Year - 2051
“Dad, seriously, we have about thirty minutes before the reading starts and you’re sitting here staring out the window, daydreaming, we need to get ready.
Danielle Casey sat down next to her father, Cody Casey, and stared at what he was looking at when Danielle realized that it was not an image of where they were located at home in Idaho.
The 3D holograph projection showed the all too familiar scene of a once populated city now slowly being reclaimed by nature.
“Dad, where is this and why are you staring at it?”
Cody announced to his AI assistant “Real view, please Dee,” the projection disappeared, replaced with the real image of the forested landscape and valley of where they were located in Idaho.
“I was looking at a feed we have from what was once Boston, just reminiscing. You know Danielle, when I was young I walked around cities like Boston and Philadelphia, where the founding fathers gathered to begin to form a perfect union and revolt against repression, you can read all you want, but I can tell you being able to walk through history, you could feel it.”
“Dad, I know, but I am part of the next generation and we are different, we grew up with the wars, deaths, and devastation that you fought to form an even more perfect union. To us, that is our history. We have a grasp on what went wrong and how our country and the rest of the world failed the people. Of course, Mother Nature dealt from the bottom of the deck, that didn’t seem fair at the time, but my generation understands that our democracy committed suicide and as you’ve told me over and over, to not only learn from our mistakes but never forget them and we won’t.” Danielle Casey sighed.
“Danielle every day I sit reflecting. I know the why we survived, we were well prepared and what is left of our country, sadly, is better off than when the fall started, though it's easy to say that now with less than 20 million people left, of over 347 million people in our country at the beginning. We can only estimate what remains of the 7.5 billion people in the world at the start, maybe less than a billion. What is left are no longer a threat to us after destroying each other. Most because of religious hatred towards each other, some because of geopolitical differences, but really, in the end, the reasons were as old as history itself, they just wanted power over people.”
“Dad, our group worked really hard for the past two years putting this Chronicle together, if you don’t want to attend the reading, it’s ok no offense.”
“Danielle, I want to hear what your group has, but I suggest you do it from here where a lot of our current history occurred or passed through, your group even congregated here to put it together, this is your version of Boston, do you understand what I mean?”
Tears were forming in Danielle’s eyes as she knelt to hug him.
“Dad, that more than works for me, let me COMM everyone to tell them of the change that we’ll be podcasting from here.”
Kala came walking into the house.
“Aunt Kala what are you doing here, never mind we have changes to make.”
“Danielle honey, we don’t have to change a thing, it was never going to happen at the conference center, your mother and gang of history nerds will be here in a few minutes.”
Danielle had a confused look, “Instinct dear, your mother and I sensed it this morning you really have to learn to feel your instincts better, but of course, they’re blocked when it comes to your father.”
“Very funny Kala, why are you limping around like that?” Cody asked.
“Well, this is a reading of The Patriot Knight Chronicles remember this limp is from you, when we were fighting that nut job, in Washington, thought it would add a little visual authenticity.”
Danielle was preparing for the reading at the dining room table, hearing what Kala said.
“Aunt Kala, are you talking about that religious group the Olympians, if you are they’re not covered in this part of the Chronicle, I didn’t know about an injury my father caused.”
“Danielle, I didn’t cause an injury to her leg, my horse Cheyenne grabbed her prostatic near her calf that caused her to fall before Wonder Woman there got her head shot off. Even Cheyenne had the sense to get low to the ground, always wondered why he just didn’t trip you.”
“Cody I heard you tell Cheyenne to grab my leg. Still, don’t know how your horse understood that” Kala clarified.
“You know what, you’re correct I did tell Cheyenne to grab your leg, but that was over twenty years ago. For your information, you can damage a prosthetic you can’t injure one so please stop limping, a seventy-something year old that looks forty should not be limping anyway.”
Kala laughed and sat on Cody’s lap just as his wife Dallas came in looking at the two of them.
“Kala get off Cody’s lap before Sloan see’s you and wants to hop on.”
“Mom who or what is Wonder Woman?”’
Looking at Cody and Kala smirking, “I obviously missed something here,” Dallas replied, “Your Auntie Kala thinks she is Wonder Woman, Crazy Woman is more like it, especially when she went on missions with your father which was always. Wonder Woman was a comic book character that men just loved, she fought evil doers dressed in a bathing suit that had a body only a male artist could visualize.”
The rest of the Chronicle group began shuffling in, Finn Wilcox, Trisha Blair, Dr. Trevor Manning and Chase Dunhill saying hello to everyone taking a seat at the table.
