Friday, May 24, 2019

Love/Hate Relationship With Memorial Day

Memorial Day. Originally Decoration Day where they would decorate the grave sites of those that were lost in the Civil War.
It is unclear where exactly this tradition originated; numerous different communities may have independently initiated the memorial gatherings. Nevertheless, in 1966 the federal government declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day.
Waterloo, which first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866, was chosen because it hosted an annual, community-wide event, during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.
Memorial Day, as Decoration Day gradually came to be known, originally honored only those lost while fighting in the Civil War. But during World War I the United States found itself embroiled in another major conflict, and the holiday evolved to commemorate American military personnel who died in all wars.

I both love and hate this day. I love the thought of remembering those who were lost in war and combat, lest we forget. We should never forget what they gave for each of us. But being in a place where I lost brothers makes me wonder why the heck would I want to remember something I’ve tried to forget but can’t? It’s a double edged sword for some. Remember that when you are going to parades, cemeteries, barbequing, or just at home with your family. Some prefer to spend this day in sad remembrance or quiet reflection. Others don’t give a lot of thought to why we have this day and I can understand this too. Not everyone is touched by the travesty of war. And that’s what we have fought for and continue to fight for. So others won’t have anything but good memories of growing up in the United States.

Another point I’d like to mention is the way we treat our flag. I fought so others could have their first amendment rights of expression. I understand that burning our flag and doing other things to it are symbols of someone’s protest. You can do this, but should you? To others that flag means much more and to even others it represents what many have fought and died under. I’m sure protesters of every kind are out there. Some may not care of the great offense it brings to those who fought for freedoms desecrating our flag brings. That is their right too. But don’t get too upset if we as freedom fighters (your freedom too) don’t react well to your protests. If I call those who desecrate Old Glory “commie cowards with the intellect of a small rodent” don’t be offended at my free speech. Burn your own flags if you wish, but live with consequences if you try to burn mine! We have diverse opinions in this country. We should work at mutual respect.

Come this September it will have been 18 years since we were brutally attacked on American soil. I hope that we can remember, as well as this Memorial Day, those who have left a legacy of the ultimate sacrifice. President Lincoln said it best when he described it as the “last full measure of devotion.”

Semper Paratus
Check 6


I want to share with you video that I really appreciate.
It is from Thunder Ranch, and Clint and Heidi Smith

Check it out!

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Preparedness Review

Preparedness is a process and constant maintenance. Find a time that you can use it to review your preparedness and to make appropriate changes if needed. I’d like to review for you what my idea of preparedness is.
I must put a disclaimer here. I have been involved in preparedness my entire life. Even my childhood was filled with my Mother canning and baking homemade bread to my Father teaching me self-sufficiency by learning carpentry and mechanical skills. My parents taught preparedness to all of us kids. So my idea of preparedness may not be the same as yours. My guess is my idea of preparedness may seem a little excessive to you. Unless you’re paranoid too! I’m not really paranoid but I like options. Preparedness gives you options. So don’t be overwhelmed by what I think preparedness should be. Start small and work your way to your goal. My preparedness has been over 30 years in the making!
This is from Prepper Link

Survival Plan
Bug In (or retreat): Retreat and home defense books for reference
Know your neighbors and surroundings
Immediate neighbors
Identify key infrastructure
Map your area
Neighborhood awareness group
Network with neighbors
Share information
Neighborhood protection plan
Command and control
Security responsibilities
Designated evacuation area (Related to Bug out)

Home defense plan
Identify vulnerable areas
Reinforced structures and defenses
Steel doors
Window bars or coverings
Fighting positions
Designated evacuation area (Related to Bug out)

Bug Out:
Bug out bag

Identify areas
Identify key infrastructure
State/Local government facilities
Military installations
Natural and weather hazards
Population density
National parks
Forestry lands
State owned lands
Family/Friends property
Scout areas
Practice bug out plan

Knowledge (Level 1)
Stored medications
Pet medications
(Knowledge connected to First Aid Kits)
Every adult should know:
Stabilize neck
Treat fractures
Treat chest wounds
Treat cuts
Control bleeding
Open airways
Treat shock
Administer an IV
Medical records
Medical documents
Bulk medical supplies (related to First Aid Kits)
Reference materials (related to First Aid Kits)
First aid kits
Trauma kit
IFAK (Individual first aid kit)
Large kit
Bulk medical supplies (related to Clinic)
Reference materials (related to Clinic)
Desired medical personnel
Knowledge (Level 2)
Advanced reference materials and medical equipment
State Laws
Property protection laws
Firearms restrictions
Conceal carry laws
Stun gun
Pepper/wasp spray
Firearms –Rifles, Shotguns, Handguns
Storage- Ammo cans, gun cabinets, burial vaults
Training- Range, Shooting drills, Courses
Gear- Holsters, Carriers, Pouches, Slings
Cleaning supplies
Spare parts
Reference materials

