-half years at that point. In wartime with a critical MOS these things are possible. My last six months were spent in the OCS processing center at Quantico. I decided to stay in the Washington, D.C. area after my enlistment because judging from the Sunday paper jobs were plentiful. Fortunately I had a Commander who allowed me as much time as needed for job interviews. I was offered a position at a prominent corporation in the corporate payroll department which I accepted and began work there the Monday following the Friday I left the Marines. When searching for an apartment I took the same route Dick Cheney took a year earlier on the 495 beltway around Washington and noticing the apartment complex at the Annandale, Virginia exit, stopped at the rental office and took an apartment. I drove daily to Bethesda, Maryland to work each day; that was in March 1969. Diane and I married in September 1970 and of course she moved in at that time. The Cheney’s remained there until 1972 and moved into a townhouse in Falls Church. Diane and I stayed until 1975 and bought a house in Falls Church, Virginia. An event in history had a profound effect on Dick Cheney’s career as well as mine. That was the “Wage and Price Controls” instituted by President Nixon as an attempt to get a handle on the out-of-control inflation plaguing the country. Cheney was working for Don Rumsfeld and Rumsfeld was assigned the task of writing the regulations surrounding this act. Cheney was hoping to get onto the CRP committee (The Committee to Reelect the President later became known as the “Creep” committee during the Watergate scandal) but he was spared this assignment when Rumsfeld insisted he stay with him to work on that project. Cheney and Rumsfeld pulled an all-nighter writing the basic regulations governing this act. While Cheney was moving on his career in the West Wing, I was at work in the payroll department for one year, the next year as a supervisor in the Accounts Payable Department and the third year in the Architecture and Construction Department as an administrative assistant to Jack G, Vice President of Construction. Jack was not a highly educated man (I don’t think he finished high school) although one of the most natural-born leaders I ever met. One day Jack called me into his office for an assignment. Our company was constructing a facility for an airline at LaGuardia in New York. Bribes were involved to the construction site inspectors. Our company construction superintendent by the name of Marvin, a decent man, miscalculated the amount due the rogues and when they threatened to shut down the project the scene became ugly almost resulting in a fist fight in the construction trailer. Jack asked me to take a suitcase full of cash to the inspectors. This if the first I knew of this and was appalled. I refused to do it and told Jack that if he insisted I go I would also stop at the Attorney General’s office while I was there as an informant. Jack sent someone else to perform the deed. It was that event that motivated me to return to college and get my accounting degree. I was prepared to leave the company and had my resume out around the D.C. area. It was at this time the Wage and Price Controls regulations were published. When the Corporate Controller heard I was seeking part-time employment he had an assistant call me and offer me a position in the corporate accounting department to oversee company compliance with those regulations. I almost fainted when they offered me the same salary I was making full time in A&C and gladly accepted. The next four years were spent shuttling between college classes and work (often late nights at work and study). There is no need to bore you with more details on this. Dick Cheney moved in and out of public service, you know the latest history of his career. I moved from corporate accounting to another division (in four different cities) for the rest of my 23-year career with the company. We were neighbors with the Cheney’s no doubt shopping the same stores and may have even passed one another in the parking lot. Who would have known?
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