Casey got his stripes the old fashioned way, through the ranks, he earned them. He was respected by his peers, his men loved him, not a man on that team that wouldn’t take a bullet for Bull Casey.
We met in basic training, I was a recruit, Casey a drill Sargent. He couldn’t break me down physically or mentally, God knows he tried. That SOB busted my balls for seven long weeks of BUD’s training at Coronado, at the end of it all I found myself respecting the bastard, if not liking him.
I hadn’t seen him since graduation, not surprising I’d find him in an NCO club.
I smiled when the waitress said the beer was on the gentleman sitting at the bar. That was no gentleman, it was Casey, the insignia on the sleeve of his dress blues told you all you needed to know, red stripes, three stars and an eagle, not a man alive going to fuck with him.
I heard a rumor he was in town, seemed appropriate we’d meet in an NCO club, our last meeting in California was in the same place, they all looked the same.
He turned on the stool, I smiled and nodded. The long neck in my hand tipped forward, his did the same, he headed for my table.