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A Soldiers Experience

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Editors Note: This article was submitted by Tom D. to Pat awhile ago. I am publishing it, with some “military language” edits, since it provides some insights into the reality of military life and some good points for us all to consider. Tom D. – we all thank you for your service.

First things first, I am an active duty soldier in the U.S. Army. I have been in for about ten years and have multiple combat deployments under my belt. I would not call myself an avid prepper (right now), but there is one thing that is always on my mind. SECURITY. Don’t get me wrong, I want to be able to prep as much as possible, but we have unique situation while serving.

Being in the Military really does have its pro’s and con’s when it comes to prepping. The biggest con to me is the fact that we are always moving. I lived in Western Texas for a few years. There, I started adding to my “stash” for desert survival. Both of our kids had walk in closets, and they were too small to walk so my wife and I turned those closets into strongholds for food and water (along with other supplies). We bought a house at the outskirts of the city with a mindset that if TSHTF we could get out fast. Our house was also as far away from Juarez, Mexico as possible while still being in the El Paso city limits. I had a dirt bike and ATV for quick getaways, and knew the lay of the land and how to utilize the wadis (valley, ravine or channel) to my advantage. We had all the fire power we needed, but not too much where we were wasting money on guns. Long story short is, we were moderately prepared. That is, until I got orders to move the family to the Seattle/Tacoma area in Washington state.

After feeling like we would be as good as we could get for TEOTWAWKI (The End of the World as We Know It) in Texas, I showed up here. Washington is an entirely different beast. It rains over half of the year and I am now in a Major Metro Area. I went from my primary concern being an Economic Collapse or Major Terror Attack to now worrying about Mount Rainier deciding to blow. Here in Tacoma we have one major escape route. That is Interstate-5. The issue is that I-5 is a road block now without any sort of emergency. Once TSHTF it will be impossible to go north or south in a vehicle. The ocean to the West and mountains and then high dessert to the east. These are all issues that I need to create new COA’s (course of action) and alternate COA’s to be prepared.

Now that you have seen some of the pain with moving, I will bring up my next Con with being an Active Duty Prepper. DEPLOYMENTS! Many people have a commute of an hour or so on the Civilian side of the house. With us it can be much different. If I am in Afghanistan again when TEOTWAWKI happens, things will be much different. I am a combat arms soldier and have had to fire a weapon at other people before, so that is not the most mind-bending thing for me. The hard thing to consider is my wife and children possibly having to do the things I have done or seen in a combat zone without me. You can train all you want, but will never know how you will react in certain situations until they are staring you in the face.

    

No matter where we live, my wife will have weapons at her disposal. She knows how to shoot, and she has supplies. In a world-wide catastrophe, we have to accept that we may never see each other again if I am on the other side of the world. Luckily, we are already prepared for that before any deployment to begin with.

If the power is still on, whether deployed or not I promise each and every one of you reading this that myself and every Soldier I know would go to our families and friends first.

I read an article written by Pat about two years ago that seemed to question what the Military would be willing to do to its own people. My friends and family have asked me similar questions before as well. I am going to explain this to the best of my ability. First off, a lot of people think that every Soldier or Marine is a robot that takes orders and blows stuff up. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Less than 10 percent of the entire Armed Forces is Combat Arms. Everyone else is Support. So, the thought of every able-bodied Soldier coming to private residences to kick down doors and take you to FEMA Camps is out of the question.

The topic of Prepping is a conversation that I think I have had on every field problem I have ever been on in the Army. Most of the soldiers I know do not have caches of goods prepared for when TSHTF. Nearly all of them do have a plan for when it does happen. Most soldiers are prepared to fight whoever and whatever is out there if they have to. If you are in the Military, it is easy to get your Subordinates to form a team for such scenarios. It is also great for Unit cohesion. In Texas, my house was the Rally Point for my team. We had weapons and defense measures prepared and available to last a hot minute. The best part of our plan was that every member of “my Team” was trained and proficient in soldier skills. Every one of them had been through medical training, knows land navigation and had access to vehicles with GPS capabilities that would track every vehicle we had if necessary. We had been through hard times together and know how to handle each other when it got tough.

Sure, we were not the most organized group with lots of land for farming and honestly were not prepared for a kind transition. We were a group of grunts ready to fight our way through what we had to in order to survive. I have learned that Security is always #1 while serving. It is that way in combat, and it is that way when I go to bed at night. So why would it ever be anything different for TEOTWAWKI.

