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, November 27, 2011

This Ain't The Pisgah National Forest

It's a little cool and breezy today. The sky is crystal clear except for a tan haze towards the ocean. The other day I mentioned a dust cloud hanging towards the ocean. It could have very well have been smoke and I suspected that it was. Well, it turns out I was right. I believe it was the day before yesterday that I saw a dark cloud of smoke emitting from the horizon and blowing towards the west. Once I got onto a high spot I could see it was coming from two smoke stacks. So...It's smoke.

Yesterday I made a trip to Camp Virginia and "K-Crossing". I've been to Camp Virginia before. I passed through there as I left Iraq in June of 2007. K-Crossing is where U.S. Convoys cross the border into Iraq. The land out there is wide and open, it's like the moon. It's bare, blah and ugly. The land slopes gently, there is nothing abrupt to it. This ain't the Pisgah National Forest.

At Camp Virginia I got the treat of McDonald's. Not that I am a huge fan of McDonald's, I barely went into the one in Buttholeville until my lovely Step Daughter started working there and then less when she left. It was just different and anything different is a treat. I think the biggest treat I've had here is when I went to Qatar and got to sleep in a real bed.

From K-Crossing I stared back into the abyss...AKA Iraq, not much there to look at. It wasn't iconic.

But, all along the highways going there was plenty to look at. Kuwaitis love to camp and from the roads toy can see their camps going into the distance. It was like KOA Kuwait, except allot less organized and their tents are not the North Face variety. They more resemble General Purpose Mediums (GP Medium), something about every Veteran can identify. Except their tents are cream colored or a dark brown with a cream stripe. Several tents are grouped together and sometimes there is an elevated water tank. Their there for a duration. Many of them have a little fence blocking off a square and even some have lights around the little compound. In a country of open land, everything is blocked off it seems. Of course the roads here are littered with trash and the remnants of obviously fatal wrecks. Hulks of bent and twisted cars sit along the road. They are always by them self and had to run into another, but it's only the one...It makes you wonder. Also, we drove a way down Hwy 80. That was the infamous "Highway of Death" from the Gulf War. It was once littered with the destruction that was the Iraqi Army of Occupation. It's gone now. When I came to Kuwait in the summer of 2006 there was some of that left sitting out near the Ali Al Salem Air Base. That was gone when I came back through a few months later.

"And the moment that you lived for it doesn't live for you..."
The Appalachianist

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Battle

The time is going by. Sometimes the day drags, but, then one day rolls into the other. So, if I was to feel the need to express to everyone something to be thankful for...Honestly I consider such things a practice of Pharisies...It would be that time is moving. So much of my life I wished it would stand still. Not now.

One thing any more is our language. The words we use, lip service...Just lip service. We try to give everything special names...Like the "Super Comitee". I don't know what to call it, but, I suppose most people will call it failure now. Well, round in round it goes and where it stops, everyone knows.

I think the Army, the Military in general, is the worst at using flowery technical language. Take the word "battle"...Now, that's a Military word if we ever heard one.
it get's used so much for everything today, especially in the staff world. Let me give you the explanation. A kid goes to Basic Training, there he has a "Battle Buddy". His Battle Buddy is his newly assigned best friend. I had one, his name was Willis. We had very little in common but we got along. He was a little older than me and managed to put up with imature me. The Drill Segeants would say to us "your buddy". Today, it's the full blown thing, "your battle buddy".

I have nastolgia for our once simpler Army.

Another is the "Battle Box". That's a computer thing, so, you battle the computer. To put it simple it's kind of a sharing place to put files, and iformation for access by others. We're the Army, so we call it Battle Box. That way we can feel like we're slugging it out at Bostogne.

Back to Battle Buddy. It's a Drill Sergeant thing to call one another "Battle". So, is Battle a noun or a verb? Could it be an adverb? It doesn't matter, we like saying it. (I get called battle)

The other day I had a Leutenant Colnel say how we don't have the need for coloered alchahol pens and laminated boards anymore. "When was the last time you used one?". We're high speed! We have computers to do that for us now.

