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.
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.
As noted in the previous posts comments, I went to get my 90 Day Post Deployment Physical. For the most part it consisted of a TB Test and lots of questions about our adjustment. I found that many of us are experiencing the same things. In a sense it was a relief, not to get caught in the trap of comparing myself to others…Oh yeah, it’s a trap.
I’m not the same person I was before I left, not completely different, but not the same. You have experiences in life and evolve.
The first couple of weeks back home it was like a vacation, but, the honey moon was quickly over. I adjusted to time well, but, I started having problems with waking for hours in the night. I would go through spells of doing that before, but, it has persisted since the end of June. Since then, I may have slept a half dozen nights through. About everyone I spoke to has had this too. I don’t lay there thinking of Iraq, it’s not flash back time hide under your bunk from the incoming…It’s my wondering mind time. At 0300 the other morning I was thinking about God and Spirituality, a great subject, yes, but it can be anything, things I have to do…Sometimes including Iraq. I do not consider anything I experienced in Iraq as traumatic. We're told it's because our minds are still "revved up". Another of the symptoms are tempers. I’m not as patient with people as I was. If someone is rude, inconsiderate, untruthful, imposing, petty or trys to tell me something that they have no authority on…All things that annoyed me before the war as it would everyone reading this…I flush with them quicker, as before, I was more able to blow them off. I control it though. About a month and a half ago I nearly jerked two men off of their bar stools for being rude and inconsiderate. I asked politely and got a sarcastic response. I walked away, and have returned there but once since. I actually scared myself that night. However, I have not had any fights or shouting matches with anyone. No matter how much someone has pushed my buttons.* Some other things, Arabic phrases have slipped from my lips, a car got too close to me in a parking lot and I almost gave them the Arab sign for wait…I’ve have done it once or twice…and gave them the Don’t Fuck With Me, I have A Gun look. I have proven to be pretty resilient though, I’m told I’m resilient…I believe I’m resilient. Some of the others though haven’t’. One said he drinks to sleep, a six pack a day, still has trouble sleeping like me. He also has hit things…He’s a good guy, but tends to be non negotiable. One was on the local news a few weeks ago, his employer tried hiring him in at $2 less an hour. Two of the guy’s I was with tested positive for TB, are now taking medication and have registered with the Health Dept. We teased them that they have their pictures up there next to the sex offenders. A friend of mine that was further north of me was knocked from his bunk one morning from an incoming mortar round. He now has headaches, so he went to the Dr. She asked him if he could kill somebody.. “Yes, I just came from Iraq, I could kill somebody”, said very plainly…Before he knew it the cops were slapping cuffs on him. He was hauled in to see a Psychologist that sat with his arms folded. This is an easy going, cool headed, laid back guy. He also has some counseling training and experience from both the Military and being a Church Of God preacher. He knew he was in trouble when the psych guy had his arms crossed, he propped his head up and answered and listened with his birdy finger pointing up. The Psych guy went howling after five minutes that he was shooting him a bird. His wife had to sign custody of him to get him out of the place…All for being frank and honest. The knee jerk, sirens blairing, over reaction thing doesn't encourage honesty. The boy that has hit things knew the story and down played his answers. Killing somebody is as simple as flicking a switch in your head. You sent us to a War Zone where we had to be ready to and those of us that served in Combat Arms Units had it put into our head at an early age. What does everyone expect? We’re not psycho. We don't want to hurt nobody.
Another guy had some driving aggressively in heavy traffic. As well, he walked away from an irate supervisor at his work. Hearing these stories made me like, "Hey! I ain't so bad...Getting aggravated with people for a couple of minutes isn't as bad." As well last night I slept good for the most part, not waking until around 0400. I have motions, other guy's have had motions, they come and go...So, it's normal.
I could write for a while. Then, this would be a long one...And in a way it's been good to admit these things. Theres really no way to end this. But it doesn't feel bad.
Looking Glass Rock Davidson River Basin, Transylvania County NC.
Bob Dylan's "Slow Train Comin'
Sometimes I feel so low-down and disgusted Can't help but wonder what's happenin' to my companions, Are they lost or are they found, have they counted the cost it'll take to bring down All their earthly principles they're gonna have to abandon? There's a slow, slow train comin' up around the bend.
