Friday, November 16, 2018

Concealed Carry And Forgiveness

If you carry remember to have ADD. Avoid, Deter, De-escalate. You have to be that type of person. I consider myself to be an aggressive person. But I also try to defuse situations that will get me in trouble. I’m not politically correct, but I don’t want to find a fight. If one comes to me, I feel I can end the fight, but I don’t go looking. Remember what the ancient prophet Moroni encouraged, don’t be “...a man of blood.”
If you pay attention to the news, you’ll have most likely seen the story about a recent joke made on Saturday Night Live about former Navy SEAL and Congressman-Elect, Dan Crenshaw. The joke was made by SNL’s Pete Davidson and drew a large amount of backlash from Veteran’s organizations across the country, despite Crenshaw shaking it off.

A few weeks ago, Pete Davidson appeared on SNL offering an apology to surprise guest, Dan Crenshaw. While the appearance by Davidson and Crenshaw was shaping up to be a run-of-the-mill apology, Crenshaw turned it into an amazing message for Veteran’s Day.

“But, seriously, there’s a lot of lessons to learn here. Not just that the left and right can still agree on some things but also this, Americans can forgive one another. We can remember what brings us together as a country and still see the good in each other. This is Veteran’s Day weekend, which means that it’s a good time for every American to connect with a Veteran. Maybe say, “Thanks for your service,” but I would actually encourage you to say something else. Tell a Veteran “Never forget.” When you say “Never Forget” to a Veteran, you are implying that, as an American, you are in it with them, not separated by some imaginary barrier between civilians and Veterans, but connected together as grateful fellow Americans; who will never forget the sacrifices made by Veterans past and present. And never forget those we lost on 9/11; heroes like Pete’s father.” (Pete Davidson’s father was a firefighter who died in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.) “So I’ll just say, Pete? Never forget.”

This is a great opportunity that was taken to express real connective views. I too tire of the politics and baloney of the right and the left. I try to stay away from each of these sides as an independent. But I always find myself back toward the right when it comes down to it. But what I really like in this message is the word “forgiveness.” If more in politics and our individual opinions would remember the importance of forgiveness I think we could see more progress in this country. We don’t have to back down from our opinions, just forgive others for what we perceive as offense to our side and this country. Being offended is always a choice. We don’t have to be. Ellenor Roosevelt said this:
“No one can offend you without your permission.” We can suck it up and not be offended because someone doesn’t agree with us. As a concealed carrier, we must be slow to temper and hard to offend.
Not only is it important to be this way when you carry a lethal weapon, but it makes your life much easier in every aspect. I am confident enough and self-assured enough in my own life and opinions to not be upset all the time. It takes maturity and discipline.
Forgiveness is freedom. Even if the other party remains angry an holds a grudge. You don’t have to, you can forgive and be free again.
Semper Paratus
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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Veteran's Day Remembrances

President Wilson said in November of 1919:
"To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"
The fighting of World War I stopped at 11 a.m. of the 11th month (Nov), on the 11th day. It was called Armistice and it was celebrated on November 11th to commemorate that Armistice. As time went on and WWII came to pass the day was eventually changed to a Monday and celebrated as Veteran’s Day. In 1978 is was changed back to the original November 11th and has been this way ever since.
Veteran’s Day is coming upon us Sunday, November 11, 2018. Please remember this day and celebrate it appropriately. Veteran’s that want to be involved in celebrations will be. Those who want to take it easy will do that too. We know there is a parade. Please don’t tell us we should be there. Also, don’t ask stupid questions like “Did you kill anyone?” These are personal things that are only shared when needed. If one of us was involved in combat we generally don’t want to talk about it, or we have already talked about it with the people of our choice. Saying Thank you is appropriate, but don’t tell us why you didn’t serve because we frankly, don’t care. Be respectful.
One good way to pay respect on Veteran’s Day is to fly the flag. Contrary to others “free speech” ideas the United States flag is something that we respect. If you feel a need to desecrate this symbol that we fought under, and watched others die under, please do so somewhere away from us.
If you fly the flag here are some guidelines:
STANDARDS of RESPECT
The Flag Code, which formalizes and unifies the traditional ways in which we give respect to the flag, also contains specific instructions on how the flag is not to be used. They are:
• The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal.
• The flag should not be used as a drapery, or for covering a speaker’s desk, draping a platform, or for any decoration in general. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.
• The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use. Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyard
• The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.
• The flag should never have placed on it, or attached to it, any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing of any kind.
• The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.
When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms. To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.
The flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary.
When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.