Danielle took her seat just as the AI moderator came into view.
“Welcome to the first reading of The Patriot Knight Chronicles, all the contributors are now with us including Danielle Casey who will start us off, Danielle?”
“Thank you, everyone out there tuning in. Three years ago our group conceived an idea, to tell the story of the events that occurred starting in the last weeks of the last President of the then the United States of America, to the eventual formation of URONA, The United Republic of North America. This is a walking talking story presented as an audio play. This is the story as told by all who participated in fighting to restore our constitutional freedoms and to defeat all of our enemies foreign and domestic.
“We need to thank our Artificial Intelligence network for assisting in formatting the presentation where we were able to simulate and apply the actual voices of those telling their story to the dialogue.
“Though we are all URONA citizens, this is the story of our Patriot Knights who shall never be forgotten. As with any story, we start with Chapter 1."
‘One man with courage is a majority.’
Presently assigned to nothing at the Mountain Warfare Training Center (MWTC) Pickel Meadows (Toiyabe National Forest) California, but waiting for word from the base CO. Nothing new there, Marines wait better than anyone.
Sitting in his room the 6’2”, 200lbs; Cody Chance Casey USMC Master Gunnery Sergeant was reflecting on his past 10 years of life with the Corps remembering the day he took the oath, “to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” He didn’t lose faith in the Corps; he lost faith in being able to do what he believed in, protecting and defending the Constitution.
As a 5th generation marine, the Casey family has been patriots first and foremost. Through generations, they’ve served and have been committed to America since 1776. Every generation has served in the military since then. It’s in their DNA.
At 28 years old, Cody is one of the youngest Master Gunnery Sergeants in the Corps. This was not a career goal, it just happened. He never worked on rank advancement though he acquired an alphabet soup of MOS’s, (Military Occupational Specialty) ratings, just doing his job the best he could.
Cody was reminiscing grinning to himself, hearing his grandfather always telling him, “Marines are not allowed to die without permission.” I should have died more times than a cat has lifes, but I didn’t because I didn’t receive permission, thinking to himself.
Cody was thinking about all of his brothers and sisters who did give their lives in service to their country, some by stupid, and some by circumstance all deservedly with honor. I don’t know how the other services feel, but in the corps, he thought the loss of a single marine affects each marine. It did to him.
Cody was surprised he was sent here just after he submitted his separation request. Just after was not really the term to be applied, it was within 48 hours after Cody submitted his request. That in itself sent a few alarms off because nothing like this happens that fast in the Marines.
Cody began thinking to himself.
I have simply melted into the shadows after my arrival here a month ago; though melting into the shadows is what I’ve done for the past 10 years, nothing new here. Every morning, I am up 0400 dress, with my old Ambush CamelBak strapped on and out the door for my morning runs at 0415, my run lasts 45 minutes and am showered, dressed and ready for reveille at 0530. I repeat this at 1700 everyday, sometimes wearing my Scalable Plate Carrier (SPC) that I used in my sand box deployments adding some weight to carry on my run.
In between, I eat, maybe visit the shooting range, but mostly I dress in my Marine Pattern (MARPAT), blending into the area observing the trainees.
I do get the customary “Good Day Master Gunny” or “Master Guns” as soldiers pass by me here at the MWTC, but not much else. Some actually give me a passing salute out of respect, but not necessary mostly from privates and lances. I guess it could be my Insignia, 1st Recon Bn (1st Reconnaissance Battalion) with a Moto of Swift, Silent, Deadly that I wear must say do not speak to me, or my 3 up and 4 down stripes with a pineapple in the middle may have something to do with it. Along with my Force Recon/Snipers tag, this can be intimidating to some. Having seen action everywhere that other marines only heard of thru whispers, I guess you can also see it on my face. My call sign is “Reaper,” so you really do not want to meet me I guess.
The CO wanted to speak with me before I officially discharged and left the base. This was my last day as an active duty Marine. I wasn’t anxious or unsettled, of the many things instilled upon me in the Corps; waiting was nearly at the top of this list. I did wonder, however why the CO requested to see me before I left on the last day.
My thoughts were interrupted by a knock at the door. As usual, I made sure my uniform was in order before answering, training again kicking in.
Opening the door, there stood the CO, a legend in the Corps, Colonel Brandt T. Morgan dressed in his Combat Utility Uniform, and I instinctively came to snap attention without hesitation with a full salute. The Colonel returned my salute at the same time ordering me at ease. But he said “at ease Cody” which is unusual using my first name. He simply handed me a folded paper, turned and left, WTF.
