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Thread: How I joined the Militia

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    42

    Default How I joined the Militia

    Any correct grammar or spelling is purely unintentional

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    I found my self 50ish, 40 lbs over weight and with time on my hands now that second son had headed off to college. I decided to look into the militia. Yes I know it could be a batch f nuckle dragging clamsmen or a bunch of whannabe geer queers but what the heck. Worst case maybe I scare up some students for the CCW classes I teach, make a few bucks that way.

    They said to pack food for a full day so that week I made a pan of Logan bread. Logan bread is named for Mt Logan, dense and full of nuts and dried fruit. We used to make it for week long Boy Scout canoe and backpacking trips. My version has pumpkin in it, extra black strap molasses and dried cranberries and dried tart cherries. I vacuum sealed 4" squares. Making it brought back memories of Hudson Bay Bread. From the Boy Scouts Northern Tier High Adventure Base the traditional version was oatmeal , lots of butter , corn syrup, sugar , honey , maple flavor and slivered almonds. My version was simpler oatmeal, maple syrup, coconut oil and slivered almonds. I made a batch, looked like a sheet cookie, and again cut into 4" squares and vacuum sealed them.

    At Walmart I grabbed a couple of the flavored tuna packets, some of those caffinated drink sticks, single serve gatoraid mixes. On the way out I spotted the little cans with the red devil on them, Underwood meat spreads. Hmmm chicken, ham , roast beef, corned beef or liverwurst which to pick. Unable to decide I get two cans of each.

    I decide to pack like the Allen Gallon Challenge - each scout put his food for the day into a zip loc freezer bag. I put in two squares each of Logan and Hudson Bay Bread, a single serve peanut butter, a can of underwood liver wurst, some crackers, some hard blue mints and some caffeine drink mixes. Wow that's a long list who's writing this, J.W. Rawles?


    RealTree cammo was the Militia Standard but the only RealTree I owned was a set of artic bibs and coat. The OIC said in an e-mail that BDU's or whatever were fine so put on heavy green Carhart cargo pants , much better quality and less expensive than the official BSA pants, heavy blue cotton long sleeve t and a really disreputble looking plain khaki ball cap I got from Menards. The only true military stuff was my boots - USAF Green Corcorans. I got 'em for $70 at a gun show and they were the best boots I'd ever owned. The older I get the more I like good tall boots. My day pack was bought 30 years ago a thick black nylon thing, it pre-dated the MOLLE stuff and ALICE wasn't cool back then so it was just thick black nylon. It did have a padded waist strap and chest straps.

    We weren't supposed to be armed at this event but that went against my personal policy of never leaving my cave without my club, hat tip Mr Mark Walters, so I figured my little Kahr MK9 in the pocket wasn't bending the rules too bad. Beside what would they do court martial me?

    I got to the TA or 'training area'. It was a picnic area way back in a state park. I arrived early as is my habbit. A guy by the name, well call sign everyone uses a hadle or call sign, of Gravy greated me. He was a trim, weathered looking guy head to toe in Real Tree BDU's complete with boonie hat and trousers bloused into his vietnam style combat boots. Each collar had a blacked out captains train track, his right shoulder has black and white US flag with one blue stripe in the middle, on the left shoulder was an olive oval patch with a rust brown III. He had an old school pistol belt with two canteens and a single butt pack held up by suspenders and had the de ringur Shemag in green and black. We chatted a bit, he thanked me for comming, directed me under the picnic shelter.

    I signed the muster and filled out a paper. I asked the huge lady in RealTree if I needed to fill it all in. The answer was no, fill in what I wanted but do note any medical stuff they should know about and contact info in case I got injured. By the time I was done more folks had arrived. A knot of them had formed, drinking coffee, shooting the breeze and smoking cigars. A personality flaw of mine is despising cigars. The only thing worse than cheap cigars is expensive cigars. They cost more money and are as reprehnsible as the cheap ones. I stayed upwind of the noxious cloud. There was a group of obvious newbs such as myself. They either had brand new RealTree or like me no real tree.