Displaying the Flag Outdoors
When the flag is displayed from a staff projecting from a window, balcony, or a building, the union should be at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half-staff.
When it is displayed from the same flagpole with another flag - of a state, community, society or Scout unit - the flag of the United States must always be at the top except that the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for Navy personnel when conducted by a Naval chaplain on a ship at sea.
When the flag is displayed over a street, it should be hung vertically, with the union to the north or east. If the flag is suspended over a sidewalk, the flag's union should be farthest from the building.
When flown with flags of states, communities, or societies on separate flag poles which are of the same height and in a straight line, the flag of the United States is always placed in the position of honor - to its own right.
..The other flags may be smaller but none may be larger.
..No other flag ever should be placed above it.
..The flag of the United States is always the first flag raised and the last to be lowered.
When flown with the national banner of other countries, each flag must be displayed from a separate pole of the same height. Each flag should be the same size. They should be raised and lowered simultaneously. The flag of one nation may not be displayed above that of another nation.
Raising and Lowering the Flag
The flag should be raised briskly and lowered slowly and ceremoniously. Ordinarily it should be displayed only between sunrise and sunset. It should be illuminated if displayed at night.
The flag of the United States of America is saluted as it is hoisted and lowered. The salute is held until the flag is unsnapped from the halyard or through the last note of music, whichever is the longest.
Displaying the Flag Indoors
When on display, the flag is accorded the place of honor, always positioned to its own right. Place it to the right of the speaker or staging area or sanctuary. Other flags should be to the left.
The flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the highest point of the group when a number of flags of states, localities, or societies are grouped for display.
When one flag is used with the flag of the United States of America and the staffs are crossed, the flag of the United States is placed on its own right with its staff in front of the other flag.
When displaying the flag against a wall, vertically or horizontally, the flag's union (stars) should be at the top, to the flag's own right, and to the observer's left.
Parading and Saluting the Flag
When carried in a procession, the flag should be to the right of the marchers. When other flags are carried, the flag of the United States may be centered in front of the others or carried to their right. When the flag passes in a procession, or when it is hoisted or lowered, all should face the flag and salute.
The Salute
To salute, all persons come to attention. Those in uniform give the appropriate formal salute. Citizens not in uniform salute by placing their right hand over the heart and men with head cover should remove it and hold it to left shoulder, hand over the heart. Members of organizations in formation salute upon command of the person in charge.

The Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem
The pledge of allegiance should be rendered by standing at attention, facing the flag, and saluting.
When the national anthem is played or sung, citizens should stand at attention and salute at the first note and hold the salute through the last note. The salute is directed to the flag,
My wife was a typical military wife. She is fiercely patriotic. Because of her service by supporting my service she is part of the military in a very real way. When she sees a worn and faded flag in front of any store or restaurant, she talks to managers to tell them to replace the flag. She has done it all over the town we live near and she has even done it when we were on vacation and in other places. She understands the sacrifice of those who paid the “last full measure of devotion” for that flag and for this country. She and I feel that disloyalty to the flag is disloyalty to those who gave all for us.
I am a veteran. I served in a combat support role but found myself in the thick of that combat. As we were rolling down a runway at egress speed, being shot at, I saw out the starboard door of the aircraft the United States flag that I fought under. I watched as some good friends and brothers died with that same flag attached to their uniform.
If you want to thank a veteran, fly and respect the flag that represents so much to us. Our country was “conceived in liberty.” And it has been through much and has “long endured.” The least we can do is show respect that those who served so richly deserve.
Be mindful that some veterans experience in the military was not pleasant because of combat circumstances. Veterans Day and Memorial Day aren’t always days of celebration for them.

Semper Paratus
Check 6
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Sunday, November 4, 2018

Basics Of Buying A Tourniquet

1. It should be the first thing you see when you open your first aid kit. If your first aid kit has pockets on the outside, you may even want to put it there instead. The idea is that you want to be able to grab it as fast and as easily as possible.
2. When you pack it, you should also preset the adjusting strap so that the loop is long enough to go around your thigh.
3. When in doubt, APPLY IT. You can take it off any time within the next 2 hours without damaging your patient.
4. If your tourniquet doesn’t have a place to write the time of application, take some masking tape and wrap it around the end of the adjustment strap.
5. It’s fine to use 2 if 1 doesn't stop the bleeding.
6. This can be used in conjunction with quick clotting bandages, Israeli bandages, or other hemostatic agents.
7. This won’t feel comfortable. On an uninjured arm proper application will cause some bruising.
8. Try to remove heavy coats or pants. It can be applied over clothing, but bunched or folded cloth makes it more difficult to stop blood flow.
9. For a fast deployment, you can carry your tourniquet using a tourniquet holder.
CAT (Combat Application Tourniquet)
The CAT is one of the first manufactured tourniquets, one of the most common used by the military quite popular. It secures with Velcro & uses a windlass to twist the strap tighter. The windlass is secured by inserted one end into a cradle.