Security- Radio discipline, Call signs, Limit distance, Privacy (Codes, protocols)
Long term plan
HAM- Long range, can send data, expensive, license, technical
CB- Cheap, anyone can use
VHF- Common to marine industry (Requires energy)
2 way- Cheap, anyone can use, GMRS, FRS, FRS/GMRS (Requires energy)
Emergency plan
Weather radio
Meeting place
Corded phone- powered by utility
AM/FM radio
Police scanner
Cell phone- Text messages may work
Short wave
Hunting, fishing, foraging
Foraging-wild edibles, plant identification (take a guided trip), reference materials
Hunting-Firearms, trapping, slingshot, bow/sling bow
Hunting experience-Supporting equipment, field dressing
Fishing-Know your area (fish species & seasonal patterns)
Catching fish-Cast net/traps, trout/tree lines, rod and reel, survival kit
Cleaning fish-preparation, preservation (connected to food storage)
72 hour food supply (bug out/emergency supply)
1 month food supply (long term emergency)
1 year food supply (long term)
Gardening/Farming (water requirements for plants, irrigation, animals)
Growing crops-Sprouting, seeds
Hydroculture/hydroponics-infrastructure, tanks, pumps
Small scale gardening-Management, rotation, seasons, fertilizer, pest
Management, harvest
Large scale-Land assessment, Management (same as small scale)
Raising livestock
Selecting livestock
Animal husbandry
Determining fish and plants
Food Storage
Canning-Short shelf-life, Heavy
Equipment-Jars, lids
Method-Water-bath or Pressure
Dehydrated Food
Fruits and vegetables-Long shelf-life
Meats and jerky-Short shelf-life
Dairy-Short shelf-life
Canned/Boxed food-Short shelf-life, Heavy (rotate often)
Hand packed dry foods
Grain-Mill needed
Whole-Long shelf-life
Flour-Short shelf-life
Pasta-Long shelf-life
Rice-Long shelf-life
Beans/Legumes-Long shelf-life
Dairy-Short shelf-life
Storing methods
Mylar bags-Need heat sealer
Pail or Bucket
Vacuum sealed bag-Need vacuum packer
Battery Bank
Wind zones
Wind turbine
Battery Bank
Single use
Battery Plan
Solar zones
Solar panels
Portable vehicle systems
Grid tied
Battery Bank
Gasifier-Requires fuel (wood, biomass)
Requires fuel
Gasoline-Short shelf-life
Diesel-Moderate shelf-life
Propane-Indefinite shelf-life
Fuel storage-Fuel treatment
Battery Bank-Size considerations
DC Power
12 Volt system-Compatible with vehicles systems
24 Volt system-Best for long runs, step down for 12 V devices
A/C Power-A/C devices
Stocks-Also diversify with physical investments
Goods for barter
Precious metals
Bullion-Coins, rounds, bars
Foreign currency
Burial vaults
Bug out bag
Vault (Domestic and remote)
Sanitation and Hygiene
Detergent-Stored, Homemade
Rodents and Insect Control
Repellants-Bug spray, fly traps, mouse/rat traps
Trash-Bury, burn, trash bags
Tooth brush
Tooth paste-Stored, natural remedies
Regular toilet on grid, septic, cesspool
Requires water
RV Toilet
Requires water and emptying
Compost toilet
May require energy
Field toilet
Construction-Pit, outhouse, urinal tubes, trench
Disease Management
Emptying, bags, enzymes, lye
Bucket-Short term
Disease Management
Emptying, bags, enzymes, lye
Body and Hair
Bathing-Solar shower, hand pump sprayer, cup/bucket bath
Grooming supplies-Combs, brushes, nail clippers, razors, scissors, hair clippers
Soap and Sanitizer
Stored-Hand soap, bath soap, sanitizers, shampoo, conditioner
Homemade-Homemade soap, natural sanitizers, recipes/mixes
Stored supplies to make homemade products
Stored-Rotation plan, pre-treatment
Non-traditional sources-Ice trays, hot water heater tank, toilet reservoir
Well-Deep well, shallow well, pumps (electric and hand)
Surface water-Swimming pools, lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, ditches, solar still
Treatment methods-Tablets, UV, Pool shock, Filters, Bleach, Iodine, Boil
Rainwater collection
Rain gutters/barrels
Open containers