    There were all sorts of people now in various bits of RealTree. Some with stripes or rank baadges on hats or sleeves or collars. There were all sorts of pins and patches to be found. Some guys looked like a walking patch collection. Most were serious but some humorous. One guy had one on his left shoulder that said 'Chairborne', cute. Another was a tab like a ranger tab that said,"Regular Guy". I'd find out later he thought of himself as anything but a regular guy and had the interwebbook props to prove it.

    A simple flagpole had been put up. They, or is it we, formed up for 'colors'. The color guard was mismatched. The bugle playing to the colors was ragged and there was every combination of hand salutes, hands to hearts, hats on, hats off but the flag got up in the air. The CO lead the assembled masses in something that resembled an oath of enlistment. The a guy with crosses on his collar gave a blessing.


    There were 21 regulars in three squads, four 'state cadre' or big shots and five newbs including myself. Morning was land nav. Most folks dug out those military lensatic compasses, I pulled out my trusty Boy Scout Silva baseplate compass. They passed out toppo maps. Gravy came by to give me a hand then realized I was pretty good at it already. We trooped through the woods looking for rally points, each squad getting a couple newbs tacked on. My squad was friendly enough but it was clear I was along for the ride but it was cool.

    Towards the end we were about about to hump up a steep hill to hump down another to then hump up a second hill to find the final point. I spoke up, "We could just follow this creek bed down and around to where the other crek bed comes in back track it to the curve then attack a bearing off that to get do." Regular Guy looked skeptical but said "Lead on Mc Gee." My rout worked rather well, not sure RG was that happy about it. We did a nice 5,000 meters or so as the crow flies so more like 6,000 or so as the militia wanders.

    We broke for lunch. Lots of the establishment types broke out MRE's or the really cool dudes like RG broke out First Strike Rations. The cigar club fired up - did I mention this is nasty. I was surprised how many folks here smoked - I guess working in corporate / IT world so long. Anyway Gravy came over to say hey. He was interested in my 'Alan Bag' even tried some of the Logan Bread and was impressed.

    Half way through lunch they switched to lunch and learn were we kept eating while some guys did first aid training. The had everyone toss out their med kits. A guy with a patch showing a winged angle with a sword and the word Paramedic around the edge and a name tape saying Nurse Ratchet was inspecting. He made good natured fun of some folks only having a zip-loc of bandaids. Others had full on 'downed operators' kits.

    "What for ewe has two bags?" he asks me.

    I explained one was a boo boo kit with bandaids, anti-biotic ointment, immodium and aleive while the other was a blow out kit with tourniquet, kerlex gauze , ace wrap and duct tape. "I like it he pronounced. Simple, effective, cheap"

    Afternoon training was GPS. Again we did a lot of plodding through the woods in a straight line. While it worked didn't seem the best way to go at it.

    The final exercise was a LAND NAV with first aid. The newbs were formed into a squad. The other squads charged off into the woods. I held out group up a second. To the guy holding the GPS, 'What is bearing and distance?" He gave it to me, it was off our toppo map so I had everyone walk to the big park map. The map was huge, 4' square. I found the picnic shelter on the map, luckily it had a distance scale on the bottom. I applied bearing and range to the map.

    "Yeh but how accurate is that map?" someone asked.

    "Should be close enough, why don't we drive to this point here then use the GPS to guide in the last 300 yards, it'll save us 4,000 yards of so of bush whacking."

    We piled into on guys's diesel bro-dozer pickup, this thing was huge. I wonder if he has air stairs at home, anyway we drove to a curve in the road and parked. Then used the GPS to overland out way to the designated point. The training staff hadn't even set up the 'wounded' yet!


    I got home early evening, wife was heading out with friends to play some sort of chick card game. So I showered and fixed myself a small rib eye , sweet potatoe and cracked open a Sam Adams and intended to surf the web and then watch some walking dead.

    I was lurking in AR15.com. I don't post much there, after an unfortunate incident I was banned from the site. I went through a couple alternate ID's until those were detected and banned. I managed a final id that I mostly lurked with, having less than 20 posts in over a year.

    Surprisingly a message box opened. Weird it had no 'from' UserId

    "Saw you at training today."
    "We are Impressed."
    "Keep going to training."
    "Eyes open. Mouth Closed"
    "Lose 30 lbs by Spring"
    "Liberty or Death..."