SOF T (special operations forces tactical)
The strap of the SOF Tactical Tourniquet is secured with a quick-connect / break-apart buckle and tightened with a windlass like the CAT. The windlass is secured by a “tri-ring” or D-ring at one end.
Two versions are available: The original SOF-T with a 1″ wide strap & the newer SOF-T Wide with a 1.5″ strap

MATResponder
The MATResponder is constructed with a rigid C shaped plastic Collar & constricting strap. The strap is secured around the limb with a buckle hook. A turning handle tightens the tourniquet.
The strap has a limited ability to tighten, so the tourniquet strap must be tightly applied. It is more bulky & therefore harder to pack than other tourniquets. However, the tourniquet is easily released by either lifting the plastic hook that locks down the strap, or by pressing the release button.
SWATT (stretch, wrap, and tuck tourniquet)
Essentially a simple elastic tourniquet, the SWATT can be wrapped around limb tightly, fully stretching it at each wrap so compressive pressure is applied. The end is tucked into the wrap.
RATS (rapid application tourniquet system)
It is recommended that you get at least three sequential wraps. Guys with thick legs will barely able to get two complete wraps on their thighs. There is a potential for tissue damage if the wraps are spaced too close or too far, but that is true of any tourniquet system applied inappropriately. Wrapping and stretching the R.A.T.S. requires a fairly wide range of motion
The RATS Tourniquet features a very minimal footprint allowing you to tuck this thing in places your other tourniquets won’t go. Application time is around 22 seconds for self-application to the leg & 35 seconds to the arm.
Make sure your tourniquet is easily accessible.
Practice applying it in less than 30 seconds.
Should be placed high and tight, close to the body.
Use with Quickclot bandages or Israeli/pressure bandages.
Don’t leave a tourniquet on longer than 2 hours.
Tourniquets can and do save lives. But learning to use them and apply them correctly are extremely important. Get good and competent training.

Semper Paratus
Check 6
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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Indentifying The Rare Mail Bomb

I worked with EOD (explosive ordinance disposal) for a year in the military. I learned how to recognize and dispose of bombs and other explosives. I had a defective mine go off in my hand but because it was defective, the explosion was minor, and I was in a bomb suit. But it scared the stuffing out of me!
Mail or package bombs are very rare. There is about a one in 10 billion (with a “b”) chance you would ever come into contact with one. Generally these things are used on specific targets or targeted organizations. But here are some tips to recognizing a parcel that just doesn’t seem right.
• Mail bombs may have excessive postage. Normally a bomber does not want to mail a parcel over the counter and have to deal face-to-face with a window clerk.
• The return address may be fictitious or non-existent.
• The postmark may show a different location than the return address.
• Improper spelling of common words, common names, places or titles.
• Mail bombs may bear restricted endorsements, such as "Personal" or "Private." This is particularly important when the addressee does not usually receive personal mail at the office.
• Unexpected mail from foreign countries – e.g. air mail and special delivery.
• Mail bombs may display distorted handwriting, or the name and address may be prepared with homemade labels or cut-and-paste lettering.
• Parcel bombs may be unprofessionally wrapped with several combinations of tape used to secure the package, and may be endorsed "Fragile--Handle With Care" or "Rush--Do Not Delay."
• Letter bombs may feel rigid, or appear uneven or lopsided.
• Package bombs may have an irregular shape, soft spots or bulges.
• Mail bombs may have protruding wires, aluminum foil, or oil stains, and may emit a peculiar odor.
If you see one or more of these indicators and you’re not sure about the package or piece of mail do the following:

Unopened Package

• Stop handling the item – place on the nearest flat surface
• Do not try to clean up any spillage
• Wash hands thoroughly
• Call 9-1-1
• Evacuate the room and building
• Close and secure room door
• Await further advice or instructions from law enforcement
• Don't put it in water or a confined space, such as a desk drawer or cabinet.
• If possible, open windows in the immediate area to assist in venting potentially explosive gases.
. Opened Package

• Do not spill or further disperse contents, do not leave the room with the package
• Do not touch eyes, nose or any other part of the body
• Follow instructions in “Unopened Package” above

Don't worry about possible embarrassment if the item turns out to be innocent. Instead, contact the Postal Inspection Service and your local police department.
As I said above, the chances are pretty slim you’ll ever encounter this situation. But it’s always good to be prepared.
Semper Paratus
Check 6
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Friday, October 26, 2018