Don't get me wrong. I can see the need for computerised mapping, charts, and graphs. I love Google Earth.

Anyway, I hope you have a fun and entertaining Thanksgiving. It doesn't need to be perfect. There is going to be allot of poor stressed out women tomorrow. And, there ought not be. So...Happy Thanksgiving from all of me here at Appalachian Patria.

Until next time,
I am The Appalahianist.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011


We’re leaving Iraq. Allot of the roads on this camp are dirt and gravel. Unlike the Tigris and Euphrates River Valleys they’re not clay, but actual sand. The ground seems to have lime stone in it. It’s hard, with spots of loose sand on it. It can be dusty, but to me, not as dusty as the Baghdad area. At Taji, they sprayed the roads almost constantly with water to keep the dust down. Now, suddenly with the draw down coming out of Iraq, with all of the convoys rolling of equipment, it’s becoming very dusty.

Today a strange tan colored haze hung out towards the gulf. It was like suspended dust, but hung like smoke. It might have very well have been smoke. In Iraq you could always spot a FOB, look for the smoke of the burn pits. The Iraqis burned too, but not like us. They wanted it out of their way, piled outside of their domains, littering the roads. We wanted it gone, we piled it up in a huge pile and burned it. If you ever hear the Southern Culture On The Skids song, “My Neighbor Burns Trash”, well, that was us. Now there is a study going on about the effects of the burn pits on troops. Personally? I don’t know.

I know this…Looking at the news back home, all eyes are on the Occupy (insert name here) Movement and a child molestation scandal (that has not been proved in court). While we, the Military, are now pulling out of that shit hole Iraq. And, honestly, right now, it would be an unglamorous news story and that story ain’t wrote yet. A story has broken how our own, the Air Force, cremated our war dead and dumped their ashes in a landfill. Obviously, and for allot of reasons I can’t fault, the majority of the American public has wanted us out of there. I will say the same thing I would say…And did, when I was weeding through translations and 130 degree heat in 2006. Getting out of Iraq is no easy thing. And now, with it actually happening…Half of which, the Department of State will still be there…It’s largely going ignored.

I don’t hate the Iraqis. Despite how I would grit my teeth with them…I would turn around and laugh with them just the same. I wish them the best. I hope they can live in peace and prosper. I sincerely do. But, they won't.

The Appalachianist

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Friday, November 11, 2011

This Week

It's Friday, the 11th of November. Yeah, Veterans Day. So, let's get started with a little something to get your blood pumping. The Punk Rock is optionalTotaly optional man.

Veteran's Day
Yeah, Veterans Day. You can ask allot of school kids what day it is nad they will tell you. I don't think allot of them can tell you where it came from. The 11th of November 1918, the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month...Today is 11/11/11.

He was our enemy, but the charctor of All Quiet on the Western Front, was killed on the 11th of October, 1918.

There is something bad though. You may have seen it in the news, maybe you've not. But there has been somewhat of a scandal at Dover Air Force Base. Dover is where he deceased have been taken from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I was reading in The Stars and Stripes that some of the Service Members killed were cremated and then their ashes were dumped in a land fill. I won't make any further comment...

November 10th 1775
Yesterday was the Marine Corps Birthday. They really get into it, and that's good. But, where I want to talk about it is in a significant context to us as a Nation. The year is 1775. That's our year, still we don't have the Spirit of 76, but that was the year the American Revolution was coming to surface. We had a fledging Army since June of that year*. We were'nt going to compeat with the british very well if we could not engage their Navy. So, on October 13th, the Continental Navy was born. I imagine that that was no small feat. It would take quite a bit of material and effort to equip a Navy. Eventually John Paul Jones was in Command of a borrowed ship from the French.**Roughly a month after the Navy started being formed, the Marine corps was born. The Navy needed Marines to protect it, and to be an assault force for it. Well, after that, we didn't have much in the line of ships, but we had a Navy with Marines to support them.