I closed my door and opened the note. ‘Meet at Wild Bill’s Burgers at 1530 civilian dress. Your Jeep is outside. Security is expecting you and will wave you through.’ Okay, what jeep? My Jeep CJ-6 was way off base securely locked up in my garage at my house near San Diego about 450 miles away, at least that’s where I left it.
I looked at my watch I had 60 minutes, Wild Bill’s Burgers is in Coleville / Walker, CA on US395 about 40 Minutes away. I stripped down and put my civilians on, Tactical 5.11 Tundra Covert Cargo Pants, Eddie Bauer Black TXXL “T” and Size 13 Scarp Kinesis Pro GTX hiking boots. I hung up my MCCUU and stowed my rough-out combat boots, grabbed my Black Duluth Trading shirt jacket and was out the door in less than 5 minutes.
Walking casually downstairs to the front of my barracks there stood my Black 1974 Jeep CJ-6 that has been in the family since it was new. My father bought it and was the first thing I’d ever driven; I took my drivers’ test in this thing back home in Lolo, Montana. My father gave it to me before my mother and father disappeared while flying in Alaska nearly two years ago. No trace of the supposed crash, another unsolved Alaska accident.
As I stood for a moment, looking at the Jeep and noticed that some new modifications were made to it since I last saw it. There were new roll bumpers front and back, a new tow hitch installed, and most notable, a WARN ZEON Wench installed on the front. Now that’s interesting, I’d always wanted one and was going to get one someday. This Jeep could literally go anywhere with the 5.0L V8 under the hood, don’t make them like this anymore. Now with a wench, the probability of not getting stuck was a force multiplier.
I jumped in and the keys were there in the ignition actually, the keys were always in the ignition. I reached below the edge of the dash and hit the hidden ignition switch installed there. The key in the ignition was dummy decoy, it didn’t really do anything, other than turn on the accessories, in fact, dad thought it was funny enough to super glue the key in the slot permanently. That solved the problem of forgetting the key somewhere. As he used to tell me ‘one less thing to worry about’, it was his motto. But how did the Colonel or anyone else know how to start this beast?
The engine sounded perfect, I put it in gear and headed for the main gate. As the note indicated, base security saw me coming and opened up and I got a full attention to arms salute as I passed through. Really, now this is turning into one bizarre day and it isn’t over yet.
I accessed SR108 headed towards Bridgewater then turned north onto US395 towards Walker. While driving I noticed the suspension seemed tighter than usual, but a good unusual will have to check that out when I stopped. I pulled in front of the Wild Bill’s Burgers in 37 minutes flat from the time I read the Colonel’s note. Wild Bills’ is actually a burger shack with picnic tables outside and I can testify they have arguably the best burgers on the planet, well at least in this neck of the woods. I use to hike overland here and back when I originally trained at the MWTC back in 05.
Before I got out of the jeep, I reached down, pushing down twice, then pulled up twice on the gas door release lever on the floor next to the driver side door. Another of dad’s add-ons there was no cover door over the gas cap it did, however, release the panel hidden under the dash, where a hinged aluminum box popped out with the correct release sequence.
My small weapons cache stowed there appeared just as I last left them. I grabbed my SOG-TAC MINI Knife along with its hip case and clipped it on my belt. I left my Colt M45A1 CQBP where it was assuming I was not going to need it to shoot my own cow to get a hamburger here. As I closed the compartment back up I am reminded of the line in the Godfather, “Leave the gun Take the cannoli.” In this case, took the knife.
Getting out my Jeep, taking in the surroundings, then I headed straight to the order window. I felt someone behind me, where he came from I don’t know, I could see the Colonel’s reflection in order windows glass, shit he was good nobody ever was able to pull this off on me before. I looked at the woman behind the counter and was dumbstruck, literally took my breath away. She was maybe 5’10,” long dark brown hair tied back in a ponytail, beautiful piercing brown eyes and perfect features, tanned almost brown and looked to have features of a Native American Shoshone and body perfect.
She broke the spell with a simple, “What can I get you.”
Being a gentleman, I refrained from saying what I was thinking, ordering 2 burgers rare with onions 2 bottles of water, and no fries. Without turning around I said softly over my shoulder, “I hope you like onions.”
The Colonel replied, “I do, but I really could use a Pepsi.”