First Aid Basics: Using A Chest Seal

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. I have limited experience and limited training in this area. I’d like to have more training. The information I give here is just that, for informational purposes only. For real training, seek competent medical professionals.
I once asked an ER doctor to give some training for a group of people who were interested in some additional first aid training. When he showed up he was very knowledgeable and very helpful, but his limitations in field medicine were obvious. He knew how to care for patients in a hospital setting with almost unlimited personnel and equipment at his disposal. In the field by himself only his knowledge of medicine was his advantage over the average person. We usually have the same supplies and gear. I’m not saying I didn’t learn anything from this obviously talented doctor, but what we needed was a field medic. Doctors and nurses are usually tied to a hospital or office with resources. I don’t fault them, I appreciate their life saving skills, and some of them have some good field experience. But often they can lack the “seat-of-your-pants” medicine that is needed for the field.
While fighting in a battle that never seemed to end in South America we lost some brothers. There were some injuries also and one guy was shot in the chest. We administered first aid and the wound was a “through-and-through”. Our medic put on a chest seal and the bleeding was minimal. He actually did a little fighting until the next day when we could all get out. I was able to help the medic so I got my real world experience in using a chest seal (my one and only experience!) I can remember being trained in doing this and using whatever plastic we had available, even a cigarette pack plastic wrap. I never thought I’d ever have to use any of that training.
A sucking chest wound (SCW) happens when an injury causes a hole to open in your chest. SCWs are often caused by stabbing, gunshots, or other injuries that penetrate the chest.
Signs of an SCW include:
an opening in the chest, about the size of a coin
hissing or sucking sounds when the person inhales and exhales
heavy bleeding from the wound
bright red or pinkish, foaming blood around the wound
coughing up blood
SCWs sometimes make no noise. Treat any wound caused by chest penetration as an SCW.
What should I do to provide immediate first aid?
If an object is still protruding from the wound, don’t remove it. This can make the injury worse.
Call your local emergency services immediately. If no emergency services are available, get the injured person to a hospital as soon as possible. Follow any steps that the emergency services operator gives you. You may be directed to do the following:
1. Sterilize your hands with soap and water.
2. Put on gloves or other hand protection.
3. Remove any loose clothing or objects covering the wound. Don’t remove clothing that’s stuck to the wound.
4. Keep a hand over the wound while preparing a dressing. Protect your hand with a glove or other hand protection. If possible, have someone else put their hand over the wound. If no one else is available, have the injured person cover the wound with their hand if they’re still able to do so.
5. Find a chest seal or sterile, medical-grade plastic, or tape to seal the wound. If you don’t have medical plastic, use a clean Ziploc bag or a credit card for the wound. Use your hands if you have no other option.
6. If possible, ask the person to breathe out to release any excess air.
7. Place tape, plastic, or a chest seal over any hole that’s sucking in air, including entry and exit wounds. Make sure no air enters any wound.
8. Secure the tape or seal with occlusive dressing or similar wrapping material that can create a water and airtight seal. Make sure the seal has at least one open side to let out air without letting air in.
9. Remove the seal if you notice symptoms of tension pneumothorax, or a buildup of air in the chest. This happens when a lung leaks air into the chest and builds pressure. This can cause extremely low blood pressure (shock) and be fatal. Symptoms include crackling sounds when the person breathes in or out (subcutaneous emphysema), lip or finger blueness (cyanosis), enlarged neck veins (jugular vein distention), short, shallow breaths, and one side of the chest appearing larger than the other.
Keep the person on their side unless this makes it harder for them to breathe. Let out as much excess air as possible from the chest while making sure that the person can still breathe.
If the person loses consciousness or stops breathing, do the following:
Perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
use a blanket to keep them from getting too cold
don’t let the person eat or drink
put pressure on wounds to slow bleeding
These are the basics of a SCW. Direction from a qualified doctor, nurse, paramedic, or EMT may be different. Follow the professional’s directions if communication with them is available. Again, seek out training in this area by competent medical professionals. I hope you are never in a situation where you need to use this info, but if you are, you could save someone’s life.
Semper Paratus
Check 6
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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Remember Beirut

Remember the Beirut bombing! On 23rd of October 1983 305 servicemen of the U.S. and France, and civilians, were killed when a vehicle with a 21,000 pound TNT bomb ran into their barracks in Beirut, Lebanon.
We need to remember these cowardly acts and the brave men and women who defend us!

This incident has been used to train and secure U.S. military and civilian members for years. At least their senseless sacrifice was not in vain.

Pray for the families of those who lost loved ones and for our current military members and first responders in harms way! They need our support and prayers.

Godspeed brothers and sisters!

Semper Paratus
Check 6
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