    Whut duh fuq? I tried to get into my PM's again and it was gone. How did they know my AR15.COM ID? Either spooky or a very well played joke.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    NW Ohio
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    The whole patriot/survivalist/militant crowd makes me a bit nervous to be around for long perioods of time, they are far more intense, and dedicated than I am, and have bad habits to boot (cigar smoking). As far as the later message from the AR15 board, you have no idea how you were vetted for acceptance into this militia, i'm sure they have undetermined methods for gathering intel, and the message was a stern reminder that nothing is private in this electronic world.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Helena Montana
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    Great read. Got any more musings. The part about the various uniforms and patches really strikes a chord here in montana where I live which has a VA hospital. One sees all sorts of dudes with every type of decoration etc. Then they have a stand down for vets living in the out back and the town gets flooded with excess military jackets and such. For a while all the cardboard sign people on the corners are wearing new gear.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Chapt Two

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    Around 9:30 that evening I started to get e-mails. "Welcome Patriot". "Download this app, we don't use message boards any more." "Mandatory gear list."

    The gear list seemed typical stuff. They were really intent on a few things. One was an AR15 in 5.56. This was the one non-negotiable item it seemed. I was rather fond of my Palmetto State AR in 9 mm but of course what normal American didn't have at least one AR15 in 5.56? My go-to AR was a Rock River lower, with a Spikers Tactical slick side upper, 16" stainless full profile barrel, simple Troy fixed rear sight and TRS25 red dot sight.

    Most interesting was a message from 'Gravy'. Seems he owned a farm and his squad was doing some live fire training and was inviting selected newbies to get us up to speed next weekend. All we needed was AR , pistol, load vest, magazines and such. Sounds like fun and I can always use getting up to speed.

    I've been teaching CCW classes for several years now and taking a defensive firearm course once or twice a year. For CCW class I taught in an old USGI pistol belt with the Y type suspenders. My buddy Nick made me a basic Kydex holster and two mag pouch for a Glock 17. It wasn't fancy but it worked and the suspenders kept the whole thing from sinking to half mast. I had a few USGI doo-dads to hang on it, 30 round mag pouches, 100 and 200 round SAW gunner pouches and an old school 1 qt canteen. I decided to set up for my 'getting up to speed' with two USGI mag pouches (green), my kydex holster and pistol mag pouches and one brown 200 round saw pouch with a tourniquet and home brew pressure dressing in it.

    I put the whole rig on an looked in the mirror. Well I'd never make the best dressed edition of Militia Quarterly, nothing matched. The belt was tan, suspenders and rifle mag pouches green, holster was black, pistol mag holders were grey. Oh well, a newbie will look like a newbie.

    I had replied that I'd love to come and received a response: "Great. We'll meet outside the diner in the town of Kickapoo then car pool to the farm. Be sure everything is unloaded and cased."

    Hmmmmm. Seems a little to double oh, secret squirrel for my tastes. "Hey guy seems a little too James Bourne to me maybe another time but thanks."

    A few minutes later, "HA! Yeh OK. We'll meet you at the diner and you can follow us out. I'd give you address or directions but GPS will take you to the wrong place and it's kinda tricky the first time."

    "Ok thanks."

    The next Saturday arrived bright and crisp. Gravy met me and two others at the diner. One was a guy at last weeks field training or FTX. Can't bring up his name, I'm terrible with names. The other was a lady, a very tall lady. I'm 6'1" on a good day and I bet she wasn't an inch shorter than me. It was a quick 25 minute drive to Gravey's farm and he wasn't woofing about a bit tricky.

    There was a flag up already and a quick opening with Pledge of Allegiance and quick prayer. Gravy had three other 'regulars' with him, Sea Dog, Nurse Ratchet and MollyB. Looks like they planned to have a coach for each of us. Gravy's cadre as I thought of them had on pretty tacticool gear. Plate carriers, load bearing vests with pistols in chest holsters or sometimes in drop-leg holsters, a pair of gloves held in a carabiner through the right front belt loop.

    First order of business was gear inspection. Tall Woman as I thought of her had a basic duty belt with Taurus 24/7 pistol in 40 S&W. She was being loaned a Wyndham Polymer SRC with a simple Primary Arms Micro Red Dot and a USMC Tactical Vest.

