Trapping Food When You’re On The Go

Re-posted from MDSA

Conibear post1

Some traps bought as a teenager for my first trapline at 15. Victory No.2 double coil spring on the left, 110 Conibear, center, and a Victory No.1 single leaf spring, right. 

Over the years I’ve had a number of people ask me what I suggested for trapping in an “On the move, supplies on my back” survival scenario. My usual suggestions are snares if you are travelling very light (example, in the smock kit), and at least four 110 Conibears body hold traps (one for each of the cardinal directions) along with snares if you are carrying a rucksack. Although snares will do their job well if you set them correctly, they also are “one time use” if the animal tears them up. The 110 Conibear will work again and again and again for decades if taken care of.

One of the best ways I’ve found to carry my Conibear traps is by using a mil issue SAW pouch. The SAW pouch was originally designed to carry a 200 round squad automatic weapon (SAW) plastic drum/box, and I have found that it will conveniently carry four 110 Conibear traps, some snares, trap building gear (wood screws, nails, wire, twine and heavy staples) and even a bottle of lure if you want.

Conibear post2

Four brand new Conibear traps placed in a SAW pouch for a new ruck kit. Note how they fit perfectly in the SAW pouch with some room to spare.

My Buddy Bergmann normally uses a British bergan ruck, and at 3:45 in this video, he shows where/how he carries his Conibears in his bergan. One of the advantages I see in carrying your traps in it’s own specific pouch (like the SAW pouch), is your ability to take that pouch off of your ruck, attach it to your LBE/LBV, belt, etc., and go out to run your small trapline while leaving your ruck stashed and camouflaged.

Conibear post3

I’ve had the top trap for 32 years, the bottom one is brand new. 

My trapping experiences and targets as a kid were primarily raccoon, fox and muskrat. We didn’t have much in the way of mink in our area at the time, and there weren’t any coyotes here (DNR imported them from out West in the mid 90’s) yet. Squirrels (one of your primary target animals for food) are harder to trap than muskrat, but easier to trap than coons (in my experience). Learning the art of trapping is a great survival skill that could serve you well if you end up in a post SHTF scenario.

One of the most important things about trapping is the need to actually get out and do it. Watching a youtube video to learn the theory and basic techniques is great, but it’s only about a third (I’m being very generous) of the “successful trapping” equation. A good place for the novice to start is Dave Canterbury’s “Modern Trapping Series“. Below is one of Canterbury’s videos on prepping and use of the 110 Conibear trap, and here is another.

The last dozen 110’s I bought, I purchased through Amazon (convenient), here’s the link. Now is the time to get your trapping kit squared away then go out and learn how to use it. As far as I know, trapping is legal in all 50 states. The requirement might be to buy a $5 trappers permit with your hunting license, or it might require that you take a “Trapper’s” course which is similar to the “Hunter Safety Course”. Check your state requirements, get squared away, and get out and practice.

JCD

American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

Another SHTF Reality From Selco

Reposted from MDSA

Selco gives us some reality about a typical “Tacticool” SHTF day. Reality is a bitch, and being able to trade is an important survival skill.

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Ordinary Day’

ordinary

 

A lot of people wonder what an ‘ordinary day’ was like during the SHTF. I was thinking on this and remembered this day. I think it is a good illustration and answers this question… It’s odd to say but we were often glad of ‘ordinary days’ when not to bad things happened…

 

Rain was falling down for days, and we all felt wet and soaked with it.

Moisture was in our pores, our clothes, and kinda in our heads too.

It was kind of weather that pushes down and back the smoke from your stove, back to your room instead of through the chimney.

Holes in our roof were plugged, more or less, in the way that we managed to “channel” leaks  into numerous pots and canisters, in order to keep ourselves dry and also to collect water.

Being dirty is bad, but being dirty and smelly during several days of rainy weather is simply awful.

We dried our clothes above the stove, evaporation of dirty clothes together with smell of dirty bodies, bad “tobacco” (we “discover” some new tree leaves which we used as a substitute for tobacco), handmade oil lamps  and tea boiling on stove (we called it sometimes ‘soup’, other times ‘tea’)  made a mixture of smells which simply added to the depression of the whole situation.

In days like that alcohol intake would go up high.

When weather was fine I liked to go on second floor, remove tarp and plywood “setup” from roof hole that was made with mortar shell few months before, sit under it, watch the blue sky and drink.

Other folks would say “he is up there again waiting for mortar shell to land on his head” but it was nice and peaceful to do it, and sometimes I just did not care.