I had a woman down in Alabama, She was a backwoods girl, but she sure was realistic, She said, "Boy, without a doubt, have to quit your mess and straighten out, You could die down here, be just another accident statistic." There's a slow, slow train comin' up around the bend.
All that foreign oil controlling American soil, Look around you, it's just bound to make you embarrassed. Sheiks walkin' around like kings, wearing fancy jewels and nose rings, Deciding America's future from Amsterdam and to Paris And there's a slow, slow train comin' up around the bend.
Man's ego is inflated, his laws are outdated, they don't apply no more, You can't rely no more to be standin' around waitin' In the home of the brave, Jefferson turnin' over in his grave, Fools glorifying themselves, trying to manipulate Satan And there's a slow, slow train comin' up around the bend.
Big-time negotiators, false healers and woman haters, Masters of the bluff and masters of the proposition But the enemy I see wears a cloak of decency, All non-believers and men stealers talkin' in the name of religion And there's a slow, slow train comin' up around the bend.
People starving and thirsting, grain elevators are bursting Oh, you know it costs more to store the food than it do to give it. They say lose your inhibitions, follow your own ambitions, They talk about a life of brotherly love, show me someone who knows how to live it. There's a slow, slow train comin' up around the bend.
Well, my baby went to Illinois with some bad-talkin' boy she could destroy A real suicide case, but there was nothin' I could do to stop it, I don't care about economy, I don't care about astronomy But it sure do bother me to see my loved ones turning into puppets, There's a slow, slow train comin' up around the bend.
"According to a report in "The Onion," behavioral scientists in Chicago have proved that many people are in fact not entitled to their opinions. "On topics from evolution to immigration reform, we found that 38 percent of the opinions people expressed were so off-base and ill-informed that they actually hurt society by being voiced," said one researcher. I'm betting, however, that only a small proportion of these unfounded beliefs and spurious theories will originate from Cancerians in the coming weeks. Your tribe is likely to be more scrupulous in your data-gathering and more rigorous in your reasoning than the rest of the population. In fact, I suggest you regard yourself as a role model whose job it is to demonstrate the beauty of thinking deeply."
Reading my horoscope from Free Will Astrology(old hippie guy) has set me on a not so wreckless course of...Affirming to myself it's OK to think deep. (It deserves a link, but linking is not linking at this juncture)
"Fear is a sickness. It will crawl into the soul of anyone who engages it." Flint Sky, Father of Jaguar Paw in the movie Apocalypto
"The difference between a fear and a consequence is acceptance. A fear is an outcome you resist. A consequence is an outcome you accept" Steve Pavlina
"Who cares what the neighbors say, they're gonna talk about us anyway." From The New York Dolls "Running Around"
My mind does wonder. I often think...Allot of people let fear run their life. They will not take action out of fear of change, fear that they will fail, or someone will think that they failed. Someone once said to me "people are 'right' because they are afraid", implying that someone did something because they didn't want to be "wrong" in someone else's eyes or to prove someone right. People will not make a positive move because it will cause change, preferring mediocrity, and mediocrity is spiritual retrograde. I seen the Iraqi's do this on a daily basis, then, turn and live in the moment to sink back into their gloom.
I can't count the number of times my parents, or some leader in the Army...Or myself saying to someone, you have to accept the consequences of your actions. This was usually done after some action that was...Let's say, negative. Yet, there are consequences to positive actions as well. A popular saying amongst my fellow Rangers was, "there is no action without a reaction". It's natural law. Now let's look at the definition of consequences. "Something that follows from an action or condition; effect", from the American Heritage Dictionary. It didn't say anything bad.
The truth is, I do not stand here high and mighty on my soap box. I've been guilty of this too. Now less often. It has shaped my thinking, and I'm not often understood. People sometimes don't know what to make of me. Yet, if your going to be a freedom fighter, you need to be free. So this is an explanation in hopes that it will benefit the masses, that's you'l.
This is not a complete post. You can see when I started writing it, and then publish it. It's a collection of thoughts and qoutes put together a little bit at a time.
The following I got from Robert Burney, I've come across his web a few times over the years, and find what he say's intrigueing. The qoute below is his twist on Emerson's Risk.
Risking To laugh is to risk appearing the fool. To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out for another is to risk involvement.
To expose your feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas, your dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss.
