Every year during the month of May, we remember those who went to war but did not survive the great fight. But what about those brave and selfless individuals who saw no combat, received no decorations or awards, showed no military interest or discipline, yet were promoted through the ranks just the same? Don't they deserve to be recognized? This is a tribute to Captain Robin Quivers, who was discharged from the air force "two years and a nervous breakdown" after reporting for duty on January 11, 1976, at the United States Air Force Medical Center at Wright Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. PROUD TO SERVE HER COUNTRY "I should have noticed good old Sergeant-what's-her-name's air of desperation, but I didn't. ... She raved about the fact that advancement was based on performance and that authority was based on rank." THE FIRST STEP TOWARD VICTORY "Maybe I wanted to believe that there was such a place, a place where neither gender nor race mattered. ... Bars and stripes meant the same thing whether worn by a man or a woman." CAREER HIGHLIGHTS Robin Had a Nice Apartment "I found a homey little town house with a full-sized washer and dryer about twenty minutes from base, but it turned out that my apartment was about the only thing I'd enjoy about the whole air force situation." Robin Had an Affair with a Married Officer “So what do you do when you’re feeling bored, unfulfilled, and you’re me? You have an affair with a married man. … Bradley was smitten with me right away and made no secret of his intentions when we met at the Officer’s Club.” Robin Soon Moved on to Another Officer “David had just had a circumcision a week before our first night together. He was under doctor’s orders not to even get aroused, but we wound up busting a stitch or two that night. David was a very good lover, and I developed quite an appetite for this young man.” Robin Became a Druggie “In no time at all, I discovered that marijuana mixed well with music, sex and sugar. … I sort of liked being a druggie and getting away with using illegal substances when the air force was so dead set against it. … [David and I] even entertained the idea of going into the drug business for a while, but only to cover the cost of our habit.” Robin Became a Woman Scorned One morning Robin had an instinct that something was up, and she needed to check out David’s place. She saw a strange red car out front. She rang and rang the bell, with no answer. She went to a phone booth and called him, then saw an Asian woman zooming by in the same red car that was in front of David’s house. Robin insensitively told David she’d seen “Suzy Wong” drive away, then went to his place and ripped the lion print bed sheets off his bed, which she’d bought him as a gift. Robin Survived Solely on Fast Food and Ice Cream "My diet went to hell too. If it hadn’t been for McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s, I would have starved. I developed this strange notion that I had to hide being single, so when I went to a fast food place, I ordered enough for two. The only thing that really made me feel better was ice cream. Soon it became my entire diet. I was putting away up to a gallon a day, and I didn’t feel secure unless there was at least a half gallon in the freezer. I stocked up every day, I was eating so much, and took to rotating stores so that the clerks wouldn’t see me every day. My favorite was Friendly’s Vanilla Chocolate Chip. There was a whole circuit of Friendly’s stores that I visited. At holiday time, I liked the yule log and eggnog flavors too.” Robin Had a Poor Attitude "Instead of getting me into trouble, my grousing and thoroughly unmilitary-like behavior were earning me preferential treatment. My uniform was never quite right, I wouldn't salute and showed no respect whatsoever to my superior officers, but I always had the best hours in the unit and rarely worked weekends. ... Oh, was I a colossal pain in the ass!" Robin Was the Subject of a Criminal Investigation Robin was overpaid $10,000 for her services during her first 18 months in the air force. She became the subject of a criminal investigation (which determined it was a mistake due to clerical error), but she was ordered to pay back the money. Because this meant extending her air force service from two years to two years and six months, she then went on a “shopping frenzy,” reasoning that she deserved some new things to make it bearable. The only thing she remembers buying in her frenzy is a color TV. She ran up all of her credit cards, then stopped paying her bills. After leaving the air force, it took years for her to get another credit card. “I still owed the air force a few grand, but my military lawyer assured me that they’d never come after me for such a paltry sum. Even though I’d promised to set up a new payment schedule as soon as I found a job, I was leaving the air force without looking back.” Robin did not make good on her promise. Ten years later, while working in New York with Howard, she was upset when she opened her income tax return and saw that the government had withdrawn the money she still owed the air force. Robin Hated the Air Force and Became Severely Depressed "The first outward sign that something was wrong was the sudden onset of chronic lateness. I actually caught myself waking up early one morning to turn off my alarm clock before it rang so that I would oversleep. ... Even when I did get to work, I couldn't finish my shift. I'd burst into tears at the drop of a hat. Soon I was crying at the beginning of my shift, too. My supervisor really wanted to help, but she couldn't just let me out of the air force, and I didn't know of anything else that would work. Robin Gave Up Her Head Nurse Position "Eventually, I gave up my head nurse position because I couldn't function anymore and returned to Pediatrics, where they put me on the night shift, the least demanding shift of the day. Even when I didn't have to be at work until eleven o'clock at night, I managed to oversleep. ... When I was at work, I cried. I had become consumed with the thought that I was going to die in the air force, that it was killing me." Robin Was Promoted to Captain In June of 1978, Robin was elevated to the rank of captain. A month later, she was discharged. In her one month of active duty as a captain, she spent two weeks on vacation. Civilian Life: Robin Set Her Sights on California Robin developed the acting bug while attending school during her time in the military. She left the air force with a couple grand in cash and headed to San Francisco. Within one year she'd had anal sex in a bathroom with a stranger, had sex in a car while truckers watched, posed for nude photos for a strip club owner during an interview to be a dancer, and was recruited by an old pimp who met her in her Los Angeles hotel room and ordered her to disrobe and let him suck on her nipple. (She did.) She was soon begging her parents -- whom she hated -- to send her money to come home. (They did.) Please join me in thanking Captain Robin Quivers for her service!