This list is pretty all inclusive but you may have some other additions. In most of these areas I can be fairly confident but sometimes it’s good to review your own plans and preparations.
Being prepared gives you piece of mind but is far from “set it and forget it”. You must review, check, rotate and update. It’s a way of life.
I hope this helps you to think about your own preparedness program an gives you ideas.
This is from The Prepper Link and is called the Prepper Matrix. Check out their site for free downloads and further help and direction.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Overwatch: Drill of the Month For May

May 2019

Triple Threat (pistol, 15 rounds, 1 mag) VTAC – Kyle Lamb 5y @ 3 VTAC targets, 1m apart. Draw – at center target fire 3 to chest, 1 to head, 1 to pelvis. Transition to either outside target, repeat. Transition to last target, repeat. Must begin each target with 3 to chest. Head or pelvis can be shot first. Scoring: 0 MISSES ALLOWED – total time

Sergeant Major (retired) Kyle Lamb spent 21 years in the military, 19 of which was in Special Operations and over 15 years of that in the military’s elite Delta Force. Early in his career, Kyle was fighting in the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia – the 1993 fight which would inspire the book and movie Black Hawk Down.
Kyle would go on to do more cool-guy action stuff in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to be sure, a bunch of others less-than-desirable locations around the globe. Today he is one of the most respected tactical trainers and industry leaders and the owner of Viking Tactics (VTAC).

See “Overwatch: Drill of the Month” page for more drills

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Friday, May 3, 2019

Backfires, Fireworks, and Gunshots

I live in the country. I hear gunshots all the time. There are hunters, and then there are those target practicing. Every time I hear it, I note the direction and the time. If I am ever questioned I want some better information than it went bang. But I’ve also been around shooting. A lot. It never fails that as soon as I remove hearing protection, someone shoots. I also have been working on active flight lines for many years so I understand the importance of hearing protection. But learning the difference between other sounds (fireworks, backfiring vehicle) and gun shots is something that can be practiced. I would take my children to the shooting range several times a year. I would make it fun for them or they would get sick of it. We played marksmanship “games” ensuring that we were safe at all times. But because of this, they are better at identifying gunshots than the average person. In most cases it’s a little difficult.
Several witnesses have described that they heard what they thought was fireworks, before they realized that it was actually gunshots. Country singer Jason Aldeen, who was performing at the time of the Las Vegas shooting, didn’t get off the stage until well after the first round of gunshots. Witness videos show people standing around through several rounds of shooting unaware that what they're hearing was actually gunshots.
I’m not sure but I think I’d have found some cover or at least concealment. I’ve been shot at with AK’s and AR’s and I think I know those sounds pretty good. But I can always be fooled.
In 2016 MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace had a curious moment on set when she confused the sound of an opening soda can with live gunfire.
“I think we just heard some gunshots. Should we listen to that for a second, control room?” asked Wallace with her customary monotone.
In her defense there had been many shooting incidents at the time. But the fact that she didn’t really know the difference is what is telling. It’s better to be cautious rather than ventilated!
Often in the face of a shooting event many people don’t react properly. They don’t duck, run, or find cover. This is because of something called the Normalcy bias. This is a survival mechanism our brains are equipped with that can place us in grave danger when we’re faced with something traumatic. Simply put, it causes our brains to insist that everything is OK. This doesn’t happen in this small town, or this neighborhood, or at this event. Our mind lies to us in an effort to survive emotionally and mentally.
I was in a combat situation where one of the guys supposed to be fighting beside me was in shock. He could not engage the enemy because this wasn’t anything like training. He had to overcome his own normalcy bias before he could be an effective fighter.
I’ve told a story about coming on to a fairly bad car roll-over and people could not get past heir normalcy bias to actually be of help to the victims.
This is a good reason to learn what gunfire sounds like. If you’ve been to the range that is not always enough. I’m not advocating damaging your hearing but criminals and terrorists don’t hand out ear plugs before they shoot. You need to know what real, un-muffled, gun fire sounds like. Now this does not mean using no hearing protection at an indoor range while someone is shooting a .357! But you do need to hear real shots from a distance. More than likely you won’t be right next to a shooter when he decides to attack.
My description is only my own opinion. But I feel I can tell the difference between calibers when I hear them. I also think fireworks have a differing sound from each other. They are not so uniform like gun shots. It does take a little practice (experience). Usually fireworks are almost on top of each other going off. Gunshots are more methodic, even automatic fire. There may be gaps, but it’s only one shot at a time. Sometimes you can be fooled, but I’d rather error on the side of caution.
Give yourself some training and go to the range. Even if you don’t shoot, get more familiar with gun shots!

Semper Paratus
Check 6