To Love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To hope it to risk despair.
To try it to risk failure.
But, risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing at all.
The person who risks nothing still does not avoid suffering and sorrow because suffering and sorrow are an unavoidable part of life.
What they avoid by not taking risks it the opportunity to learn, feel, change, grow, Love, live.
Chained by their certitudes, they are a slave. The have forfeited their freedom.
Only a person who risks is free.
Someone sent an e-mail to let me know that this poem was written by Ralph Waldo Emerson. I found out that there were a couple of words missing from one line - this color above. Had I known it was by Emerson I probably wouldn't have made a change in it. When I ran across it as an anonymous work years ago, I did a slight adaptation because I thought one of the lines was shaming - and I do not think it is possible to avoid suffering and sorrow. Here is the last part of the poem as is it credited to Emerson with the text that is different from the one above that I have had posted here in that other color. But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing...has nothing..is nothing.
You may avoid suffering and sorrow,
but you simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love...live.
Chained by your certitudes, you are a slave; you have forfeited freedom.
This is Sally, Twisters Red Bone. She is about a year old. 30lbs of dog, 10 of it tongue...Eat your heart out Gene Simmons...Looks like the symbol for The Rolling Stones...She will do good I think. We were training her with Squeaky, she seems to follow his lead well.
I was going to put another picture up, but it had a problem posting due to Blogger, they admitted it, I'm not passing blame. It's of was Squeaky rigged up on the dog box. He had the cough that morning...I think it's allergies, but he struck a Bear 40 yards back from the track that morning and had struck from inside the box the day before. Squeaky also jerked the lead that day pulling me down in the gravel of the drive way and in Court House Creek. I talked with a boy that has sewn him up a couple of times before and the last year Squeaky hunted (2 yrs back) he tore the skin off of a hogs face. Atta Boy!
Did you'l see Osama on TV the other day? Is that a good "Just for Men" commercial or what? One thing I can give the man, he knows how to jerk chains. I had an Iraqi Guard that was always trying to steal from someones vehicle he searched. He was really gray headed, until he went home once...came back just as black headed. He couldn't drive at his age. He was in a cab that was struck by an IED and Small Arms Fire, knocked him out cold for three days. All he had was a headache and a little cut on his head. One of the men with him was killed and another wounded.
One of the guys from my section in Iraq survived the Twin Towers on this day. He told the story about having to run across people to get out. They had fell down and he told them they had to get through but they wouldn't go. He ran through and made it. My Lt. was a Volunteer Firemen in Clevland County NC then, he went up to help. He later joined the Marines (we were a joint section, USAR, USAF, and USMC)Yesterday night a year ago I spent trying to keep the Iraqis from shooting one another. They didn't, but someone had damn sure shot at them. They returned fire and the next day I found where a round cut the chain link fence. I've got a picture of it.
I'm thinking I might take a break, or go back to talking issues..they are never far from my mind. But then that would require allot of time. I may be putting some of my energies into other things. I suppose I'll see. I suppose you'll see too. I may post like I am now. Don't ask questions. You were warned.
Theres a good breeze blowing...Hope it brings rain. At this rate I might as well be back in Iraq...It's so dry it's pitiful.
She's pretty, ain't she? She's a Kemmer Cur pup, eight weeks old. I picked her up down in Tate City Ga, which is a collection of houses on Tallulah River. I got her off of a boy who both him and his brother are well known for their Curs. I've decided to call her "Split" because the white splits her face. She's not a pet, she's a hunting dog.I'm having to keep her safe in my out building...AKA man cave...I'm still living by myself so the whole house is a man cave...Any how, I'm keeping her where the Coyotes won't get her. The other night they were howling right behind the house. Bosco must have been loffering. Squeaky is use to them, they were behind his kennel in Macon County. Bosco loffering in the night...well, it was the weekend...
Now you know I have a full bred Plott Hound, I don't have no intentions of mixing the two. I've still got my eyes open for a female Plott pup. I like Curs, but, I wasn't as interested in them as Plotts, however, the opportunity struck to get her cheap, so I did. They say you make your own luck, and when God provides an opportunity, you take it. When Heaven offers advice, listen. It took me a while to get to that realization.
Well, I am done writing for now, I'm going to get out in the yard and stretch my legs and mind.