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.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

In the mean time...

This ought to keep you occupied...

(credit "Nuria" on YouTube)

Check it out!

The Appalachianist,

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Two Different Realities

Our tour is done...It’s over. We are now waiting for the word to leave, which could come any day. It’s someone else’s now. A friend asked me today how I felt. “Strange”, I told him. He paused and then said, “me too”. Soon we’ll be back in America where things are supposed to be in order and make sense, where the illusion of law rules. America, where there is a logic other than disparity…Where people will ask us questions so as to look at it through their own prism of reality and culture in order to make sense of it all…Where it may or may not make sense, but here it’s real…Where we will leave behind this reality to the new one waiting back in America…Land of the confused, home of illusion…But, it’s home, my home, that I would fight for, to the last drop of my blood, not only in soil, but in beliefs.

Today it was 116 on Taji, it will be the mid 120’s in KuwaitWisconsin will feel so cold…Appalachia too. Last night I had a dream that I woke up and we were all packed in a bus going through Sylva NC. I looked out recognizing the place and said, “It’s F!@&*ing green”. Everyone laughed real loud yelling out that it’s “F!@&*ing green”. We went into a tunnel and it was a dead end, there is no tunnel in Sylva. I’m wondering why were in Sylva, we have to go out process at Ft. McCoy first…Then were up high on a mountain riding a train. I shrugged and thought to myself, it doesn’t matter, I’ll get home…

Home…Appalachia…Where as my friend Ed say’s, “I am who the hell I am”…Just a matter of fact statement…I leave here with nothing to prove to no one, I go home the same. I can look back over my experiences here and grin to myself…Chuckle. Shake my head and wonder…

A Col from the MNSTC-I J4, Baghdad was here and asked me, yesterday, what was my biggest disappointment and what I felt was my biggest accomplishment. I surprised myself spitting out the answers to him. I didn’t have to stop and reflect, didn’t have to think it over. I knew…Of all the issues I worked, I knew. I don’t leave here empty handed on a professional level. So, I look back at the reality of a long, frustrating year and I grin to myself…Chuckle. The next time I post here I will be in my house in Transylvania County NC where, “I am who the hell I am” and I will have my own reality.


The Appalachianist

Saturday, May 19, 2007

"If you want to call earth, theres a six minute delay"

Time is moving along with my counterparts from the 104th. Soon enough it will be theirs and I will be preparing to leave Taji…Leave Iraq. Kuwait, Wisconsin…Then to home. Home, a place I know exists, know the realities of, yet seems so far…So uncertain. When I went home on my two week R&R, the only thing I anticipated was that Bosco, that fickle dog, would be happy to see me. She wasn’t. Wouldn’t have a thing to do with me for days. My Ex, finally explained it to me, Bosco was mad that I left…I left her. She warmed back up to me after a week or so, and then I was gone again.

Those two weeks, all twenty minutes of them, I was a stranger in some ways. A non stranger in a strange land more like it. I often had the uncomfort of having to listen to someone’s opinions about the war, both pro and con. For the most part I was the happiest Hunting. There I was treated as another one of the boy’s. I was home for a couple of weeks from Iraq, so? I didn’t mind a few questions, but I was sometimes prodded. I didn’t like that.

This time, I’m expecting Bosco to come up to me gnashing her teeth, growling and biting me…Tearing my leg off. Well, no. I know she ain’t going to be warm to me though. Not for a while. Can you imagine having to fight with your face like an animal? Well, we humans do it verbally, often with words coming out of our mouth we wish we hadn’t had said and our ears hearing words we wish we hadn’t had heard with effects we wish we hadn’t had felt. It’s as cruel as our animal brethren, and we are all guilty.

My time here is almost done and all I want to do when I go home is be myself, just as much as I’ve tried to here…Give things my best shot as I’ve tried to here. “Ride hard, shoot straight, and speak the truth”. In some way’s I will be reinventing myself when I go home, but, it’s more of a chance to refine myself.

Aut Pax Aut Bellum
The Appalachianist

Sunday, May 13, 2007

May Sucks

May is the month I’m on the verge of going home, but it sucks. It’s turning hot, the wind blew vigorously through yesterday, kicking up the dust and blowing everything over. At times you would have to brace yourself in it as it blew dust in your eyes. It spit rain, then the sun came with the wind persisting. It burned the skin. The oven became a frying pan. Everything back home is coming to life while here it dies in the heat. The weather sucks. I’ve been accused of being an optimist and a pessimist both, but that don’t shake me…I’m a realist. My year in Iraq has been, to this date, good, bad, fun, not fun, rewarding, thankless, hot, cold, dirty and nasty. It has been 120+ F with violent diarrhea. It’s been pigeon English with a Jundi at 0200 asking me if I can find him pornography. It’s been shouting matches, shutting up, biting my lip, and voicing my opinion. It’s been trying to keep Jundis calm and quiet after a tower was shot, it’s been trying to get them motivated to work. It’s been friends, enemies pats on the back and slaps in the face. It’s been praise, blandishment and ridicule. I’ve been laughed at, I know TE Lawrence’s ghost laughed at me, and I’ve laughed with them. I’ve loved Iraqis and then felt disgust for others. I’ve done things I regret and things I’d damn sure do again. It’s not been a rose garden, but it’s been a rewarding experience. I was paid handsomely, saved quite a bit up, Made friends, found old ones, found enemies. I’ve got friends in Sadr City. I’ve known people that became mutilated, killed and walked out of here smiling. I helped get a few things accomplished, I’ve seen allot go down the drain. I’ve both been a part of and watched history both. I’m just saying it as it is. It’s been a long year with a little more to go. I still don’t expect to see home for up to another month. I’ll probably talk about here more in retrospect than I have through out this time. It’s been a year of change…