    Other Guy was loaded for bear. His pistol was a Glock 29 , a mighty 10 mm , with a light attached to the rail. His rifle was a Noveskie with a 10" barrel and a rule beater Shockwave brace stock but not a stock.

    Ok this just proves how stupid the short barrel rifle rules are and maybe how retarded the BATFE is but I digress. He had a high end red dot on it, he had a magnifier on the red dot, he had one of those fore grip gizmos on it, he had some crazy high end tactical sling on it. I'd guess all in he was well north of $2500 into that rifle no pistol - whatever.

    I was feeling down right in inadequate with my plain Glock 17, wait it did have a Lone Wolf barrel so I could shoot cast bullets, and my minimalist AR15 and web gear that was mismatched and almost could have come off a soldier in Viet Nam. Then things really came off the rails when Nurse Ratchet looked at my 9 mm ammo.

    "Is this reloads?"

    "Yeh."

    "ALL of it?"

    "Uh yah, why?"

    Gravy, "My bad, we typically don't allow training with reloads out here. Do you have any other ammo with you?"

    Lovely, if they send we out to get more ammo I'm just going to blow this popsicle stand I think. "No it's all reloaded, even the rifle ammo." DOH! Why did I volunteer that?

    Gravy, "How about this. We'll have you shoot a few rounds of each, we'll find the empty cases and look for pressure signs."

    Well that seemed a reasonable plan. Since I reload right down the middle of the load data I passed with no problems. After which Gravy raised his hand in the 'blessing' position, "I here by dub thee Reloads to be your lawful militia handle until someone comes up with a better one!' Great now I too have a nom-de-gurre.

    We would wear our weapons all day. Training started with handguns, Nurse Ratchet would be my coach it seemed. Before long we were being trained in presenting from a holster. Gravy must have been an NRA Instructor like I am or at least he used the NRA's method.
    Grip, Chest
    Pull, Chest
    Rotate, Chest
    Join
    Extend
    Fire
    Safety, Chest
    Reholster

    Nurse Ratchet asked, "Do you have a carry permit?"

    "Yup"

    "It shows, looks like you've done this before."

    "A time or two ...". Yup I've led these drills once a month for the last three or four years. But I said nothing, tryng to keep mouth shut and eyes and ears open.

    Class was actually fun. By lunch we were drawing and engaging multiple targets. Fun stuff. I think Shorty , the gal, and Boomer , the guy, were both getting beat pretty good and were ready for lunch.

    Towards the end of lunch Gravy asked if I would talk about Logan Bread and Hudson Bay Bread. Sure I even had an extra square of each so I could pass them around. "These are Boy Scout trail foods. Logan Bread is a wheat based bread where Hudson Bay is oat based. They are pretty much the same to make - mix the batter / dough, press into a sheet pan and bake like cookies or brownies. I cut mine into 4" squares then vacuumed seal and freeze. The Logan is three parts whole wheat, one part rye with pumpkin and molasses and dry cherry and cranberry. There's other stuff in there too probably." I opened and passed the Logan around. "Hudson bread is simple, oatmeal , coconut oil, maple syrup and slivered almonds. Both fill you up and store well. Both go good with butter or jelly or peanut butter on top. They are pretty high calorie though and mostly carb and fat', I warned.

    MollyB , "Can you post the recipes up?"

    "Sure once I figure the board / app thing out."

    Chuckles from the others.

    Afternoon was rifle practice. I guess I'm more a pistolero than a rifleman. A lot of what they did was new to me but it made sense. We started zeroing at 25m. Mine was already zeroed there, so yay me. Shooting next to the 10 inch pistarbfle was an experience. IT WAS REALLY LOUD, Boomer was really earning his name.

    Shorty was doing well I thought. The Wyndham polymer lower and upper was shooting just fine. I'd always heard bad things about them on the interwebnet ... amazing not exactly true. Of course we weren't running and gunning mutant, ninja, UN, zombie bikers yet either.