I then told the woman at the order window “one water and add one Pepsi to the order please.” I went to place money on the counter and she waved it off with a beautiful smile, saying “your money’s no good here” curious, maybe my good looks were finally feeding me, I took a stab in the dark and said, "Aishen,” (thank you) in my best Shoshoni.
She smiled, replying “IPA.” (Willingly; without argument). She spoke Shoshoni there is no translation for “you’re welcome” in the language.
I was about to say something when the Colonel whispered “Not Now, Not Ever.” With that, he turned towards the furthest picnic table, I fell into step behind.
Cody stood at the table where the Colonel stood directly across from him offering his hand, “Good to see you again Cody.”
“Pleasure to meet you, sir” I replied as we gripped hands.
“Take a seat, sir,” I said.
“That’s my line I believe and by the way how many Native languages do who speak now,” he said grinning taking a seat.
“I am pretty fluent in Shoshoni, Lakota and Salish dialects; I grew up in Native lands I picked most up from my friends except Lakota that’s a family trait.”
With that, the Colonel replied “Very Good, typicaantyn,” in perfect Shoshoni.
“I haven’t heard a spoken word of Shoshoni in a couple of years now hearing it twice in one day, now that’s unusual,” I said and before the Colonel said another word I cut to the chase.
“What is this about sir, other than you must have known I was hungry,”
He looked at me for a second, then answered, “Other than 40 minutes ago do remember seeing me before, in person that is.”
“No sir I can’t recall meeting you before” I replied.
He came right back with “Not what I asked you, son, I said, seeing me not meeting me.”
“Sir, I knew what you asked, Sir” a little on the testy side.
The Colonel smiled, “By the way, the young lady at the order window will bring our food, no need to get up for a bit.”
Just then we saw the woman, maybe in her late 20’s maybe even 30, coming their way with the drink order. When she arrived at our table, she placed the water in front of me and the Pepsi in front of the Colonel.
“Be right back with the burgers” as she turned around, heading back the way she came. I really tried not to stare as she walked towards us, impossible to do as she walked away, I could feel the Colonel watching me watch. Within a minute she returned, placing a burger in front of both of us. Before she turned to leave she stated firmly, “Don’t worry Colonel no will bother you over here, I’m telling everyone to leave the big bad Marine alone, he growls,” with that, she smiled and walked away with a purposeful hip sway. Not fair to men, that a woman can do that.
“I arranged this yesterday for this time. This place is usually not open this time of year, but made an exception for us.”
For some reason I liked him right away, something was familiar in the way he spoke.
As I was digging into my burger I asked once again, what this all about.
Then he stated warmly, “Cody Chance Casey, age 28, born Christmas Day, St Patrick Hospital, 500 W Broadway St, Missoula, Montana, at 1602 in the afternoon, in the emergency room, always figured you were in a hurry to get started. Only Child of Lydia nee’ Sanders Navy Nurse Corps (Ret), Married to your Father, Chance Casey USMC Gunnery Sergeant (retired), Paternal Grandfather Nelson Casey, USMC Master Sergeant (retired), Paternal Grandmother Grace nee’ de Molay.
Tragically, your Maternal Grandfather Cody Henry Sanders LT USMC was killed in Korea in 1952 the same year your mother was born. Your Maternal Grandmother Dr. Delta Sanders Rear Admiral, USN retired, never remarried.
Graduated from Stevensville High School, where you lettered in Football and Golf, strange combination. All state in both sports turned down multiple sports and academic scholarships graduated with a weighted 5.0 GPA top in your class and state. Pre-Enlisted in the Corps in your junior year and left for basic two days after graduation. On your entrance exams, you aced your Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) in 46 minutes out of the 3 hours given to complete it, by the way, still a record time. Then you scored the highest ninety-nine percentile on our Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) again in record time. You were then on the Corps radar so to speak.
You turned down multiple options entering the Corps, including Officer Candidates School, and insisted on infantry where you were sent to MRCD San Diego.
After 1 week of your Phase One, your DI realized that he was wasting his time with you not in a bad way though. He reported through the battalion chain of command that you were the best he had ever seen. You were already on the radar and now you were more than a blip.
“In the first week of Phase Two, you were given instructions on the M16, on how to disassemble and reassemble. When the instructors started the clock you disassembled the weapon in 15 seconds. You reassembled it in 18 seconds. The instructors took you out of the class and set you in another room and gave you a scrambled Rubik’s Cube, not the usual testing, but you didn’t question this. When asked if you ever played with one you said yes, but it was boring. They then asked you to solve it, they reported that you looked at it for about 5 seconds then solved it in 9.8 seconds. They repeated the process and on the second try, you did it in 8.4 seconds. The world record time was 10.48 seconds. When they informed you of this statistic you simply stated, sarcastically, ‘Sirs, if my weapon fails in a firefight, do I solve this puzzle before throwing it’?