Even that weird relaxation was out of the option because of the endless rain.

In days like that we were closest to animals as we could be.

We ate potatoes for days, we managed to get it through one UN convoy that somehow entered city month ago, and it was mess to get those bags of potatoes because while UN forces tried to organized some kind of delivery system- like small bag of potatoes to each family that show up-folks simply overrun them and started to fight each other over it.

Several people get killed then, but we managed to bring home quite a stash of it.

We were happy because of the potatoes, but few days later rumors exploded that potatoes that we get were poisoned, actually it was not for human use, it was meant for seed only, or something like that and apparently they were treated with very hard chemicals.

We continued to eat it, only difference was that we were not so happy anymore about it…

And then a trade chance came to us.

It was my turn to go to visit the guy who “had some stuff for sell-trade” or at least it was information that we get it.

Good thing about this guy was the fact that I knew him little bit prior SHTF, when SHTF he had strong connections and simply had interesting stuff from time to time. He was something like “trustful” trader, he kept his stuff in his house and did trades there, which usually meant either he is stupid or very protected, and he was not stupid.

“Gogo” was his nickname, and we felt good because we are going to trade with him, because his reputation was pretty big and he (we thought) could not afford too many bad stories about trading with him.

It was as safe a trade as it could be in those days.

My relative show me our possession for trade while we were preparing for trip-it was 10 packs of Kent cigarettes, and when I saw that, it was like I saw UFO landing in backyard, with aliens bringing to us food, water, candies, and safety, and flying me then to a rock concert.

In that period cigarettes were rare, sometimes impossible to find and we were even lucky to have tobacco-which was not actually tobacco but grinded “tree” of tobacco plant, or simply all kind of tree leafs that we experimented with.

White filters Kent cigarettes in that moment were something like wet dream of every smoker.

It was pleasure to even see them, to smoke them meant pure happiness.

On my question where he get it? He answered “from some mercenaries”, and I did not want to ask more, I did not care.

We started our way to Gogo’s house around midnight, because plan was to be at the most dangerous place around 0100hrs.

On our way back we would choose a different way.

That dangerous place was big opening between houses, some 100-150 meters of space where we are completely open to the near hill where Anti Aircraft gun and few m84 machine guns were located.

Those machine gun was nicknamed “sijac smrti” which translates from my language to English as a  “death seeder” or “death bringer” or similar, and when I first time heard that nickname my thoughts were:”oh c’mon-somebody is watching too many movies, it is bombastic nickname for ordinary weapon”

Later when I was targeted first time from that weapon, when they shoot at me, I correct myself and I thought something like” death seeder? It is more, much more, it is Satan, it is hell, it is pure horror…”

And much later I also realized it is more or less common nickname for some other similar weapons.

So I built pretty fast my respect for “sijac smrti”, that shit was way too fast and deadly. It sounded like whole bunch of small deaths flying directly to you while they screaming.

 

(years later, after my SHTF ended and all things go back to some kind of let s say normal, I was watching member of Serbian elite parachute unit, while he was trying to explain his battle experience to another guy.

He and his small unit were holding position in dense woods on some hill during NATO bombing of Serbia, it was on Kosovo, and they were attacked by Albanians, Albanians were much stronger by numbers, but poorly trained, as he said, and he and his comrades did pretty well, morale was high, they were tough guys.

And then he said airplanes came. He said planes were firing from cannons destroying the hundreds years old trees like simple matches and obliterating his unit.

But he said that was not scariest thing-pure horror was sounds of that planes and cannons while they firing down on them, while he was trying to explain that he opened his eyes wide and said” it was sound like there are 10 big cows is in the air flying to you and they are screaming because they are being slaughtered”

Other guy was watching him probably not understanding what is so scary about that sound to terrified big strong elite dude.

And I said to myself “Oh man, I know that horror”)

 

Anyway we came to that open space without too much problems.

Nobody know what kind of view they had there on the hill, but during the night they fired often, without real cause, on that opening, so it was matter of luck sometimes are you going to be shot.

And somehow it was a myth that it is safest to cross it around 0100hrs.

In that time it was many openings like that in the city with different weapon and different tactics for crossing it and different myths about it how to cross it safely.

Lot of folks find God and faith on openings like that while they run or crawl over it.

Of course lot of folks end up dead there too.

I have seen guys being shot dead there while they run as fast as they could, I saw some crazy dudes walking slowly there and nothing happened, some guys were wounded and screamed there for hours with their guts hanging out until they died…

No rules.