    During a break the cadre left us be and Boomer was holding court with Shorty. "You really get what you pay for in a rifle. You really owe it to yourself to get the best rifle you can afford." When Boomer was looking away Shorty rolled her eyes.

    I was squirting a little Ed's Red onto the bolt carrier of my rifle and offered the bottle to Shorty. By now Gravy had joined us. She looked at him before accepting the tube, it was his rifle.

    "I that CLP?"

    "More or less, it's Ed's Red, kerosene, mineral spirits , acetone and synthetic tranny fluid - equal parts of each and then a quarter part of some 80wt synthetic racing motor oil I got from the brother-out-law."

    Gravy chuckled at the brother-out-law joke. "I've heard of that stuff, go ahead and do you mind if I steal a squirt? Now in my mind an AR doesn't need to be squeeky clean as much as well lubed." He offered the tube to Boomer who of course used only Frog Lube. I thought to myself aren't frogs pretty much self-lubricating?

    We'd been shooting paper and 25 meters. We next did the 'mess with your buddy drill'. Your buddy gave you 4 magazines and 20 rounds. The cadre gave you 5 dummy rounds. You randomly loaded the magazines then your 'buddy' shot them clearing malfunctions as they went. I got to load for Boomer and the devil got in me. I loaded the first two mags with a single round. This left me with two mags, 18 rounds and 5 dummies. I loaded one mag with the first and last round as a dummy and a the other the first, third and last rounds were dummies.

    To add to the fun we faced 5 silhouettes from 25 to 75 yards and several cover options. We were to engage each target with at least 3 hits and we were under the timer. I slipped the mags into Boomers high end tac vest such that he would grab the mags with one round first. He got a little twisted around after the first two malfunctions and dropped a loaded mag on the ground when he should have tap-racked. He was not happy with me. I'm a jerk, it's the way I am. I did ok but Shorty rocked it. She was a stone cold killer, at least against paper.

    To finish the day we moved to the 300 yard range and steel. The steel plate was a full size silhouette with a swinging head 'flipper thing' and a swinging torso 'flipper thing'. I guess these were kill zones? Anyway Boomer had a devil of a time keeping the short barrel and short stocked Noveskie on the steel even with the optic and magnifier. Shorty was a machine. Once she was slung up she could make it ring every second lick a ticking clock. I tried to get cute and ring the head shot flapper thing. Trying to remember the drop difference between the 250m battle zero and 300. I think it was 4", not much wind so ignore it. Held top of head squeezed.

    Nurse Ratchet, "Your way high, nicked his left cheek."

    Adjusted to the top of the right side of the head. Squeeze.

    Nurse Ratchet, "Split the gap in the kill plate. Are you taking head shots ya show off?"

    Third shot nailed the kill plate.

    Nurse Ratchet, "Ok Mr Hathcock, now how about we speed thing up and you shoot the center plate?"

    Not a bad day of shooting. On the way home I called the wife and suggested I pick up a pound of bbq beef brisket and a pound of pulled pork for dinner from our favorite BBQ joint. The thought it was a great idea. She'd put some corn-on-the-cob on. Oh and there was Jason Borne movie on the satellite thing tonight.

    Wife crashed after the movie so I got on the web to do some surfing. I went to AR15.com half expecting the mystery man to contact me. But was locked out. Drat foiled again. Well I'd slum over at survival boards for a bit.

    Hmmm a PM from /dev/null? How can a user be /dev/null?

    /dev/null: "Dont make people mad"
    /dev/null: "Dont show off"

    me: sorry - the deeble made me do it, Gravy is this you

    /dev/null: Keep going to training.
    /dev/null: Don't move into leadership
    /dev/null: Lose 30 lbs by spring.

    me: Sure.
    me: Hey my AR15.com account was permabanned is thig going to happen at survivalboards too?

    /dev/null: No
    /dev/null: Will fix AR15.com

    me: Are we going to chat after every militia training

    /dev/null: No

    Then I was logged out of survivalboards. Well hell I thought, did they get me banned here too? But I was able to log back on. Of course the PM from /dev/null was gone. There was no user /dev/null in fact I don't think a user name can have a slash in it.

