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.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

What The Kitten Drug In...

Tomcatskitten sent me this, I'm proud to love her
too. Even looks like her some. She's not animated though. Nothing against animated women, I've seen some pretty ones with a load of personality, I'd go out with if I could. The camouflaged bikini suits her, she hunts, but that is not why I love her. I'd love her if she pickled mango's for fun. She's a fun gal.

It hit 99 today and a haze of dust settled over everything. Two days ago it poured, and my truck wouldn't crank. I used another truck, a Nissan CabStar and got it stuck in the mud out on the perimeter road. I had the nearest guard call for a Uaz Jeep over his Motorola and one of the best Iraqi NCO's we have, in my opinion, came out and hooked me up. I was without an Interpreter and after he slipped and spun around pulling me...For about a hundred yards...I
indicated to him to put it in four wheel drive. He said "mahku" and waved his hands in "finish mode". He got stuck pulling me out, and we had to call for a Uaz with four wheel drive. Boy we were a mess. I apologized to them, and they grinned at me. We have put so much gravel on these roads and it lasts but a rain getting pushed down into the clay mud. Once I got so far I knew I had to keep moving or I was going to be stuck. Well, I got stuck.

This one NCO pays attention to his duty, he's smart, on top of things, a former trainer. I see something in him I don't like though. He's beaten down. I've provided praise for him trying to get him in Signal School, only to see the Iraqi Officers look suspiciously at each other. He's identified problems to me and asked not to be named because he would be blamed. On several occasions I've seen him scrambling to take up slack with no support...I mean NONE...from his superiors. I've suggested to him how to adjust Guard Posts to cover a shortage, for him to tell me he couldn't do that, that I could, I was an American. Blamed when things go wrong and powerless to change it. But when we were training Guards back in the fall and winter (most have quit already) he was there keeping them straight, helped with the training, and was good at it, but they beat him down. He came down there and happily pulled me out of the mud, and guy's like him are losing in this damn thing.

The Appalachianist

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Here it is

I've not meant for it to be a week for me to get a post again. I've had Internet SNAFU's, or SNAFI I might say, I for Iraq. Honestly, this place is a four letter word of it's own, spell it and count the letters for yourself. There ain't a thing here that is easy or works as designed. Except for weapons, and they don't always add up. So is war, it's a contest of wills smothered in fog and blood. What does that have to do with my internet? Well, I buy internet from an Iraqi (Iraq is a "third world" country, some may argue fourth) in a war zone. While the man does business on an American FOB, he is under guard the entire time he is here and he goes home when the clock strikes 1700. Something else you need to realize about Iraq is, while it has had some very good weapons come into it (on both sides), it has also been flooded with some very cheap goods on the civilian market. So it is.

There's some boy's from Tuscaloosa Alabama called The Dexateens. I'm listening to their newest CD, Hard Wire Healing as I write this. I had first heard their song Red Dust Rising (2005) on the Athens Station I pick up back home on the Mountain. Listening to that station's Sunday night radio show, Local Noise, has turned me onto The Drive By Truckers, Southern Bitch, a few others and I admit a crush on Juicefer. I didn't look into The Dexateens until I saw them linked on DBT's web site (I was hoping to catch a show after I get back home). They are like DBT, if you hear something like "My Sweet Annette" off of Decoration Day, you wouldn't know just how much these boy's can rock. The song "Red Dust Rising" is just that, then getting hit with Diamond In The Concrete throws you around. Both songs from the CD "Red Dust Rising". The boy's are plainly Southern, energetic, raw...Powerful "Hickabilly" sounding.

That's all I'm saying this lovely Arabian Evening.
The Appalachianist

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Four Nineteen. The fourth month, the nineteenth day. April 19th. The shot heard around the world was fired on this day at Lexington Green. The Warsaw Ghetto , The bay of Pigs failure, Branch Davidians were burned alive by the FBI and then there was the Oklahoma City Bombings which we don't know the whole truth of, all happened on this day. All were fights for freedom or survival, except for the OKC Bombing. It was a tragedy, what ever the truth may be.

The biggest threat to our freedom's is ourselves, and it's best you remember that.

We've finally purged TND of the Air Force. First it was my mid tour OIC, then it was the worlds biggest player (USAFR), and finally the Texican and my initial OIC that had returned for a couple of weeks. Also the team that advised the Iraqi Base MP's rotated home. Just kidding. I enjoyed (what you can under the circumstances ) working with them. I've learned respect for Air Force "Cops". Though through different Military Cultures, and orientations,I didn't always see eye to eye with them they were professional and dedicated. They are all on their way home now...Boy's be good! Like I said, it's a small war.

People that I have seen come have left. It's Mile Stones. The extension you have heard about doesn't apply to us. We are Army Reserves, except my new OIC which is Active Duty Marine Corps. The extension was for Active Duty Army only. As of the 17th I've been Activated for one year.

The other day a couple of us noticed a bird that would sit next to a side view mirror on a truck and peck at it's reflection. It did it over and over. The next day there were two and they sat there and pecked at their reflections, and again the next day. They can obviously communicate.

My point is, don't take this day lightly, nor your freedoms. FOUR NINETEEN!

Fly me courageous...
The Appalachianist

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Things You Regret...

...Like that bondage scene you did when you were 20 for bus fare back home from California after your failed acting career. 10 years later your walking across the parking lot at Mickey Dee's munching on your fries and sipping on your Diet Coke when some one yells out "Ball Gag!" You stop dead in your tracks..."Who said that?". Six months later your walking out of the hardware store when you hear it again..."Ball Gag!"...Someone comes up to you at a social event and asks if that was really you in Pulp Fiction. Those 40 minutes of humiliation and punishment at the hands of Mistress Mimi and her male slave Bartholomew just won't go away.

