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, August 28, 2011


26th August
Sometimes I wish I was a celebrity. Not so much that I could have beautiful women hanging on my arms, though, that would be rather pleasing, or to have a fancy house with a flashy car and a crew of people telling me I’m cool, but…I’ll stop. Run away sentence alert…But, so I could have my own charity. That’s what they do, they give back. Usually to some cause plucked from air. My cause? It wouldn’t be the save this that or the other cause. Couldn’t you hear that?” The Daniel Wilson Fund to Save This, That and the Other. A nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving stuff. “ Oh, but, I want my own charity. I just can’t figure out what for. Part of this is my…OK…I’ll say it, machoism. Not to be confused with Appalachiaism. I don’t want it to be about saving stuff…But, I do. I want a Wildlife fund, because you can’t save people. Animals are cool, and people suck, at least when they are not being cool. Do I want to save wildlife? No. I want wildlife to have outstanding habitat, the rest will follow. Could you just hear that? “The Daniel Wilson Fund to Provide Outstanding Habitat to Wildlife and Beyond. A nonprofit organization dedicated to giving wildlife outstanding habitat and beyond”. That way we say it twice so people really get the point. What is it…A validating statement, a validation statement, take your pick. I like validating things. I could have the “Daniel Wilson Validation Fund. A nonprofit organization dedicated to validating things and stuff too”. Things and stuff are not always the same thing, or the same stuff. And, sometimes things and stuff need validating, but, I will stick to wildlife.

To be honest, since this country has spent itself into a hole and cut backs are inevitable (though spending money is not) then wildlife and forestry are going to take a hit. So, outdoorsmen have to step it up.

Oh, I didn’t explain the “Beyond” . That’s just to make it sound even more cool. Or better yet, that says everything will follow once wildlife has outstanding habitat. First, I’ve got to become a celebrity. I wonder how I could do that? What kind of nonsense am I good at? Got any ideas? I need an act, right now! If I’m going to become a famous celebrity with my own nonprofit organization, I need to get busy.

27th August
Want to know a secret? I’m home sick. Not that if I was back there I’d be living in some Mountain Paradise, but, my thoughts drift to the place. Its running season, you can run Bear with Dogs, just not kill the Bear, that comes in October. Last season wasn’t good and wasn’t much to me. Last night I would most likely have been out all night long. I’m here instead, the Desert Southwest. I’ll not fret though. I’m here, here and now, and I’ll take advantage of the opportunities it offers me. Which, Lord willing, will be bountiful.

Jello Boy told me a touch of fall is starting to show. The sycamores are losing their leaves, they usually drop them first. I know with Irene running up the coast she has pulled the moisture out and the air is dry. Dry for the Carolinas, that is. I was telling one of my buddies here that some of the prettiest days are on the heels of a Hurricane or Tropical Storm. The days are still hot now, but the nights have that little cool to them. The next time I see Transylvania, it will be winter or spring. At least I get to see it though. All of the guys before, Vietnam, Korea, they did a whole year. No computer with video chat, barely a call home, and no mid tour leave.

For Now
The Appalachinist

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pink Unicorns

I21 August
Today is Sunday, the 21st. It won’t be long before we’re in Kuwait. To tell you the truth, I’m ready to get it over with.
22 august
This is too much like a diary. I feel like a little girl and I like the color pink and unicorns… Right now, I like sleep. I sleep, but it ain’t the best sleep. We are doing an exercise of some kind. There are imaginary players and events, we handle them. I work a 12 hour shift at night. Then I come home, crash and wake up, and go shower not so much to be clean but to just feel good.
I packed all my music CDs into a foot locker that is going over on a boat. My room mate is a Metal fan, so he plays some music from his computer sometimes. All I have is a mix on my phone of Drive By Truckers, Old 97s, Son Volt and a Drivin N Cryin tune…Scarred But Smarter. I keep listening to the same songs over and over. And, sad thing that it is, I’m heading to a life of Groundhog Day.
Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) are little cities withen them selves. Everyday you get up and walk to work, same way, you can take the long way, but it’s just more of the same stuff. You eat at the same place, unless you eat at one of the fast food vendors serving out of a carnival trailer. You wear the same thing every day. You get used to that, but it’s just the primer. Everyday, you deal with the same stuff. Same people. And, being the middle east, the weather pretty much stays the same through summer and fall. An ugly kind of beautiful.
Honestly, Arifjan, the Capital of FOBs in all of Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan is rightly plush from everything I gather. It’s close to the ocean in Kuwait, people get off work and wear civilian clothes. In Iraq, you might have a t-shirt and pair of shorts used for relaxing in your hooch. Civvies are not authorized. But at Arifjan, you go to the PX in civvies.
Taji was a mud hole. Everyone that was in Taji jokes about the dump it was. It was Saddams Maintance hub and some interpreters told me they were trained there during their stint in the Army. The Iraqi maintenance system was cannibalization out of junk yards, so, there were quite a few junk yards and armored vehicles were scattered everywhere. There were craters, some 20, 25 foot deep. I found all kinds of old weapons rusting under a layer of dust. A Martini Rifle once. The barrel was bent as it had been burned. Gutted buildings. Saddams face painted on walls and litter scattered everywhere. A Security Contractor asked me if I knew what the Iraqi flag was. His answer? A black garbage bag caught in Constantia wire. He was right. It was a place that was one of the dirtiest things I ever have saw. Just to think, it had been worse before US occupation. But, it was interesting. I’ve been in T-55s, T-62s, BRDMs, BMPs. I’ve seen air craft missiles dug up from the ground.

