Appalachian Patria

Appalachian Intellectual. To me that means plain thinking. I am A Non Commissioned Officer in the Army Reserves. Let me say...My views expressed here are mine and not those of The U.S. Army, Army Reserve or my fellow brethren in The National Guard. This is entirely Sua Sponte. This is My Thinking. I'm single and in my mid 30's. Politicaly, I'm a Libertarian. (Again, Sua Sponte.I do not represent the Libertarian Party.)I love my native Appalachia, Rock n Roll and...I love God.

Location: Brevard, North Caroilina

I started blogging for two reasons. I was concerned about the changes to the area I live in, Southern Appalachia and I was about to go to the war. I was in Iraq in 06 and 07 and now Kuwait in 11 and 12. Blogging was a means of documenting my experiences and hoping it would help gain clarity. I don't feel that way about it any more. It's said people write blogs because they are frustrated, that's why people read them too. That makes us sound apocalyptic. Are we? Let it be said, what I say here is of my own thinking. This is entirely Sua Sponte and not an official representation of the U.S. Military or the U.S. Government as a whole.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Appalachian Adrenline Freaks

Well, what do you know? It actually posted with Blogger.

This picture was taken of me and Twister on my last Friday on leave. That was this years last hunt for me. I have a Winchester Model70 Featherweight (.308) and Twister on the tracker there has a Marlin (If I remember right) 30/30. That's Mikes truck and a box full of Dogs. I believe it was Jumper, Glory, Princess ( a tough Plott/Pitt mix) and one other. Macon County NC.

The Winchester is more of a Deer gun, but tough enough for Bear. Sadly, the Model 70 is no longer made. I'm seriously considering a SOCOM16 for that use. It's compact, accurate (something not considered much in a Bear gun) tough and packs a punch. I'd Duracoat the thing too...myself of course.

Twister shot his Deer (see his AAR in the previous comments section) with an M1A Scout. It looks just like the one pictured, except for the scope.

Time to get...
The Appalachianist

Monday, November 27, 2006

Not Too Proud o Hunt

Deer Season is a week old back home. Twister hasn't killed anything. Do yo know how I know? Because I haven't gotten a complete After Action Review (AAR) including Priority Information Requirements (PIR) and a Sensitive Items Inventory. He's got two weeks to go. So do a couple of you reading this. I expect an AAR.

I had an Iraqi act as if he was too proud to work today. After I said "mu zin" (no good) to his face a couple of times and turned around and kept working, he joined in. I'm the equivalent of a Sgt. Major in his Army, I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty. "MP", he said proudly. I never did like MP's. But this time around I've made friends with some.

I was sick for a few days. Actually all of last week, first a head cold, then a stomach bug. It sucked, but, I'm over it.

Peace, Love and other Hippie Stuff...
The Appalachianist

Friday, November 24, 2006

Get a Load of This

I found this over at Elvis's place. He's Batman. Now, Spider Man was my favorite Super Hero when I was a youngin. Dracula was my favorite monster, I've allways been a Transylvanian Patriot. He got to put his mouth on all of those womens necks too. Oh, Spider Man. They potrayed him as some mega wimp in the last movie. It's like that silly "Lips of An Angel" song that I've heard way too many times on the radio. "Oh, I'm bleeding...Everyone see me bleeding?" Come on, am I that bad?


Your results:
You are Spider-Man

The Flash
Iron Man
Green Lantern
Wonder Woman
You are intelligent, witty,
a bit geeky and have great
power and responsibility.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz

But there's more here than meets the eye
The real story is under the surface
We're all so in love with the artifice
We don't dare look too close

In a world full of "ism's" break free to Appalachiaism
The Appalachianist...

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Mud Slingers Paradise

Well I got my truck back the other day. It spent a couple of day’s in the shop getting a new radiator and the frame that holds it mended. I had a little run in with a light post that was bent down underneath my bumper. I was going through a Contractors camp (which is like squatter shacks) looking for someone and BANG. No one went on the offensive against me for wrecking my truck that way. The “dark side” as the Iraqi side is called (or Hazmat side) is shattered. That and National Maintenance (Anham) puts the very same truck that has been hit by IED’s back together.