A Small Weird World
The 104th Division from the west coast is relieving us. The other day I went to make contact with my replacement while he was going through some preliminary training and one friendly incoming NCO asked me where I was from. I relayed Western North Carolina. “Around Asheville?”, he asked. I replied Brevard (you know Buttholeville) and turns out he has a friend there. Small world. The next day I seen him and he tells me that when he went to his new site here on Taji, he met a girl from Brevard. I hadn’t heard tell of anyone else from Brevard being on Taji. Swore up and down the girl was from Brevard. Wow, that’s weird.

My replacement has arrived. Today me and the Lt. ( he will remain with them for a few months) sat in the chow hall and talked to them about what to expect from our experience. We didn’t paint them a rose garden. But I found myself looking back over the last year laughing and smiling.

Sua Sponte

The Appalachianist

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Star Spangled Plott Hounds

I’m so short if I jumped off a step ladder I better have a chute. I’ve even got big plans…Drive myself over to Franklin and look at a pair of Plott Hounds. One of them has got a good reputation; his mama is a legend of sorts. She wound up taking after a Bear alone and got mangled to death. I had sent a shout out for a pair over a month back to Twister and the Jolly Red Head Giant, which I ain’t heard back from JRHG since. No less, Twister knows a fellar…That I’ve heard good things about…That has two he wanted to sell. Apparently he's holding onto them and has offered to find one of them's pups that was sold a while back. Say's it's hot. Well, I ain't bought the two yet and I don't intend to become dog poor.

In the meantime Twister has been working over my way(no, not Taji but Trashylvania) and asked if he could use my place a few days a week to ease the drive…What are Ranger Buddies for? I’ve had the run of his place while he has been out skirt chasing. Well, this started back in March and he just moved in, well, he didn’t move in, but you know what I'm saying...your smart...even if you bought your brother in laws lemon mini van or had a bad experience with a ball gag...Of course I messed up my mothers phone number. No, this doesn't make me a bad son, it's a 883 to 884 thing. I don't do number quotes to well sometimes. I'm imperfect. OK, back to Twister using house of Rockabilly Hill Billy Nerd. It sure took him a while to get around to it. The good thing about this is there will be a hot water heater full of hot water waiting on me. I'm going to sit my naked hairy butt down in my tub, look up at my sky light and think to myself...Something. There that is two big plans. Dabgummit I'm on a roll!

Oh, my Step Son got married. I got a wedding picture of them on the banks of Little River. That makes me feel odd...It was all smiles, wish I could have seen them.

The weather is turning hot and the air is dry. It's been running about 106-108 or so. The Iraqis are taking off from 1130-1530 during the day. That's their summer schedule. My trucks air condition belt sounds like a whipped dog on meth. Weapons get real dusty here, I'm having to wipe mine down about every other day.

Darn if I didn't get tagged by Lee Ann for seven embarrassing habits and seven songs...What kind of a meme is that? I'm being a sport here...Bahumbug.

1. I belch
2. I pick my nose
3. I scratch my ass in public
4. I curse
5. I spit
6. I pick my teeth with my fingers
7. I start allot of sentences with "I", I'm a chronic action sentence writer

There, can't go wrong with those habits...

1. Marry Me by The Drive By Truckers ("Just cause I don't run my mouth don't mean I got nothing to say")
2. Number of the Beast by Southern Bitch ("You wonder why kids are fucked up today")
3. The Trooper by Iron Maiden ("You better stand theres no turning back")
4. The Buford Stick by The Drive By Truckers ("Watch out for Buford")
5. Zip City by The Drive By Truckers ("350 heads on a 305 engine")
6. Sink Hole by The Drive By Truckers ("Five generations of an unlocked door and a loaded burgler alarm")
7. I'm on a Roll by Southern Bitch ("I fallen off the horse but I got back in the saddle")
Bonus: One by Creed ("The only way is one")

Where they supposed to be favorites...I just like em...

And I'm really trying to think of some Jason and The Scorchers...

Viva la Appalachia
The Appalachianist...

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Quickie Post

That burned up truck ain't as pretty to look at as that gal down below (or the one that sent it to me). I need something interesting to put up though. This is a truck from a PWC Convoy that was hit just up th MSR in Mushada a few months back. I think there may have been a KIA, I don't remember too rightly.

My internet was down in my room for five days. That has made it a little harder for me to post. But you enjoyed looking at the "American Beauty". It has done turned plumb hot here. Today the thermometer read 106. Mt new Section OIC (I'm on my third), the Lt. has been on leave. I managed to get a day off Thursday. It was my first in three weeks, I;m not whining. I talked to a kid(E-4) today that has not had a day to himself yet in ten months. I'm kind of fortunate in that. Of course you need it working with the Iraqi's. You have to maintain in some way to keep up the relationship. That Lt. should be back any day.

So, this has been my quickie post, complete with a war picture. I'm being bitten by sand fleas too..yeah I know about the disease. They're vicious tonight.

The Appalachianist... Your Rockabilly Hillbilly Nerd Host