We sat down behind the wall next to the opening and I told my relative “ok give me the cigarettes”

He said “it is not smart, it is for trade”

I did not care, so he gave me one pack, I opened it and smoked a cigarette.

It was cool to smoke it, white paper cigarette with white filter, after long time of smoking trash tobacco in any kind of paper that we could get.

It smelled like perfume to me in that moment.

I finished it and told to him “ok I can die now if I need”

He answered to me “fuck you man”

We run across that space while rain was pouring down, nothing happens, not a single shot on us.

Gogo’s house was close by after that, and nothing dangerous happened until we came to his home.

After some guy show up to us at the yard, we were allowed to enter the house with weapon, which was good feeling but not necessary good sign, but when we saw Gogo he recognizes us, and after some casual conversation which includes people that we together know we started to feel better.

We entered small room, two of us and two of them, sat down and had a drink.

 

Rakija (A strong, locally brewed spirit) was available then, so it was not a surprise when he gave us two glasses with that drink.

Numerous different kinds of that drink were circulating around, most often it was pure poison, simple not finished product from destroyed distillery diluted with water, but his was soft and nice.

Room where we sat was something like weird version of display room for customers, so we could see all kind of different stuff around in bags or open cabinets.

I saw pack of beer, even couple bottles of coke, and room strangely smelled of coffee which was high luxury in that time, everything there was set up for turning your senses “to want stuff”.

Bags full of something were lying everywhere and steel cabinet from army barracks was locked in one corner.

After some chatting he put down his hand under the table and put “Zolja” (“wasp”) single use RPG on table and said to us “this is good stuff for you folks, and it is cheap”.

I take it and said to him” it is empty man, fired, useless”

He open his mouth laugh with joy and said” ok man ok, you know that and I know that, but how many idiots outside know that? You could paint water pipe in green and state it is RPG and 90 percent of folks would trust you in dark, this looks real man.  Just fill it with something, point that thing on someone and ask right question”

“Yea, and then I can be killed from the guy who know that weapon is fired long time ago, he could choke me slowly with his bare hands, no thanks”

He said “ok ok, I agree, but here is right one” and then he pull out brand new one, same type, not used.

We said no man, we do not need weapons right now.

He said “ok ok, I have this too, I sell a lot of these and everyone is satisfied man”

Than his buddy opened wood cabinet behind his head and gave him wooden box, size of shoes box, bit smaller.

I look at my relative and look back at me with short surprised expressions.

It was wooden engraved box, pretty common in households in this region prior the war, something that you would put as a display in your living room, and when you opened it there was small wooden bird with mechanism inside, mechanism was activated by opening box, and melody would start, like birds singing…

Is he trying to sell us wooden singing bird in middle of the civil war?

Then he opened the box and push it to me.

Wooden bird was not inside, box was full-maybe some 25 bottles-vials of Penicillin. It was pretty expensive stuff.

I took one bottle and check it, expiration dates were good, Serbian manufacturer, labels looked originally “glued” on bottles.

But on the top of the bottles some of those were missing small thin metal “cap” that is covering rubber sealed “plug”(trough that rubber Penicillin powder is being diluted and aspirated into syringe)

First thought was that some those of the bottles could be used and then filled with flour.

He noticed what I am checking and said “ yeah, some of the caps are missing man, it is being transported through some rough situations before they came to me, but they are good”

I said” cool stuff man, but we do not need it” It was bit suspicious stuff and way to expensive for us at that moment.

He asked finally what we want.

And I said” Meat man!”

He leave the room and get back with one can, and I know he finally meant business because he brought only one can, without showing how much he actually has of it.

He put it on table and said” I have it, it is “Konj“(horse).

In that time different kind of canned food was circulating around, lot of expired stuff, broken, spoiled…

But popular was “horse”.

Horse had good and bad sides, but more good then bad sides.

It was canned meat, stamped label on tin was saying only something like “help from EU” or “help from UNHCR” I do not remember exactly.

Funny thing was that under the marking “type of meat” was written “meat”. Just that: “meat”.

It was kind of partially cooked meat with huge amount of grease inside that looked like snow.

If we ate grease alone it induced bad cases of diarrhea, but you could use it for cooking, melt it and use like oil for lamp, or simply folks stated that it is good to put it in places where you have pain, like an ointment (“bad knees pain – horse grease, rifle butt to the head-horse grease…  😉 )

Meat alone did not had any particular taste, it was unrecognizable, and people simply after some time said it is horse meat because nobody had clue what exactly it is.