The one thing that has always been the general consensus was that if anybody gave us orders to turn on our own people, we would all refuse. Most people that join the Military do it out of pride for their Nation and families. There might be ones and two who want to follow along with some plan to implement Martial Law, but I will gladly say that the clear majority of us would be getting home to our families at the same time and be ready to fight the “bad guys.”

 

3 Comments

  1. HART

    August 4, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    Excellent!! Thank you for your service.

  2. R. Ann

    August 5, 2017 at 1:25 am

    >>”First off, a lot of people think that every Soldier or Marine is a robot that takes orders and blows stuff up. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Less than 10 percent of the entire Armed Forces is Combat Arms. Everyone else is Support. So, the thought of every able-bodied Soldier coming to private residences to kick down doors and take you to FEMA Camps is out of the question.”
    >>”If the power is still on, whether deployed or not I promise each and every one of you reading this that myself and every Soldier I know would go to our families and friends first.”
    >>”The one thing that has always been the general consensus was that if anybody gave us orders to turn on our own people, we would all refuse. Most people that join the Military do it out of pride for their Nation and families. There might be ones and two who want to follow along with some plan to implement Martial Law, but I will gladly say that the clear majority of us would be getting home to our families.”
    x2
    Always happy to have other military restate this one with me. You phrased it particularly well.
    There are shady people and jerks in the service and cops, just like there are go-along group-think robots, shady people, jerks, and dirt bags in the civilian world. Happily, they represent a small portion of the military, for the most part. The idea that they’d deploy somewhere to act against U.S. citizens in any kind of widespread mega-disaster – leaving their own families vulnerable to same – is pretty farfetched.

    Cheers, and good luck with your next PCS!
    Rebecca Ann
    (USMC combat correspondent)

  3. Mister D

    August 7, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    Thanks for service. I just wanted to touch on the FEMA aspect you mentioned…
    My military career was brief but I have also spent the last 18 years in law enforcement. I see things pretty much as this man does. My wife shoots, she preps with me…we’ve discussed things many times over. Having our daughter I think was the catalyst for her seeing my perspective and jumping in regarding prepping. I do not fear or worry about “will I be able to take care of and protect my wife and daughter”… But what I do see coming, and hopefully not in my lifetime, is martial law as he referred to above.
    There will come a day one day when the US government will declare martial law on our own citizens. – Whether you believe it’s foreigners coming in and eventually overtaking population numbers in metro areas and government positions, or whether you believe in the Bible referring to the world falling into chaos when the rapture happens. …Either way I am sure you have thought of something along that line. After all, everyone has it on their minds these days – look at film …How hard is it to flip through the channels and NOT find something world ending apocalyptic etc… Meaning it’s on the whole world’s mind.
    Regardless of what you think I only said all this to make people aware of one thing (in America) and that is this…..
    If you think “ah it’ll never happen here” or “pfft that ain’t gonna” or “sigh, the tin foil hat groups are at it again”… Then I leave you with this to think about…
    People raised hell when Obamacare not only got shoved down our throats while lacking votes but was kept hush hush – remember “Well we’ll have to pass it first so you can then see what’s in it later”? Remember that?…
    …Well I leave you with this main point – If you think that that was government control and secrecy, then remember the FEMA act. Call me what you will but know the laws and your own government…
    In the archived public footage of the hearing of Lt.Col. O.North, during the hearing the FEMA act is brought up and a Senator asks “what’s this part we hear about rounding up Americans and suspending the Constitution?” – He was quickly shut down by the Chairman of the committee and said “we are not going to talk about that. We are moving on”. And no one said a word. Later, BOOM – it passed without a single look further into the reference to the Constitution.
    …The FEMA act of 1984 very boldly states that a sitting US president in times of “natural disaster, war..” and even “POLITICAL UNREST” can deploy military forces within the US and detain INDEFINATELY American citizens if HE and HE ALONE perceives them as threatening and suspend the United States Constitution indefinately”.
    …Think deeply about that. …Then read the act word for word yourself.
    When the day comes that Americans try to revolt or whatever the case is at that time, and martial law would be declared, you will see soldier against soldier and officer against officer.
    As he said above, many will follow orders without question ,regardless of the Constitution even if it means turning on their own people. But many will follow their nation and it’s people and remember the oath we took and regardless of what a president orders them, our duty will be to uphold the Constitution above ALL else even a PRESIDENT’S ORDERS – ALL enemies foreign OR domestic. I for one will not only kill to protect my family but I am and always will be in love with my country and my home and will die for it.

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