Last week I was having some adventures in that little truck. I found myself stuck in the glue like mud twice. Both times I managed to get myself out of it. Both times it was over in the junk yard. One well after dark. I was over there digging out some MRE’s that I know about so we could get a Local National convoy team fed. I had pulled through Lobo Gate with a relatively clean truck an hour before and going back through it was covered in mud. The guards were laughing shaking their heads. “It’s a mud slingers paradise”, I told them. There was an inch of mud sticking out all the way around the sides of my boots. Which, was about an inch thick with mud on the bottom.

4X4 nuts would be in heaven…if it wasn’t for the Unexploded Ordinance (UXO) all over. Yep, the Taji Mud Pitts.

Now I know about anyone reading this is thinking of mud slinging politics…something I had to put up with when I was home on leave. Allot of people are thinking the Democrats are going to pull us out of here (Iraq). LOL, I don’t think so.

It was sickening seeing all of the mud slinging going on with the election when I was on leave.

Now, back to Iraq Proper. As I mentioned before, we are working hard on putting the Escort mission over onto the Iraqi Army. It turns out that one of the Escorts they gave us to train can’t drive. He has grey hair, if it helps you. He was poor, not able to afford a car and more than likely never had to drive. So, I told one of my guys who is always willing to help someone to make sure he learned to drive. The Iraqis told us they taught him…over night. Just one of many little things that we work through day to day. I admit when I first heard it I laughed, not because he couldn’t drive. But, because it’s imperative to an Escort and well, it’s just like Iraq for some funny little something to pop up.

All week we’ve been training some new guards. They’re mostly young, we wonder if some can read. One is tall, lanky, dark skinned and obviously low on the pecking order in the tribe. Yesterday I found myself wondering if he was border line retarded. I imagine he has a family tree about like palm tree. He’s not particularly good. Down right goofy. But, I like him. He’s the under dog. He’s motivated, but, not catching on quick. I call him “Big Country” because I picture him as a Bedouin Goat Herder.

Another is short, quick in mind and body. He catches on fast, doesn’t seem to complain while all the others do, except for the tall, lanky one and one other…A slim, friendly, qiuet guy of a subtle character. Both are likable. Both seem to take Soldeiring seriously.

The others are like young punks and thugs. They complain, are noisy and demanding. I hope Big Country, societies reject, doesn’t try to find acceptance in going along with the crowd.

It’s taken me for ever to write this.

The Appalachianist

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Look, I'm being nice

Happy Thanksgiving. Yep, I remembered it. If I wasn't here I know where I would be in the morning. Same place I was last year, getting ready to climb up that Mountain with Ray. I know where he will be. Now, theres no telling where Twister will be, he is supposed to be using that tree stand I rebuilt last winter though. I know where Mike will be.

I posted a and all , but, Blogger is not showing it. Dunno...It's an imperfect world.
As well, I've been an imperfect blogger. I know, spelling and grammer, but, I have a post in draft and since I've been imperfectly sick, I've not finished it.

I was doing post checks about 0130 the other morning. I saw a shooting star, but, the Iraqis distracted me from making a wish...
The Appalachianist

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Carabi Eezidik?

Monday found me at one of the Iraqi gates slamming my hand down on the side of their shack they use for badging. Carabi eezidik? I had had enough. For months we have been trying to put Escorting over onto the Iraqis. It’s part of the transition…It’s going to happen. The Mp’s at the gate were not letting the MP’s from the Depot sign for the contractors to be escorted. Suddenly it had to be an Officer. Everyday it was a new rule. I demanded the rules in writing. The Iraqi MPs working the gate were taken back by my aggression. I was directed to their Officer. I told him, a Lt. Colonel and a Major that I was tired of them making rules up as they went and that the Escorts were MP’s, had the power to arrest someone and that it was ridiculous ( I know man, I told you not to use that word, I insinuated) he could not escort the people he could arrest. I told them I was calling my Captain, their Senior Advisor, and my Commander and we were going to get it straight. Today!

I walked out and started making calls. I knew the calls were futile. They were in the Security meeting which is half day affair on Monday’s. It dawned on them…if this Sergeant was so mad…Then his Officers will be too…They recanted…Only this time they said. Their Senior Advisor straightened it out later.