So that can was nicknamed “horse”.

There were attempts to call it “kangaroo” but “horse” just stuck to it.

Simply it was usable.

He asked what we have, and I take out one pack of “Kent” he said “nice” without too much enthusiasm but his buddy stand up and said “where you get these man? Cool”

And that moment I knew we gonna get good deal because they are interested, they just kinda “blinked”.

He said to his buddy ”sit down man and shut up, you smoked too much pot” (Use of cannabis was rampant during the war)

And he asked how much of these we have, I answered it depends how much horse he have and bargain started.

At the end, we agree that we gonna gave him 9 packs for 15 cans.

It was great deal for us, and probably cool deal for him, because he knew folks who will appreciate those cigarettes a lot I guess.

After setting up a deal, and after we exchanged stuff we chatted for a bit and he offered me a hand made cigarette.

He gave me a small tin box with hand rolled cigarettes.

And I looked into the box, it used to be small box for cigarillos I think and I looked at the box, I liked it very much.

We carried our tobacco in all kinds of different bags, boxes, foils or whatever, but that tin box simply was “laying” down in my hand so cool. It was foreign stuff clearly.

It somehow “clicked” and perfectly lay down in my hand when I took it.

I gave it back to him asked where he got that, and he clearly saw that I “blinked” this time.

He said ”offer something, it is nice box man”

I only had that one more pack of Kent, with missing cigarette inside (which I wanted originally to keep for myself)

I pull it out from my pocket, gave it to him, he said” ok, I’ll give the cigarette box for this pack”

It was outrageous price, and I could almost feel my relative sending thoughts to me like “you fucking idiot, pack of cigarettes for tin box? We could get more meat for that…”

But I liked the box.

Then Gogo said” wait the second, cigarettes are missing from the pack, it is opened”

I said” yes, but still man, only one is missing and this is Kent real cigarettes”

Then he open drawer from the desk and pull hammer from it, we almost jumped ready for fight, but he took hammer and hit the tin box.

Then he said “ ok, one cigarette is missing in your pack, box is little bit damaged on one end now, but still working, now it is fair deal, we need to keep our business in some rules, it is reputation man!”

I was looking at him, realizing that he kinda lost it, just like most of us did in that time.

But we make the deal done, and all went good.

We get home in one piece, we ate those cans mixed with herbs and potatoes. Older member of family was happy with grease on his knees for some time…

I had a lot of bitching because of that tin box trade, but I survived.

War ended and years go by, I lost tin cigarette box, Gogo moved to Canada, and I heard he is doing apartment decorating business, and sometimes play guitar in some clubs, and have drugs issues…

Then one year, me and my wife were doing big renovation in my old house, and in some box with all kind of mess she pull out that tin box and said to me” oh it is some box for cigarettes, we gonna throw it away or you need it?”

Then she opened it, and inside she read small words that I wrote long time ago “GOGO” and date of trade.

She asked me “what is it, who is Gogo? Is it man or woman”?

From all of the explanation that I could gave her somehow words that came from my mouth were “ Yep, I could have got maybe two horses instead of that box during the war if I were smart”

“you had horses during the war? You rode it? I thought this was city siege! Where in the world you got horses?” she said looking suspiciously at me. (she spent war years in Germany without too much clue how was it here in reality)

I said smartly” no no, I didn’t ride horses, we ate it, it was good stuff”

Then she look at me with horror stating “you killed and ate horses, how could you, they are beautiful animals”

And then finally I said” you know what, forget it, it is long story, just throw away that box, it is useless”

Still, for a week or so she had suspicious looks at me from time to time.

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JCD

American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

RIP “Weaponsman”

A sad day for multiple communities. Here’s a family member’s thoughts.

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Kevin O’Brien


I’m sorry to have to tell you all that my brother Kevin O’Brien, host of this blog, passed away peacefully this morning at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Let me start with some housekeeping.  First, the email address hognosecommunity@comcast.net remains active and you may get more and better updates there.  I say this because frankly I’m having trouble posting here.  I don’t know Kevin’s WordPress password and I’m afraid that if I restart his computer, I will not be able to post any more because the password will not autofill.  Therefore I can’t guarantee I will be able to make more updates on the blog.

We are planning a celebration of Kevin’s life for all of his friends some time in early to mid-June, here in Seacoast NH.  I will have details in a couple of days.  All those who knew and loved Kevin, including all Weaponsman readers, are welcome, but we will need an RSVP.  Again, I will make details available to those who write to hognosecommunity@comcast.net.  This is not restricted to personal friends of Kevin, but space will be limited, and we will not be able to fit everyone.  It will be a great opportunity to share memories of Kevin.