“Then they bring back the M16 disassembled placed on the table and told you to reassemble it again. You took one look at the table and stated that you could not without all the parts. You pointed out that the Buffer Spring was missing. They gave you the buffer spring and you assembled it this time in 14 seconds. While handing the cleared weapon back, you stated you would not take it into combat unless it was necessary to use as a club. They then asked you to explain and you told them the buffer spring looked like it already had reached the maximum 10k cycle. Should I go on?”
Looking at the Colonel shaking my head relaying, “I was there so this is old news unless you are looking for confirmation, sir,” pausing, then continued, “Look sir no disrespect, to continue your story, I told the instructors that I was familiar with this weapon since I was five, including just about every other weapon they also had in inventory in the Corps, I informed them my grandfather and father had been training me to be as they say, ‘Corps Ready’ since I could walk. This included everything as it relates to boot camp all the way thru passing The Crucible. Then field training, including situational tactics and as a scout sniper. They asked who exactly trained me and I gave them my father and grandfathers names. There was a silent cough from the shadows of the room I was in. My DI left the room and came back a few minutes later and dismissed me telling me to return to barracks and await further instructions.
“The next day I was told to report to transport going to the firing range at Pendleton which I did. I was the only one reporting, when I arrived at Pendleton I was again the only one there. Sir, should I continue?”
After a moment the Colonel cleared his throat and said “Son, you scored 250 points the maximum which qualified you as an expert tested at the range. To add to that you tested out with a 250 score in all firing positions, and you did it in record time not to mention, targeting at the 600-yard distance designated as the max point target range of the M16. You were then instructed to fire at a point target 1,000 yards in distance and scored 10 hits out of 10. You cleared your weapon and they looked at you, lost for words, without anyone saying a thing, you stated ‘The enemy knows the effective point target range of the M16 is around 600 yards for the average soldier, but I was taught with a sniper mentality do your math, surprise and adapt, sirs’.
“Then they gave you an M40A3 bolt action sniper rifle. You took it apart then reassembled it first and repeated acing this exercise at distances up to 2,500 yards. You did point out at that distance the w/175 gr; M118LR rounds loaded had a muzzle velocity of around 2,550 ft. per second so the shots went subsonic at around 1,100 yards and the drop and drift was staggering and if the target was not the size of a small barn, it didn’t matter, by the time it reached the target someone would probably just end with a bruise from the shot. Also, the trigger pull was set closer to 5lbs and that you preferred a 3lb pull and the scope was a Unertl and you preferred S&B scopes.
“Later they reassigned you to another company that was scheduled to go thru the final stage of training, The Crucible. After completing the 54 hours thru The Crucible, you earned the highest scores with a group that you never worked with before. Three days later, you were graduated out of basic, received a rifle expert badge, and received your first stripes promoted from E1 to E4 Corporal, a first in the Corps.
“Then you shipped off to Sniper Training which they knew would be a waste of yours and their time, but the Corps does have traditions and rules. Your instructors, in their evaluation reports, collectively agreed not only were you the best recruit they had ever seen, they learned things from you, noting that during the stalking phase, your OP’s could never find you in the 3-4 hour standard. In fact, they let you stay in position one time for 6 hours before they called no joy and you tapped your OP on his foot, he was standing on your hand and didn’t know that you were literally right underneath him. And, I was that cough in the shadows as you probably just figured out when I cleared my throat, one of your many talents remembering sounds I think, am I correct?”
“No Sir,” Cody replied, “I knew when I was telling you my story or should I say continuing your story, the last time I saw you, you were at the range on that day in Pendleton. But sir the throat clearing you did on purpose added confirmation like I deferred earlier, I did not recall meeting you before, but I have seen you before, Sir.”
The Colonel smiled retrieving an envelope from his pocket, handing it to me asking me to read the contents, taking his burger and Pepsi, he rose and started walking away leaving me there alone to read. I followed him with my eyes as he walked across the vacant lot into the tree line across the road and disappeared.
Cody glanced at the plain, nondescript white envelope in hand, with nothing written on it. Cody took another bite of his burger while he opened the envelope, unfolding the letter inside. Cody recognized the handwriting immediately, Dad. Oddly, he wasn’t surprised or shocked, putting his burger down and began reading.