Unfortunately, my little tirade was necessary. Part of it was an act… some of it was a vent. But, sometimes we have to buck heads to come to a consensus or actually get something done. Even with the Army, you be “no better friend, no worse enemy”. The next time I see them I’ll treat them as complete gentleman…”Sallam Allacum, Sadi”. A salute followed by my hand over my heart. Something that is second nature to me now. Something I’m surprised I didn’t do while I was home on leave. If I had acted in that way with US Officers, I would have been severely reprimanded…But, I got results.

Bosco warmed back up to me before I left. My Ex…I wish I had a better name than something associated with negativity…explained to me that Bosco was mad at me for leaving. That she didn’t understand. So, that means I have to put up with that again next summer (or fall even). As long as she keeps her ass end out of the reach of Bear Claws.

Mustafa the Mouse is gone. Last night at about 2300 he woke me up. I only intended to make him be quiet, but, he was in the card board box I use as a trash can. He got real still. I picked up the box and he started scurrying. I opened the door and sat the box and him outside. Happy scavenging, Mustafa.

Fly me Courageous…

The Appalachianist

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Iraqi Mice and the Kiss of Death

I've got a mouse. It must have came in underneath my door.At night I can hear him taring into care packages, today he boldly ran in front of me. I once had a good shot at him with my running shoes, but couldn't reach them in time. I have a sticky trap that my commander gave me from his office. Now, that mouse is another story...I'd tell you but, I'm losing my patience for typing. But, mouse of present has been baited with Hershey Kisses (that's all he eats apparently). I call it, the kiss of death. I know, he's only trying to survive in this hell hole. I want to call him "Mustafa" for a teenage Iraqi with a quick eager mind I know, but, I like Mustafa and I can't catch the mouse without hurting him. He has to die, he will cause problems. So, I won't name him, but, he can at least eat a Hershey's Kiss as he lay's there on the sticky trap.

The Appalachianist

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Back here in Iraq

Well, I got back into Taji Fiday mid day. It rained again while I was away and everything is muddy. It's also about 20 degrees cooler than when I left. Everyone walks around with a jacket. My lap top spent the night getting reloaded and my internet was disconnected for some usual series of events. Now I have to go and have them re run the line.

The Appalachianist

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Break Out!

“And don't ever let them make you feel like saying what you want is unbecoming
If you were supposed to watch you're mouth all the time I doubt your eyes would be above it

I’m not a pessimist, I’m not an optimist. I’m a realist. Saying the truth tends to bother folks. I got e-mails complaining about what I said of my return home. I said it the way it was and it was not unbecoming. And, not everything I said was negative.

That’s Bear Hunting

Monday was a pretty day. It was spent on a Bear Hunt. No one who has never been on a pack of Hounds with a Bear bayed up four yards away that you can’t see in the foliage knows the rush that goes through you. They don’t know the mix of amazement and disappointment you feel as it winds you and your partner and breaks out with the glimpses of Walker Hounds chasing after it. Listening to the chase go off through the woods you hear it bayed up again…then a shot.

Bears this year has bayed, none tree. That’s a matter of speculation. Why are they doing that?

I got to spend a little while with my teenage stepdaughter last night. She’s such a teeny bopper…adorable. She had a little stuffed duck named Ducky. One time we had to get their Mom, and the two kids along with myself in the cab of the truck. So, I put Ducky in back. Oh no…Ducky wasn’t going to ride in the back. She gave me the meanest stare. She still has that little stuffed duck. He’s been patched up, but, he’s beautiful. I held him there in my hands and the memories of helping raise those two kids flashed through mind. And, they never let me forget the time I cooked supper and it was three kinds of beans. I was somewhat an unconventional stepdadd. I didn’t think they ought to be fed that stuff about Santa Claus, but, I played along.

The last two weeks have been tiring. I can only say, I have allot of folks willing to support me if I need it. I don't like to bother anyone or admitt it. But, despite all, folks have only approached me with their best intentions.

My time is up. Leave is done. It’s time to go back to Iraq. I’ve been an oddity to people. I’m not sure what anyone had to make of me. I look forward to it. There I’m just another guy doing my job. I’ve wondered about my buddies and my Iraqi friends. What crazy things happened while I was gone? What progress was made and what do we need to work on? And…it’s been the same way here. Just, Iraq is crazier than the American Appalachians. Both places are misunderstood. Both places are fighting to place things in order. And…Down inside, I believe one day we’re both going to come out grinning.

It was sweet to hear those Church bells off in the distance…but, it’s time to go.

The Appalachianist