I say occupation because we occupied the place, We called it “coalition”, because there were other nations there as well. Estonians, Macedonians, and one or two others on the place. There was the Coalition and Iraqi side which was like the wild west.
24th August
After I got transferred I almost fell out of contact with my old Company. I checked up on them and turns out one of the guys that had been in the Company got hit by an IED in Iraq. The story is by trying to get another guy out of the vehicle he got third degree burns on his hands and arms. Another boy got killed. This happened last month and no one got word to me. They thought I had already headed across the water. He’ at Sam Houston. Now he has the medal no one wants but everyone that has one is the proudest of…A Purple Heart.

Pink Unicorns Out
The Appalachianist

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Summer Nights

12th August
Well, that was yesterday. Do you need a laugh? A car passed me on my way to Sick Call and splashed water all over me. Just like in the movies, and my back, well, the Doc said I was taking good care of it and gave me a prescription. Now, it’s old news to me and I don’t want to talk about it.
Believe it or not, the Army Reserves has allot of bright people in it, people that are just full of ideas. Unfortunately, allot of those ideas stay ideas, lost in mediocrity. Some ideas seem like schemes, some are harebrained and some are simple solutions. A problem that the Army Reserves has, and is becoming more common, is all of the Active Duty wannabes. Often these people have served on Active Duty, and spend years in the Army reserves trying to pull more time. I’m not knocking it, it’s usually a monetarily motivated quest. Not all, but most of the wannabes are not the flexible, imaginative Reservist. They are usually unimaginative, inflexible and dogmatic thinkers. They think the Army is the ultimate society. It’s not. There is no ultimate society.
Let me tell you something…I’ve got a friend, he served in the Israeli Army during the 1981 invasion of Lebanon. One day we were talking and he hit the nail on the head. Back back to the Cold War. We’ll break it down into East and West. The West won the Cold War, not because we were so good, but, the other side was so bad. They defeated themselves. (And, this is my part, Ronald Reagen just helped them convince themselves that they were) We’ve …
16th August
I lost that thought. Well, I knew what I was thinking. I started with one of the many Army Reserve personalities. Oh, yes, there are different types. And yes, sometimes you’ve got to give your own enemy credit for their failures before you pat yourself on the back. No one is perfect.
Speaking of perfect. Let me pause…It’s weird how people pop in your head. Let me unpause. Today, my whole part of this unit was in a room, kinda like a cubicle farm without the cubicles. It was chaos, noisy, everyone trying to come together in their little piece of the puzzle to make it all fit. It annoyed me, but, then, it was something to behold. If it wasn’t so chaotic, then, well, nothing would be happening. Everyone was making an effort. Everyone wanted success. People want to perform. Not for some personal recognition, but some sense of success. There is only one person in this unit that I’ve met before, that was back on Taji, and I don’t remember him much. It was when I was leaving and he was coming in. But, we are slowly getting a bond, putting into the pack. We want to put into the groups success.
Now, all aside, I think of home. Katydids screaming…My house is dark, it’s Training Season, if the weather is not too hot Friday night a man can run his Dogs while the katydids make their sweet racket. They are yelling that fall is coming. I’ll not see fall this year, well, I doubt it. It’s just good to know all of this is happening. And, that my house is dark. The darkness of a summer night is solemn.

The Appalachianist

Sunday, August 14, 2011

At Last I post

11th August
I can now manage to write. It’s been two weeks now that I’ve been on Active duty. In some ways the time has gone fast, mostly. In others it’s not. Things have gotten a little more organized from what they were in the beginning and, as time goes it gets a little better. There are allot of moving parts to this thing. It’s to be expected. But…There’s always a “but”…As my Ex pointed to me about how people would say “I love you/him/her but…” The clause to the statement, the clause to the feeling. But…There are allot of interjections. Changes, information being placed in the wrong context. And, believe it or not, I’m guilty of it too.
It’s a little after 0500. Most everyone has gone to a Combatives class. There is a storm east of here, maybe it’s in Mexico, after all, I hear Juarez has been a violent place the last week. I’m not with them because I hurt my back Monday night lifting some over loaded foot lockers. Tuesday I could hardly walk, yesterday was better. I was very stiff after standing up for a minute or two. It wasn’t feeling like a boot in my back. I went on sick call and was asked if I could tough it another day, that they were all filled up for the day. I could, so, I took it for the team and toughed it out. I claim no bragging rights. I can count the number of times over 25 years that I’ve gone on sick call and have fingers left. The word has a bad connotation. People ride it, like people that ride welfare or any other program. But, people know who those people are. However, it’s more common for someone to not take advantage of it. Guys…And gals, will avoid if they can for a number of reasons. Peer pressure, not wanting to be poked at in a gruff Military medical clinic, not wanting to be taken form their duties. The list goes on.
It’s raining now and I can hear a train. Someone mentioned yesterday that it was muggy for Ft. Bliss. Maybe this is why.
I’ve not gotten allot of opportunity to call home, or get online. It’s been a little late when we’re done. Most often the folks back home would be in bed. I can’t help but wonder about home either. Not in a worrying fashion, just a curiosity. I’m mortal, the sun rises and sets without me. Where ever I go, it comes up and sets the same. It's just not the same.

The Appalachianist

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