The truth is people do some stupid stuff. Like, volunteer for Mistress Mimi's Dungeon of Pain or buy their brother in laws lemon mini van. But you know what? They didn't hurt nobody, and all of that hollering "Ball Gag!" at them is good natured...Then when someone stops being themselves, combing their hair and won't talk to nobody, that "Ball Gag!" stuff has hurt someone. So, the next time your in one of those seedy video places and you see someone you went to school with hog tied in their underwear, just grin and say "Is that them?" and leave it alone. Unless it's your best friend...Their fare game.

I don't know where I came up with this...
The Appalachianist

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Last week my power supply cord went out. The darn thing broke from me rolling it up nice and neat. I've ordered a new one but the folks I've ordered it from have had difficulties with getting the Postal Service to accept my APO address. So, a fellar named John is hand delivering it to the Post Office. I owe him some thanks. In the meantime an Iraqi Computer Geek, actually he's a real "hoschaslemon", nice guy, fixed it for me. I've learned a lap top lesson, don't be without two power supply's. I had to use the office machine, and that is crowded.

So, it's good. I've got power. I'm back. That's the main reason you've had to stare at those big Chestnut logs for a solid week.

my camera has gone out completely. I've looked at new ones, and I've found one I'm interested in. The thing is it doesn't ship over seas. That's fine, I have enough pictures of Taji. We all have pictures to share. One of my buddies, Montgomery Boy, is making a video for the detachment.
But, the camera will come in handy back home.

it's a shame when you have to guard sewer lines. Someone has, on four different occasions, dumped oil into some sewer lines to an Iraqi Barracks Complex that has just been remodeled. We're having to keep a Jundi posted to watch them. It's been nearly $1million dollars in clean up costs the four times over. It's actually a nice complex. It once housed the Republican Guard, a British company, AMEC, has done a good job of restoring them.

Alright...I'll get back to the business of posting here soon.
En Avant En Avant, Viva la Appalachia!
The Appalachianist...

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


"Sometimes you've got to loose yourself to find what your looking for".
Burt Reynolds as "Lewis" in Deliverance.

As a further thought of my former post, the irony of this environmental loss is the desire to renew it. This is done by true conservation, not the not the current "Environmentalism" that is polluted with political motivations.

Once throughout the large part of the eastern United States the American Chestnut was king. It often grew up to 100ft tall, and one was recorded as 17ft through. It bloomed in June when the threat of frost was gone, so it was able to produce more mast than any other trees of that nature. The chestnuts came in burs so they were in a chest of some sorts, hence the name. Chestnuts were high in proteins for both animals and people. Both the Indians and "settlers" burned off the leaves to expose the nuts to gathering or game/stock. Places in the Mountains of Appalachia named Yellow what ever were named for the chestnuts given it a yellow appearance in the fall. Early last century a blight brought in by the Chinese Chestnut wiped out the most of the species. They were pretty much history, only "Snags" standing off in the woods by WWII. The wood is excellent for about any use (Moonshiners used it for their fires because it didn't smoke up as much as some other types of wood). Wormy Chestnut came from these snags. The loss of the chestnut was a devastating thing culturally and economically. But the chestnut is a tenacious tree. I've seen them standing over twenty feet and putting out burs before the blight hit them. My former Father in law told me of one that was as big as a twenty year old poplar until the power company cut it down. A few are able to fight it off. But ironically the same tree that imported the blight that devastated it will be the one to contribute to it's return, thanks to the American Chestnut Foundation. By crossing the two a hybrid will be reproduced that is blight resistant. I've been involved with the Asheville Chapter and it's something I plan to be involved with again upon my return from this dusty wasteland.

The thing is, people see the issue and address it with a reasonable, scientific approach.

Once the Appalachians had big game not only in deer, bear and turkey, but elk and buffalo too. The buffalo, for whatever reason were a fading thing upon white settlement. I'm personally not sure why, I've read things that indicate this, but no reason given. Elk were throughout much of the region too. They had been recorded as far south as Greene County Ga. by William Bartram prior to the Revelution. But, through loss of habitat they died out. It's often said a species is over hunted, but, I personally feel that is an over statement...Look at Alabama's Deer Population, something I remind North Carolinians about Coyotes and Deer...I've seen many more Coyotes in Alabama than Western North Carolina and they have way many more Deer than the latter. Over hunting can be a problem at certain stages, but habitat is as much an issue of everything. Elk have been reintroduced to Appalachia at a place called Cataloochee. I was there when I was home on leave. Me and my Father took a ride up there, we took some great pictures I now have on disc. This was an effort by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Friends of the Smokey's, and others. It was rough for them at first, but they are coming along. So is the Red Wolf. Elk are also in the Daniel Boone National Forest in Kentucky.

Hogs are non native and I'd kill everyone if I could. They root up the woods and crowd what belongs there.

As I said before Farm Land and Private Forest Land are in rapid decline. The North Carolina General Assembly is making an effort to reverse that. It requires $1 Billion in Bonds, which unfortunately means taxes. As much as I don't like that, I'll take it. It would all be gone if we waited for something to reverse the trend.

Iraq news...I just sometimes don't feel like talking about my day to day...The Jinude get three little bottles of water a day, as I said, not enough. I talked to the Iraqi leadership about getting "water buffalo's" at the posts. All of the ones in stock (some are very cheap ones bought from local contractors, who rape the system) were promised out. The other day I was checking if they had the posts straight when they came handing out 5 gallon Jerry cans of non potable water for washing...An Iraqi Solution. I have found if I continue to express the problem, they will find a solution.

That top picture is of Transylvania County NC, those are Chestnut Logs.

Wake up Appalachia, it's time for you to solve your problems...
The Appalachianist.