We will be looking for stories and pictures of Kevin!  Please send to the email address.

I expect that some time after the celebration, I will be shutting down the blog.  No one other than Kevin could do it justice.

Finally, you should know that Small Dog, whose real name is Zac, has found a home with other relatives of ours.  Of course the poor guy has no idea what has happened to his beloved friend but his life will go on.

Now I’d like to tell you more about Kevin and how he lived and died.  He was born in 1958 to Robert and Barbara O’Brien.  We grew up in Westborough, Mass.  Kevin graduated from high school in 1975 and joined the Army in (I believe) 1979.  He learned Czech at DLI and became a Ranger and a member of Special Forces.

Kevin’s happiest times were in the Army.  He loved the service and was deeply committed to it.  We were so proud when he earned the Green Beret.  He was active duty for eight years and then stayed in the Reserves and National Guard for many years, including a deployment to Afghanistan in 2003.  He told me after that that Afghan tour was when he felt he had made his strongest contribution to the world.

Kevin worked for a number of companies after leaving active duty.  He had always loved weapons, history, the military, and writing, and saw a chance to combine all of his interests by creating Weaponsman.com.  I think the quality of the writing was what always brought people back.  Honestly, for what it’s worth, I have no interest in firearms.  Don’t love them, don’t hate them, just not interested.  But Kevin’s knowledge and writing skill made them fascinating for me.

Kevin and I really became close friends after our childhood.  We saw each other just about every day after he moved to a house just two miles away from mine.  In the winter of 2015, we began building our airplane together.  You could not ask for a better building partner.

Last Thursday night was our last “normal” night working on the airplane.  I could not join him Friday night, but on Saturday morning I got a call from the Portsmouth Regional Hospital.  He had called 911 on Friday afternoon and was taken to the ER with what turned out to be a massive heart attack.  Evidently he was conscious when he was brought in, but his heart stopped and he was revived after 60 minutes of CPR.  He never reawakened.

On Saturday, he was transported to Brigham and Women’s where the medical staff made absolutely heroic efforts to save his life.  Our dad came up on Sunday and we visited him Sunday, Monday, and today.  Each day his condition became worse.

As of last night, it was obvious to everyone that he had almost no chance of survival; and that if he did by some chance survive, he would have no quality of life.  Kevin’s heart was damaged beyond repair, his kidneys were not functioning, he had not regained consciousness, and he had internal bleeding that could not be stopped.  We made the decision this morning to terminate life support.

I’m not crying tonight.  I got that out on Saturday.  What I feel is a permanent alteration and a loss that I know can never be healed.  I loved Kevin so much.  He was brilliant, funny, helpful, kind, caring, and remarkably talented.

At dinner tonight, we agreed that there are probably many people who never “got” Kevin, but there could not be anyone who disliked him.  Rest in Peace.

Please feel free to express your thoughts in the comments and to the hognosecommunity@comcast.net email address.

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Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Kevin  the “Weaponsman”. May you have unlimited ammo, perpetually full magazines, a reliable weapon, and unlimited targets on that “Big range in the sky” Brother.

JCD

American by BiRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

The Infantry Combatant Perspective

For those of you who have served, especially in the infantry, you know that there is a stigma when it comes to the profession of combat. Weak is the only four letter word that someone could call you that could possibly hurt you. The infantry is a profession for hard men who lead hard lives. We take no shit. We fight for fun. We drink more than we should. We have an invented derogatory name for those who were not man enough to join the profession of dispensing freedom one 5.56 at a time. That’s right, I am talking to you, you fucking POG.  We are the reason you can’t get laid in a 50 square mile radius of any major military installation if you sport a high and tight. Arrogance? You’re god damned right we are arrogant.  For enemies of the United States, we are the things that nightmares are made of. Oh you’re sick? Take a knee and drink some water. Oh you’re injured, huh? Take a god damned knee and drink some more water, pussy. Oh you’re having problems at home? Nothing a bottle of Jack cant remedy.  PTSD? That’s something POGs made up to get their queer little combat action badge. We are the top 10% of the 1% that volunteer to serve this country. We wear our combat infantrymen’s badge, blue cord and discs with pride because we know we have been there, done that, and got that T-shirt. We are better than you and we aren’t afraid to let you know it. Why? because we aren’t weak like you. We aren’t afraid to die in the most horrendous ways possible. We crave that day we get to pull that trigger and dispatch another America hating savage. If you have ever been in the infantry after reading that I know you feel a little pride swelling in your chest.