    The next day I looked at the fitness center in out little hick town. Jarred was the guy who ran it with his father Paul. They had me doing battle ropes and kettle bells and beating a tractor tire with a sledge hammer. I was surprised how reasonable the price was. Besides just coming to work out Paul or Jarred would work with you or leave a 3x5 card stuck to the wall with what you were to do.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Great stuff.
    Once on safari in deepest darkest Afganistan we ran out of Gin, and were compelled to survive on food and water for several days.


    I typically carry a flask of vodka for snakebites. I also carry a small snake.- W. C. Fields

  6. #6
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    This is a "scenario story," right? Interestingly amusing, what's next?
    Approach with a calm resolve, attack with reckless indifference. Gladius Republicae!
    "...use Gold like it's gunpowder..."

  7. #7
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    Nov 2009
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    East Tennessee
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    Very interesting story. Looking forward to more. I really liked the way he loaded the guys mags. Just a bit of a tweak there. LOL
    Greater love hath no man than this, That a man lay down his life for a friend.
    John 15:13

  8. #8
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    Apr 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by bacpacker1513 View Post
    Very interesting story. Looking forward to more. I really liked the way he loaded the guys mags. Just a bit of a tweak there. LOL
    I had a buddy load my mags like that in a class - should have made the jerk walk home ,,,,

  9. #9
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    Nov 2009
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    East Tennessee
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    LOL. That part had a ring of been there done that to it. Very good story.
    Greater love hath no man than this, That a man lay down his life for a friend.
    John 15:13

  10. #10
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    Apr 2016
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    Chapter 3

    -------------------------

    Working out 3 days a week and changing diet dropped weight really quickly. On advice from trainer Jarred my Monday through Friday breakfast was radically changed. One spoon full of cheap orange flavor fiber powder , aka metamucil, and a scoop of protein powder in a glass of milk and shaken like crazy. The idea was protein and fiber to fill me up. The next part was weird but surprisingly good black coffee slightly strong. So far so good. Two table spoons of butter, huh? Two table spoons of coconut oil. Put it where? In the coffee? Blend or mix like mad. It was surprisingly good.

    I guess the idea was no carbs or very little carbs. Lunch was meat at vegetables. Lots of veggies. Typical lunch might be half a bag of frozen broccoli and half a pound of deer burger or ground pork or a big chopped chicken breast with vinegar and olive oil. Snacks could be carrots or cheese or nuts or fruit or sometimes olives. I ate whatever the wife fixed for dinner just less of it and try to not eat after 8 or 9.

    My late fall I had lost 10 lbs. I decided to get some of the required gear, especially after an 'order' came down from above that the Militia was moving to a dual standard uniform. In addition to RealTree solid, muted colors such as olive green, sage green, khaki and coyote were authorized specifically not authorized was

    Black - too ninja
    Sherriff's Dept Brown - too sheriff's dept
    ACU - don't want to look like Army
    MARPAT - ditto Marines
    ABU - ditto Air Force
    NWU - too weird even for the navy

    Companies or squads may wish to standardize at unit leader discursion for identification, unit cohesion and esprit de corpse. Corpse was not a typo the message said corpse not corps. I had a little money from a larger than average CCW classes I taught so I did some surfing - wow some of these makers were mighty proud of their wears, $60 or even $80 for a pair of trousers to run around in the woods?

    I found LA Police Gear. They had an inexpensive line , of course made in China, that looked functional enough and not crazy expensive and was even made of fairly heavy cotton canvas duck. I was composing a note to Gravy when he sent a group message. He'd been in contact with a surplus outfit about 90 miles away. They had 20' shipping container full of Austrian Milsurp just in. Austrian was high quality gear and rather than cammo it was a dark green. Unlike a lot Milsurp it was said to have a lot of XL and XXL.

    The deal was if we come help unload the container, sort, sift and pack the stuff we could get two sets of trouser, two sets on tops , a fleece jacket , an outer jacket, a wool watch cap and a wool jeep cap for $50. Plus you'd get the secret friends and family discount code for a year that's good for 50% off.

    We showed up bright and early at their warehouse on Saturday morning. The owner of the place was there. He said this is always the most exciting part. It seems they buy the stuff 'pig in a poke', so you really never know until you open it. This container was huge or it looked huge to me, 20 feet long and 8 feet square. He cracked it open and peee youuuuuu.

