APN Getting Started In Preparedness Columnist
I am somewhat new to what I call the ‘active’ side of prepping. I have always had a preppers’ “mindset,” as I grew up the son and grandson of two multi-general Southern Scots-Irish Appalachia families. You might say that Foxfire, fried green tomatoes, sweet tea, and self-reliance were DNA encoded in me. I grew up with stories about my heritage and with me traipsing anywhere 4 or more trees grew together, no matter where we would happen to be living. We moved a bit and I grew up living in states as disparate as North Carolina, Maryland, and Massachusetts. We more or less settled in Maryland and I lived the lion’s share of my childhood as a Dixie expat up north.
I was in the woods hunting with my father at the age of 5 and shooting by 6. I had the unusual and, often, unenviable distinction of having a “hillbilly accent” and “country” education while growing up in the suburbs of central Maryland. I was camping and woodworking from an early age.
Upon graduation of high school, I would eschew a scholarship opportunity and join the United States Air Force and later join the Air National Guard. In my combined twenty years of service, I would travel around the world and serve as a construction engineer in USAF/ANG RED HORSE and Prime BEEF teams. I would live in TX, AK, ID, and MS. I would retire with half a dozen Middle Eastern deployments, and trips to Korea, and Central America under my belt. I would deploy twice to Mississippi and New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina and respond to state emergencies in Maryland and Virginia. My last years of service had me being the NCOIC of my section of engineers and of a County Liaison Team (CoLT) that liaised National Guard assets and organization to local emergency operation centers throughout the state. I led the Baltimore City team.
I began my service career as a cadet in Civil Air Patrol as a teenager where my interest in emergency and medical first response was born. My military career would lead me down a similar path. I would go on to become a certified Emergency Medical Technician and volunteer firefighter. My civilian careers would be in the private security industry, where I consulted and trained corporate, public, and law enforcement clients. I would change careers later to enter the commercial construction and environmental remediation industries. Both have added to my eclectic skill set.
I have always been attracted to the homesteading movement and that was what led me to the discovery of “Prepping.” I read the usual literature and magazines and with the worsening economy and a decades long political awareness, I realized that I could not rely upon my skills alone. So began my prepping journey.
I raise my daughter and am trying to teach her the ways of self reliance. I am trying to instill in her a pride in herself and love of liberty. I am returning to school to complete a new degree track in GIS (geo-spatial information systems) and apply it to a geography and political science degree. When I am not online or reading, I can often be found in my woodshop or on the water in my kayak.