Fiction

Red Vet

1947, Los Angeles, California, USA Mickey Holloway felt the tap of the nightstick on his shoulder before he caught sight of the two cops out of the corner of his eye. “Let’s see it, red vet,” the older cop growled. “See what?” Mickey said in a calm, even voice. “Come on, red vet,” the younger cop piped in as he tapped Mickey’s red skull and cross-bones armband with his nightstick. “You know what’s up.” Mickey sighed and slowly pulled out his wallet. Then equally slowly extracted the two cards he was required by the Veteran’s Control Act of 1945 to have at all times. He handed them to the younger officer. A small crowd gathered around Mickey and the cops to watch the show. The younger cop looked at the cards carefully. One was Mickey’s veteran’s identity card; laminated with a snapshot of the veteran in one corner, a line by line description of his combat service (Peleliu and Iwo Jima), his ranking as a Class-Four, Extreme Threat, combat veteran, all done in red lettering … [continue]