    "That's the smell of money or Austrian moth balls, depending on your point of view." He flipped on two big floor fans to properly circulate the stink around. The first layer of stuff was in bales for lack of a better term, bundles of garments tightly wrapped in a heavy plastic sheeting and heat fused closed. They weighed about as much as a hay bale and you couldn't use hay hooks on them! We used little kindergarten cutters to open. It was surprisingly hard work and the smell gave me a pounding head ache.

    End of the day though it was all sorted and bagged and stacked and counted with some surprise finds. Cases of really nice 5 button wool sweaters. Some super heavy duty web or duty belts with a crazy Austrian buckles. You could likely hook these belts end to end and use them as a tow strap. Boxes of canteen kits with a cover , metal cup and metal stove thing. The owner was quite happy with the work and insisted everyone take some extra gear. In fact he piled stuff on us.

    I walked out of the deal with two heaping armloads of stuff. Best of all was the gore-tex like rain suit and probably 12 pairs of the nicest heavy wool socks I've ever had.

    Gravy and I stopped for some haughty quzine on the way home, Hardee's. Over manly man half pound burger and cherry cokes he asked. "Hey I think I saw your name on the State Police list of CCW instructors. Are you an NRA instructor?"

    "Guilty. Kinda left it out of my info sheet. Seems like you were an NRA instructor at one time too. "

    "That's cool and no I'm not NRA certified. I did get home of their personal protection lesson plan and sort of self-studied it. I am an Appleseeds Red Hat and United States Rifle Association Rifle and Pistol Instructor though. Anyway you still teach CCW? My three daughters are 21, 23 and 24. I want to get them their carry permits, would you run a family course at the farm?"

    We agreed and he actually haggled the price back UP to my normal full price. We did the 16 hours of training at his farm and it went well. Gravy and his wife sat in on the training too, although the already had carry permits. I have to say that was one well-armed family. I think they might have been on Mr. Gaston Glock's person Christmas card list.

    All of the girls had both a double stack G26 and a single stack G43. Mrs. Gravy , ok Anne , had a double stack G19 to go with her G43. I shudder to think how many Glocks Gravy owns, my suspicion is many, many. He brought to class a Glock 17 with a full Saurez International internals and Trigicon RMR slide. That thing was sweet. Gravy brought out a 50 cal ammo can darn near full to the top with 147 gr lead reloads. I shot Gravy a look, cast lead in Glocks?

    "Lone Wolf barrels."

    "Gotcha."

    We flew through the basic shooting drills. By lunch time the girls were shooting one handed, weak hand against the clock. I broke out my Palmetto State Armory 9 mm AR15 that fed off Glock magazines. It was super basic 16" barrel and A2 front sight and fixed rear sight. Well MagPul furniture is kind of fancy, right? A Primary Arms Red Dot is super deluxe fancy too, well kinda, maybe. A little?

    The ladies loved it. It ran like a champ with everything except single stack mags. Of course the single stacks didn't fit and fell out so that might have been part of the problem. End of the day Gravy says to me, he says "I guess I'm building four of those for Christmas this year." No doubt about it I want to be on Gravy's Christmas list ....

    The next militia training was squad patrolling in a rural environment. Part of me wondered what the point of this was. I didn't exactly see Red Dawn or Patriots as actually happening but we could be doing close order drill on a parade ground so I went with it but if they started showing us how to make ghilli suits after lunch I was outta here.

    We were on 200 acres of wooded private land. Everyone was going to patrol with weapons. We ran weed whip line through the muzzle and out the action. It looked slightly retarded but was effective and cheap so there was that. Tradition seemed to be for squads to form up pretty much at random and for squads to elect a squad leader who appoints an assistant.

    I'd geeked out a little and sewed two patches on the Austrian BDU's. On was the First Naval Jack (subdued) on the left shoulder the other was a subdued field forward US Flag. I hadn't gone full potatoe to get name tapes made so i had strips of duct tape with my Nom De Millitia "Reloads" in sharpie marker stuck above my right chest pocket and the back of my hat.

