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, June 23, 2011

Uncle William's Thing

If I told you William Galloway was my uncle, and you were from here, you would wonder who I was talking about, but, if I said "Red" Galloway, you would say..."Oh Yeah!". The family called him William, everyone else called him "Red". My "Uncle Red" had an old Volkswagen Thing. It was orange, just like the one you see here. What ever possessed him to buy it was probably a good buy and a third vehicle. You could haul stuff and youngins and, well, it was a Volkswagen. Who cared if it was ugly, it was useful.

We had a family picnic down at Sycamore Flats one time, that's the time William had the Thing. All of us kids were checking it out, I mean it was ugly, so we're going to look. William decided to give us a ride. Off we went. The only place I remember us going was Highway 276. That's because it caught on fire. The battery was under the seat, and it got to smoldering on us. My cousin calls out to him that there was smoke, it had happened before. William gets an agitated look..."Well, see if you can stomp it out"...But, William stays calm, while all of us kids had visions of us hopping out as it goes up in flames. My cousin Mark is stomping his heart out..."You get it out yet?"
"No, it's still smoking"...
"Well, keep stomping"...
William looked agitated, but, he didn't lose composure. He pulled back into Sycamore Flats and in someway he got it out. I can't recall how. He just did, and he didn't hang onto the Thing too much longer. He probably sold to someone for a good buy.

Unfortunately, I relayed this tale today at his funeral. William had a Bobcat, it was his favorite toy. While he worked at the Ecusta Paperrmill, now laying in dust on the ground, he cared more about his side business's. One of which was landscaping, in comes the bobcat. But, even more, William wasn't one to stand and watch another man work. He'd help someone if he could. Monday he was helping a neighbor, and that bobcat rolled over on him...I wish it wasn't so.

I was told he wanted to talk with me before I headed out. I'll not know what he had to say. I was to see him this weekend. Another thing I'll always remember about William was him sitting by my Pau Pau's side as he was dieing, patiently talking with him. Or laughing about tearing down the old house and finding liquor in the chimney. But, the most thing will always be the characteristic he had, no matter how grim things got, no matter how bad it seemed or how much it hurt, he took it straight faced. My cousin Mark inherited that, and I respect him for it. I saw allot on William's face over the years. Disappointment, dread, pain, laughter, determination, seriousness and joy. He was a man about it all though.

Me and William didn't see each other that often. I'm sure going to miss him though.
The Appalachianist

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Well, I just returned from another trip to Seattle. It was pretty uneventful. Some pretty days. I was there for a class on handling contracts. Contractors have a bad rap in theater. some well deserved, others, not. Working with Iraqi Army we had both US/UK contractors and Iraqi. Anham is a company from Dubai. I'm not sure where to put them. sitting in the class I remembered the one Iraqi contractor, a company ran by...get this...A woman. I never met her, though I did speak to her over the phone. I was told she was a very attractive woman, and she was charming over the phone. She had an engineer and workers. For several reasons it was decided to terminate the contract. shoddy work and a host of other dramas. Ms. Charming was playing a game and not paying her workers. What happened...A day I will always remember due to the FOB getting hit hard with 120mm Mortars...We tracked the engineer down, he was running from us in the Iraqi contractor camp. We cornered him, us from the Depot and the Air Force advisory to the IA Base MPs. We kicked him off the FOB. He was back a month later. Ms. Charming never got another contract.

There was another woman though, an American. I can't remember her name. I did meet her once, a big woman. I first heard of her because she ran a kitchen that other US/UK contractors would go to on the Iraqi side of Taji. She had been a dog handler for I think maybe Blackwater.She later did some work for us, a carpentry job. The last thing I remember was that she was gone and CID was looking for her. She was barred from all FOBs (in good old hostile Iraq)and if we did see her we were to detain her and hand her over to the MPs. It ad something to do with a large sum of money. Around a million, I think.

I know I've told you about sleeping through a rocket attack. I'm still not sure how I did that. In those days I was spending allot of time on the hot pavement and it did get me tired. I was eating with some friends right after my return and there was some thumping against the walls on the far side of the sounded like mortars walking in. I was judging the distance and direction. One of them had been in Vietnam, and I think he could tell. But, sometimes...When I least expect it...A big bang, if it has that deep sound will make me jump. And, it has occurred to me, I will the rest of my life.

God save the angels of Oconee.
The Appalachianist

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