There is a reason that the stigma exists. Most people would never knowingly put themselves in harm’s way, let alone crave the challenge of being locked in a fight where only one side can come out with their life. It’s a badge of honor to know that you are one of the few that are willing to throw yourself into a kill or be killed situation. There is nothing like it. Unless you have been part of the fraternity of infantry no matter how hard I try to explain it you will never fully understand. I owe the infantry for some of the best qualities I have as a man. I can face any situation and know damn well I am going to come out on top. Everyone fails. It’s part of life but the drive to succeed at any cost and never allowing your failures to stand is something that this profession etched into my very being. I have faced crippling fear and overcame it. I can suffer long past where a normal man would give up. I am confident and driven and live for competition. You cannot feel what being alive means until you have come face to face with the reaper and spit in his face.

The flip side of the coin is something that we as a society need to look at changing. Even writing this I worry  about those I have served with and what they will think of me for having this opinion. We have to change the stereotype. We are losing soldiers on a daily basis to suicide. We lose them to the grips of substance abuse. We watch as they tear apart their own lives and their families with anger and depression. I have personally known 3 people who have killed themselves because they couldn’t handle the demons that were inside of them. How can we stop it? You can make any number of hotlines and support groups you want, but the real change needs to come from inside the infantry. We ridicule and abuse any sign of weakness we see because weakness is something we can’t possibly tolerate. Weakness gets people killed. So we push on with injuries that we should probably have looked at. We don’t go to the doctor when we are sick. We don’t talk about all the fucked up shit we saw and did overseas. We were just doing our jobs. We excuse away all the rage directed at people who don’t deserve it. We think the best medicine when you are feeling down comes from the local liquor store. Whats worse is if we see someone else do any of those things we call them out for being weak, for having no heart, for being soft. So when the time comes, and life just gets a little too overwhelming we would rather put the gun to our head and pull the trigger than let someone see past that mask we wear.

We can evolve. We have to evolve. The whole goal of not showing weakness is to be able to endure the rigors of combat and make it out alive. You have to be strong for your buddies because you need to be to bring them home. It is a hard job. We take care of each other when we are overseas. We watch each others backs. We go through those hard times together and come out the other end and know that we have brothers for the rest of our lives. Why can’t we accomplish that goal and take care of each other without that stigma that is preventing us from getting help? If the goal is to have no weaknesses, then why have we fostered an environment where we hide those weaknesses instead of dealing with the root of the problem? Wouldn’t it make you better to be at your best instead? Why do we wait till our friends get that DUI, get arrested for domestic violence, and in the worst case, pull that trigger to see that they need help?

I was at a buddy’s house the other day and we were sitting there knocking a few back and bullshiting about the old days. We served together as squad leaders in the same platoon for two years and a trip to Afghanistan. This guy is the epitome of what you would expect from a seasoned veteran. Poster boy for the infantry. Purple hearts, medals with valor, high PT, great leader and overall stud. Not to mention the cockiest son of a bitch I ever met in my life. A true brother. We always competed with each other trying to have the best squad or get picked to be the main effort for training scenarios. Somehow my medical separation came up and I told him I was shocked to see how much was wrong with me. I went from a sleep study and one diagnosis for narcolepsy and all of a sudden I have a shrink, I am getting psych tests, I am getting treated for TBI, I am on all kinds of medication and I told him the fucked up thing is that I still wont allow myself to belive that any of it is real. I know rationally that whats going on inside of me is abnormal but I find it easier to just write it off. Now I love him to death but I kind of figured I was gonna get mocked but he surprised me and told me about all the things that were wrong with him. Turns out he has been having a pretty tough time himself which I would have never known if he did not allow himself so share with me. I was shocked he did and honored that he trusted me enough to let me into that vulnerable place that we as war fighters rarely allow ourselves to go. We sat there and had a good laugh about it. We laughed about hiding it from people. What the fuck do we have to prove to anyone? We have already proved we can do it. Why does it matter what other people think?  We finally came to a conclusion. We accept all those things because they are normal. That is how I felt since I can remember. Hell, I enlisted at 18 and have spent the majority of my adult life this way. He asked something that really made sense to me. Wonder what it would feel like to be normal?

