“This adult cop says that she can appear in, that she’s one of us.” “You don’t say,” Richter replied, aptitude advanced as she stared anon at Keegan. Her animation smelled of excellent stim gum, which took Keegan aback to her own deployments and the cravings that followed. “Prove it.”
Keegan boring pushed up her larboard sleeve to aloof beneath the elbow. There, 1 inch beneath the bend and 2 inches aloft the wrist, was a boom of an hawkeye aloft a apple beyond by an anchor. Three names were beneath it, anniversary in a altered font: Ferry, Rodriguez, Anton. Keegan covered the boom with her hand, aloof to appearance that it was sized according to Marine regulations, aloof like she’d had to do for her NCO the morning afterwards she’d appear aback to the billet with it.6
Richter nodded her approval, not accepting to ask what the three names meant. “How about you?” she asked Griff.
Before he could answer, Keegan said, “He’s with me. We aloof charge to cut through to the station.” Griff nervously absurd his duke while Richter briefly looked him over.
“Sorry, no can do.” Now, she alone looked at Keegan, blank Griff again. “Only those that served.”
There wasn’t time to argue.
Keegan angry to Griff. “Head aback to the vehicle. Link aback up with me aback you get there.”
Griff looked like he was activity to altercate with her—the Academy absolutely didn’t advise you to leave your accomplice abaft in a affected abounding of armed protesters—but Keegan cut him off.
“I’ll be fine. Any of them could acquire attempt me aback in the Corps, so why do it now? Move,” she said added emphatically, signaling an order. “We don’t acquire time to waste.”
At that Griff angry and headed aback to the SUV, which had alone apprenticed itself addition 7 feet.
At Keegan’s impatience, Richter looked at her quizzically. “I got this, Red,” she said to the Viking. “I’ll escort her through.”
“Yes, ma’am,” he said, the alternation of command clear. Richter motioned for Keegan to follow.
Keegan had alloyed affections about it all. She’d been asked to beforehand added than once, but beneath every time. She’d assorted her excuses—sometimes it was an FBI training beforehand she claimed she couldn’t get out of, added times a ancestors commitment. But it was absolutely because she aloof didn’t like area it all had concluded up.
Of course, she accepted their anger. The baneful aggregate of an bread-and-butter collapse and a bedraggled political arrangement had done a job on the allowances they were declared to get afterwards their service. Everyone was suffering, but it was the bigotry of it all that had sparked the movement. Civilian Social Security checks were automatically adapted academy by law, but not the veterans’ benefits, which had to be voted on anniversary year.7
That one little difference, and the basement that veterans were put on in politics, had fabricated their checks the hostages that the two parties acclimated to arrangement for what they wanted. Anyone in the aggressive knew that actuality a assurance for politicians was allotment of the deal, but not in a way that additionally afflicted their families.
So the acknowledgment had been accustomed to anyone with aggressive tactics: beforehand against the threat. A million-strong beforehand of vets from about the nation had apparent up in DC to “occupy” Congress.
But that was the affair about anger—once you got organized about it, it could never be satisfied. Most of the vets had gone home afterwards Congress had askance and the checks had been adjusted. But a appropriate bulk had absitively to break on until Congress additionally met their demands for affirmed jobs, housing, and, well, appealing abundant annihilation abroad anyone who’d accustomed added than their fair allotment acquainted they deserved. This was the allotment Keegan wasn’t too adequate with—the abstraction that they adapted added not aloof because they were owed it, but because they were bigger than those who owed them, and whose rules they no best had to follow.
It was maybe because she wasn’t absolutely owed anything; she could never absolutely accord what the Corps gave her. She had abutting up a few weeks abbreviate of academy graduation. She had apparent one of those application ads about how the Marines chose to run against trouble. For her, it had been about beat it. The University of Washington Tacoma was 2,936 afar from Parris Island, South Carolina, but alike afterwards a cross-country bus ride, at times it still acquainted too close. Afterwards cossack camp, the Marines had beatific her a few thousand afar farther, to yet addition abode and time she’d rather not remember, but for altered reasons. Forgetting was a necessity, aloof like it was for a nation that had artlessly appear to acquire the afterimage of veterans bathing in the Reflecting Pool as the amount of blockage a superpower.
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