Reading this means I am not there for you right now and Colonel Morgan handed this to you. First, Colonel Morgan is one of my closest and dearest friends. Our families have been intertwined for a very long time. The Colonel (Brandt) does not need a dossier on you, he knows everything about you, and he was present the day you were born. As you heard the story before, I was on a deployment at the time and my friend along with his wife, were there helping to look after you and your mother until I returned home. If I was gone, he was around in the shadows watching over you and your mother.
If you are reading this it also means you are leaving the Corps, I suspect the reasons why, especially in the world that we are living through now, I figured you wouldn’t last in the Corps much longer from the last time we spoke.
Obviously, there are circumstances that caused this to come to you in this way. I trust you recall my last words to you when you said you just wanted to disappear for a while, I told you that you don’t always need a reason and you can disappear in plain sight. I’m sure that soon things will become clear to you.
Know this, your mother and I, are with you and love you always. I believe your goal now is to travel back home to Montana. You are the proud owner of our family businesses now and as you are aware it is running just fine under the stewardship of John Dunhill.
If everything is going as planned, at the time of this writing, you have been deployed to the MWTC and are leaving from there to the world of civilians. The Colonel will be asking you to go on a mission, one that will last your lifetime, as always follow your instincts.
Remember that there are reasons for everything.
Now stop reading and talk to the Colonel.
Remember that we love you dearly,
The Mother and Father Units.
Refolding the letter pocketing it, finishing his burger thinking, leave it my father to speak in tongues and riddles. Cody just sat there enjoying the solitude, no point thinking too much while waiting for the Colonel.
After a couple of minutes passed his cell phone rang, Cody answered, “Sir.”
“Go north on 395 about 2klics, after the deer crossing sign take the first dirt road on your right, once you see me try not to run me over,” the call was disconnected. Then Cody heard faint multiple chirps. The call was being bounced off of multiple satellites, interesting he thought.
Cody cleaned up his eating area, disposed of the trash and headed towards where he ordered his burgers to offer his thanks for the burgers and to give the woman who served them a tip and just to see her again. Before he reached the order window a gentleman came out of the building.
“Master Gunny a word please,” the man nearing him asked.
Stopping in my tracks, before reaching the building, he intercepted me with his hand extended which I did the same finally meeting together shaking, I greeted him with “Sir?”
“Bill Morris, a pleasure to meet you Reaper, hope you don’t mind me using your call sign.”
“No sir I don’t mind” I replied.
After a momentary pause, Bill continued, “You know, I just have to say, you’re the spitting image of your father and it is my pleasure to finally meet you all grown up in person, and before you ask, The Colonel told me he was meeting you here, your father and I go way back we served in the Corps together, the last time I saw you with him you were about knee high and he loved my burgers too, and please call me Bill.”
“A pleasure to meet you, Bill, you said you served with my dad, where was that exactly.”
“Well, the short of it, we were at boot together on Parris Island, then at Quantico for our Sniper Scout MOS 317, then on missions together here and there over the years, the what for and the where at, well I can’t say you understand. Your father was the best.”
“Well, my dad, as it may come as no surprise, maintained tight lips, so I am sorry he never told me much of anything other than he did mention a Wild Bill as his brother in arms, so you must be Wild Bill,” I said pointing at the sign. That elicited a laugh from my new friend.
“I was anything but wild, but that was the point I guess when your dad gave me that nickname and before I say more, I am sorry he and your mom are not here with us today.”
“Thank you for that, Bill, I would like to stop back and talk to you more, but I have a meeting to get to, hope you understand.”
Bill extended his hand again to shake that I grasped, “Don’t worry son, the Colonel will wait, knowing the old bird, he probably has eyes on us now, but I do understand that you don’t want to keep the big bad Colonel waiting. And don’t worry about stopping back to see me afterwards, I suspect our paths will cross again, take care of yourself son.”
With that Bill turned and headed back to the burger shack. “Shit, I didn’t leave the tip.”
Bill heard me, “Your money is not accepted here, but I will tell the young lady of your honorable intentions.” With that, he disappeared inside the burger shack.
“Ok,” I said to myself as I headed to my Jeep thinking, I guess that’s why this place is decked in Corps colors Scarlet and Gold with splashes of Blue. Marine pride, at least the burgers were not the same color that would be weird. Well, so far today I’m going to have to redefine my concept of weird.