We will never know because we are who we are and we have done what we have done. Its shaped who we are as men and I truly belive that we are better for it as long as we can be honest with ourselves and know it comes with a price. A price we all pay in one form or another. Guilt, anger, and regret are the new enemies that could defeat us if we don’t face them. I see the best of us choosing isolation rather than seeking out someone to talk to because everyone else seems to be doing fine. None of us are fine but refuse to let it show. Refuse to show that weakness.  I know now that seeking out help gives us the best chance to get as close to what normal should be. At the end of the day, no matter who you are, your gonna have to hang up the uniform and try to be a member of a foreign society called civilian life. Your gonna have to accept who you are stigma or not. You may have been a grunt and done some shit but allowing yourself to admit your weakness and fix the problems is just as courageous as duking it out in a firefight. I know I didn’t give up all that time and effort deployed watching your back for you to come home and die by allowing these new enemies to win. So do me a favor. Take the time after you read this to give somone you know who has lived this life a call. Check in every once in awhile. Show them that even though you arent together every day fighting for our lives in those remote shitholes, they are not alone and you still have thier backs. Who knows, you may save a life.

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JCD

American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

Go Home And Stay Home

 

mdt-patches1-1A friend and I were talking the other night, and during the conversation, I mentioned that I’ve usually only met two types of people in the moolisha. The first is the guy who wants to hear or read something that makes him think he has a chance. The second is the guy who wants to hear or read something that gives him “The excuse”.

The first guy generally falls in the category of “late 30’s to 60’s”, was never in the military (we’ll detail that in a bit), and has only recently had the “epiphany” of “Holy cow, we are in dangerous times! What can I do to survive?” (Most that I know that take my classes are in this category). Due to their lack of military training, these guys are “jonesing” for word that what they have done (or can do) to prepare will give them the edge in surviving what’s coming. As I have said plenty of times, there are plenty of examples of people who survived not what was probable, but only what was possible. You are not a commando, but you don’t have to be to survive what’s coming.

On the first point (never been in the military), all I can say is that if you are between 18 and 30, and you want to play in the moolisha, but have never even tried to get into something like the National Guard, you are a “wanna be”, and really don’t give two shits about “serving” your community (isn’t that supposed to be the point of the true militia?). You either know you don’t have the guts that it takes to actually perform true military service, or you are lazy and want something (the moolisha) that you can “opt out” of whenever you feel like it. You are very aware that the military is not an “opt out” entity, and you are all about convenience, right?

By the way, I am not talking about people that want to live a Survivalist lifestyle. Survivalists are not posing as a quasi military (they do SUT and weapons training because it is a reality that is needed in a fight), and trying to impress people with their multicam’s, superduper “operator cut” helmets, and “M4gery” with $15 optic attached in a selfie on facebook. Although there are Survivalists in the moolisha, being in the moolisha does not mean you’re a Survivalist.

After meeting a number of the “wanna be” types, I have nothing but contempt for the majority that are part of the group (18-30ish) I spoke about above (not the older guys, or guys who served in the mil). This is because they are not concerned about helping their community in a crisis. They are lazy, poseurs who are more concerned about convenience and how their most recent selfie looks on facebook. To be clear, if you are in the category I mentioned above (18-30sh), and you are part of the moolisha without ever serving in something like the National Guard (a medical denial for entry is an exception), you are a lazy, delusional, convenience oriented, wanna be.

Think that’s harsh? “Harsh” is making plans to fight next to a guy who (when given the opportunity) is not willing to do whatever he has to do to make himself the best fighter possible, and you find out during the fight that he doesn’t have the guts, stamina, or drive to stick around when it gets bad. “Harsh”, is having a “Battle Buddy” who is more concerned about having a $3,000 GucciAR, but never wanted to pay to get training with it “cuz trainin’s ‘spensive.”. “Harsh” is finding out during the fight, that the guy next to you in the foxhole can’t carry his ass, let alone yours if you get hurt, simply because he thought “PT” was an acronym for a Dairy Queen entree.

If the opportunity to serve the State or Community in something like the National Guard was not acted on when they had the chance, how can the person say they want to be part of the militia? Even though the militia has no authority beyond self protection, it is still supposed to be part of the State or Community defensive strategy (according to moolisha “leadership”), right? True service to your community is not about convenience, it is about sacrifice (and please don’t tell me how much “time” you put into your “unit”, via facebook page posts, a website, or your meeting at the local beer mart).

The fact that you are on FB or have an internet page for your moolisha, means you are not serious about being a true militia, you are a operational ignoramus, or both. A militia is paramilitary in nature, and OpSec is one of the fundamental principles governing the actions of any type of military unit and its personnel. There is no OpSec if your “unit” is on the internet. The internet stuff is basically a “Look at me/us” page, nothing more.