The Royal Navy, despite holding it's gains from the Seven Years War against the French, was not all too prepared for delivering more troops across the Atlantic and the Gun Ships to support that. For them it was not just a war against the rebellous Colonies, but, the French and the Spanish. They had allot of water to cover...And the timber they had been using for heir masts came from the forests of New England.They were stretched thin.

Stretched thin or not, they had a Navy, and we didn't. When who ever it was went into Tung's Tavern and recruited the first Marine, well, as poorly equiped as either of them may have been, they had the most important thing...A person. It was sloppy, at times hap hazard, but we were compeating.

Arifjan Kuwait
Now, back to the future. Allot of people here are getting sick. It took a little longer than usual for it to start going around. It takes about a month or so and it's been about two months. It alread hit me. I went to Qatar for a week with one mean head cold.

Admenastrative Note
I'm taking on the daunting task of tagging all of the posts from my blog, over 600 of them. I never did it before. But, over time, as I found people doing searches for information on my stats, it started to make sense that I do.

*Trivia question! When did the first Commander of that Army, the Continental Army, take command?

** I get tired of French jokes, though we owed the French monarchy more than the post French Revolution Government, we owe allot to the French, Marquis De Laffayette, being one of them.

I've said enough.
The Appalachianist

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Sunday, November 06, 2011

November 6th Notes.

Something is up with my different browsers. The only one out of the three that I use that will let me manipulate the controlm buttons for Blogger is Internet Explorer. I went as far as un installing and re installing Mozilla. I imported book marks to Google Chrome, and it was the same there. I might just un install and redo the both of them.

I have the day off, so I somewhat slept in this morning. Despite being woken several times by one or two of my many room mates, I woke around 7 to the sound of rain. For a brief second I wondered what the sound was, but then realised it was rain...."Our crops are saved!" Like the happy ending to a sharecroppers drama. It only lasted but a minute, wetting the sand and getting soaked up quick. That's unlike the two river valleys in Iraq where it turns to a sticky mud.

Well, we're pulling out of Iraq. We're not out of there yet though. There is allot of people and stuff to come out of there still. And then...There will still be the Department of State. There is allot to think about there. ALLOT.

I got word my oldest Dog, Rebel, got hit by a car. I've no details other than he is fine. It was not a catastophic hit. It most likely happened on a race. If the bear crosses a road, then so do the dogs, like little kids running after a ball. Then if the race falls apart or a dog drops out and makes it's way to a road, it's at risk. Fewer Hunting dogs get ran over on the hunt than pets do around the neighborhood. There are allot of threats to hunting dogs, what ever it chases, bear, coons, even deer, can fight them. They can be mistakenly shot, which everyone takes great care as to not to do. Then, there are cars, trucks, four wheelers and horses. But if you were to ask me what the biggest threat there is to one, I'd tell you it's the three kinds of people that will take your dog. A dog thief, someone bent on messing with a hunter, and someone that believes they know whats best and out of some moral better than though "rescues" your dog.

My last note: I've read little bits here and there on the Occupy(insert name here) movement. As I see it, they are ineffectual, just like the Tea Party. That's good, because, they don't know what they are talking about. The Tea Party got side railed by a bunch of republicans. I knew when I started seeing them dressed up like paul Revere, it was going to get real hoaky. The Occupy movement was clueless to start with. Or, at least some were. Deep in any group like that you are going to have your Marxist at heart types. There far too militant than the Tea Party. By far, the Tea Party has smarter people, more class and a genuine complaint. The Occupiers are just complaining.
Their most famous news shot in Oakland was when the Police tried evicting them. Now, Oakland has a reputation for being a pretty left wing town. I read that the Mayor of Oakland days before marched with them. The reason the Police were called in, was the sanitary problems. It reminds me of John Lennon's lyrics from "Revolution"..."But if you go carrieing pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow".

That whole song comes mind.
The Appalachianist

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