    Now back in the day I was a sailor man , surface warfare officer in the US Navy , so patrolling through the woods wasn't exactly something we trained on. But somewhere along the way I learned to keep all the straps and what not tied down, some of my squad mates not so much. Our Squad Leader for the day was a bearded, cigar chompimg guy dressed head to toe in well-worn real tree. He was one of the walking patch displays. His rifle sported both a collapsible stock and bipod and rather large scope so i was a little concerned. When he started to lecture us on Rodgers Rules of Rangering I wasn't sure if I should be relieved or panicked. Why do I need a hatchet and why hell would I scour it???

    Turns out he was actually quite competent. Go us organized and we 'moved to an objective' and set up a 'rally point' and even 'linked up with another unit'. It was quite an enjoyable time in the woods. During lunch I traded a 4" square of Hudson Bay Bread to our 'squad leader' for a chocolate dairy shake and hoo ha bar. This MRE stuff ain't half bad.

    MollyB asked if I'd we willing to supervise the making of HBB and LB at next month's training. She owned and ran a catering business and commercial kitchen. She had mixers, food processors, baking sheets and ovens. Everything we'd need. Hummm I guess this stuff is a bit of a hit.

    Afternoon was road block training. While a little less interesting than 'patrolling' the woods it seemed a little more practical. They spiced it up with a fake IED blast and some first aid. They went fairly all out with a loud BOOM and some darn realistic looking injured people. It got a little extreme when idahijs swept through and 'killed' us all while we treated the wounded.

    In all not a bad day. I was getting the measure of this crew. There were plenty of blow hards and whanna be's and more than a few extreme arch righwingers and even a few really kooky libertarians, but then again is there anything other than kooky libertarians. But in all most of the folks were pretty solid.

    I was home by late afternoon, got a shower and took the wife for dinner and college basketball game. i can't hardly stand basketball but she enjoyed it and they do have killer nacho's at the civic center ...

    We got home and I did some surfing. Survival boards was quiet tonight, looks like my AR15com account was back. Interesting.
    More interesting a PM awaited. I wondered if it was a moderator. Odd a PM with a blank from address. The title was 'Listen to this' inside was a link to my Audible account. There was a new book waiting for me , The Guerilla Factory, even odder I still had 17 credits on my account.

    Another PM arrived from 'blank'. With the title - 'write this down'.

    ICM Associates - 123 Park Street - ask for Avi.

    I wrote it down and decided to try to copy and paste the message. Oddly I couldn't grab the text. Wierd. I tried to screen
    shot the message and why whole browser immediately closed. WTF?

    Logged back in and there was another PM

    " ": Do not do that again.
    " ": Hudson bread is good, Logan bread is excellent. BZ
    " ": Listen to book.

    Then the browser closed. Of course when I logged in again the messages were gone.

    Guerilla Factory was all about Special Forces Qualification course.

    I tried to look up ICM Associates on the web and there was nothing, zip , zero, nadda on it. I figured I swing by on the way home from work. Park street was in a light industrial part of town. The building at 123 Park was sort of small warehouse looking with windows ringing the whole way around the top. There were a basic pickups in the front lot. The door was solid steel and locked. It had a key pad and a buzzer.

    Oh what the hell, I buzzed.

    "May I help you?"

    "Is Avi there?"

    "What book are you listening to?"

    "Uh? Excuse me?"

    "What book are you listening to?"

    "Oh ah 'The Guerilla Factory'"

    BUZZ! Click! "Come ahead."

    Inside was a gym. It looked like a boxing or karate gym. Lots of mats and open space. Some heavy bags, some speed bags. Avi
    was a tiny little fellow, swarthy with grey hair. He had on non-descript loose green pants and a grey cotten t-shirt.

    This was a Krav Maga gym, Krav Maga being a rather practical self defense form from Isreal. Avi pointed me to a locker room, telling me there was a locker in there where I could find some workout clothes. He spent 30 minutes testing my strength and flexibility and wind. He asked about my current fitness program. He explained a little more about Krav Maga.

    "You keep up with what you're doing for maybe 6 - 8 more weeks then come back and we'll start training."

    "Ah ok but how much will this cost?"

    "Consider yourself a scholarship student for the first few months."

    Ok this is getting a little weird....

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