As I said earlier, the older guys in category 1 simply want to hear or read something that gives them hope of survival, but then there’s the guys in category 2. You know who they are. They’re the ones who are just looking for an excuse to “get their ‘gun’ on!”. These are the guys who are dangerous to the group. They are the ones who say things on facebook like “If antifa kills a pro-Trump protester, it’s on!” (Having this as a personal conversation f2f is one thing, doing it on FB is BS bravado and just stupid.). These are the guys that are very similar to the provocateurs that the Feds plant in militia/patriot groups who will push people to commit crimes or they will just talk about doing it themselves. They are either talking crap (the majority) or they are an emotional train wreck looking for an excuse to live the fantasy in their shemagh covered head.

You know the ones I’m talking about. The ones in some of the blog or forum commentariat who run their mouth/keyboard spewing death and mayhem to all who oppose their idea of right and wrong, and then talk crap to those who disagree (and would never have the guts to do it in person).  We know most are full of crap, but if you are in a group that has these types, can you really afford to take the chance that this emotional (read that as effeminate) asshole won’t write checks your group can’t cash (with the Feds or whoever)? He’s a braggart, and even your group info is at risk because he is trying to impress people however he can.

We have to be smarter than the emotional idiots who can’t keep their mouth/keyboard thoughts to themselves. We have to be smarter than the guys who put all their personal and group info on social media and the internet, just to get a “You’re bad ass Boss.” or “Man, you guys look like SpecOps.” from the ignorant or like minded buffoons. We have to be smarter than the emotional idiots who run straight into a possible ambush like bundy ranch or Malheur, without so much as a pre-op gear and weapons check (yes, it happened), or a non emotional, real world assessment of the situation before hand.

Go home and stay home. Train with those in your area (within walking distance, and if I have to explain the “why” of that statement, you should probably stop reading this and get a comic book instead) to defend it. When things go truly critical, Billy Bob of the Gee Wiz County Irregulars seven counties or a state away are not going to help you. The only training you should be doing with groups outside of your 25 mile area (and that’s being generous) is commo and “escape and evasion” (make multiple routes for vehicle and foot exfil and actually do it to a safe house outside of your area).

Does someone in Billy Bob’s group have the ability to give your group training in a certain area that you do not have available “in house”? OK, then that guy, and only that guy comes to you to train your group. This is not a “Tactical Love Fest” where your groups get together to “Attaboy”, “train” on SUT (the last time I heard of this type of event happening, it sounded like it was a “multicam knitting circle” with no substance taken home by the inexperienced that needed it the most) and look at your new toys. That’s how you give away valuable intel to “The Powers That Be”. Oh, but President Trump won, so TPTB are on our side now.”. If you believe that the pendulum isn’t about to be knocked out of the Grandaddy Clock, considering what’s been going on, you need to get a “Perception Lobotomy” and take some “Reality Ritalin”! Your attention span on important matters is apparently that of a retarded goldfish.

If you are realistic, you realize you can’t do anything for your community, until you are squared away personally. That means the logistics, training, and ability (example- PT) to take care of your family first. After that you can be concerned for your group and community, but if you are ignoring the “gorilla in the room” (your lack of personal preparedness), and only concentrating on your moolisha, Survivalist group, or NPT (this is usually an “I just care so much for the group, I don’t concentrate on myself” cop out), you are in need of entirely too much attention from others, and should perform an emergency reality check of what your responsibilities are, and the prioritized order that they should be placed in.

Don’t like it? I DON’T CARE! A number of us have tried to give people advice on how to go about preparing for the inevitable. A percentage of those people have taken it, but a larger percentage gave lip service to the advice, then went right back to the “Tacti-rut” they’ve been in forever, due to their need for attention. This need for attention overrides advice like “Get off the Damned internet with your group stuff!”, simply because that advice is counter productive to the “Tacticool, Operator” paradigm that they want to espouse and give the impression of living.

Eventually if you survive, the saying we’ll be “We’re all Selco now.”. I pray to God I’m wrong about our future, and I will happily admit it if that is the case down the road, but what if I’m right? Can you afford for me to be right? Will you have a snowball’s chance in Hell of surviving if I am right? Only you know your preps, your motivations, and your intentions. Be the civilian version of the military’s “quiet professionals”. Not necessarily in skill sets, but in a desire to learn all you can, prepare all you can, and be a force for good in a world that is about to go perpetually non-permissive.

American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE,

JCD