At the base of the Appalachian Mountains in Allegany County, Maryland the city of Cumberland has been a military outpost manned by George Washington, a shipping hub and the birthplace of veteran Donald Albright.
Like most boys in the area, Don grew up hunting and fishing in the Allegheny Mountains. In 1963 he graduated from Howard High School in Elk Ridge, Maryland.
Soon after graduation, Don applied for a job as a policeman in the nearby town of Farmer City. After he passed all the required civil service test including skills with firearms he was hired.
Don settled down to a regular routine and began to build a career in law enforcement.
Suddenly things changed for this local policeman. After seven years of service to the city, Don received the letter like so many other young men had gotten; it was from the local Selective Service Board telling that he had been drafted.
Albright was ordered to report to Ft. Dix, New Jersey for Basic Training.
Fort Dix was the common name for the Army Support Activity located approximately 16.1 miles south-southeast of Trenton, New Jersey.
Fort Dix is now under the jurisdiction of the Army Installation Management Command, however, at that time, it was one of the Army’s largest basic training center for the east coast.
By the time Albright had graduated from basic training his past records as a policeman had reached the US Army Personnel Office and it was determined that there was no justifiable reason for him to be sent to Advance Individual Training since he had already received it as part of his duties as a policeman.
Instead of being sent to AIT, Albright was ordered to report for duty at the Seneca Army Depot and assigned to the 295th Military Police Company.
The Seneca Army Depot primary mission was the receipt, storage, maintenance and supply of ammunition including bombs and missiles.
It was also known as a filler Depot and issued reconditioned ammunition for the First and Second Service Commands and for the Boston Port of Embarkation.
This included all classes of ammunition and explosives except chemical ammunition other than smoke.
The 295th MP Company also had the responsibility for security for the entire facility.
Since many of the nuclear weapons stored there were classified, Albright was given a Top Secret Clearance.
He along with the other MPs were responsible for the safety and security of numerous types of ammunition, components, guided missiles and explosives. The 295th MPs were also responsible for the security of “Explosive Scrap Furnace “ which supported the detonation operation.
The facility also operated the burn pads for ammunition and ordnance contaminated material such as bulk ammunition and ordnance contaminated material such as bulk explosives, pyrotechnics, artillery projectiles, fuzes, machine gun ammunition and projectiles using TNT. After his tour of duty had ended, Albright was given an honorable discharge and allowed to return to civilian life.
Don no longer wanted anything to do with security work so instead of returning back to the police department he decided to make a career change.
For the next two years, he became a Plumbers Apprentice with the local union. Then again he served for two more years as a Journeyman until he passed all test and became a Master Plumber.
With his credentials in hand, Don applied to the office of Civilian Personnel at Ft. Mead for a career position as a Master Plumber.
For the next quarter of a century, Don worked at Ft. Meade until he retired in 2004.
Now Don and his family make their home on the Euwell Cooley Road in the Shady Grove Community out on HWY 26 East of Deridder. When the weather permits, Dons likes to fish and garden. He also enjoys visiting and having coffee with other veteran and friends at the local DQ.
If you see Donald Albright or any US Military Veteran, they would surely appreciate a handshake and acknowledgment of the sacrifice and the commitment veterans have made in the lofty endeavor of securing American liberty.
They are solely responsible for having protected our fortunate state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior or political views and that is a priceless act of service.