Whiskey Tango Foxtrot…

15 years ago today, our country was pushed to a limit that only we could withstand. We were attacked on our homeland, by an extremist group, that wants nothing more then to destroy us. We are Infidels, we are Kafir. On that day we lost close to 3,000 fellow Americans, including almost 400 of whom were either EMS, Firefighters, or Law enforcement officials. The fallout is still coming through today, with over 1,140 people who either worked, lived, or studied at ground zero being diagnosed with cancer from the fallout of the blast. Only this country is strong enough to endure that, Only the good Ol’ USA has the ability to take that burden, and still go on about our ways of trying to help those less fortunate. I don’t want to harp on this too much, and it is not what my blog is about this week. I just want us all to take a minute and think about where we were when  9/11 took place, and to think about how our lives are different today because of those events. More then anything, give a smile, a nod, a wave or even start a conversation with your local EMS/Firefighter/Law enforcement officer, tell them that you appreciate all that there brotherhood has done for us, I guarantee that the small amount of time that you will take from your day will be well worth it, both for you and for them. Just like you, they like to feel appreciated for all the sacrifices that they endure. We are truly BLESSED to live in The United States of America.

So,now ill talk about what was really my topic of conversation for the week… I am extremely tired of the the Johnny-come-lately  Prepper/tacticool/SHTF scene. If I see one more dude who is wearing a scarf trying to tell me about how open carry is so passe, and that in a SHTF ( If you haven’t figured it out yet, I also am not a fan of acronyms)situation, open carry makes you a target, I am going to puke. This isn’t a fad to me, I’m not a prepper, I’m not tactical, I don’t believe in basing my life around one huge event. To ME, that just doesn’t make sense. If I played basketball, should I constantly practice full court, one handed shot’s because at some point in time I may be called to do it? I don’t think so. How does the fact that you have 1000 pounds of fava beans, and a fedora make you more prepared then me? Cool, you have 10,000 rounds of Soviet 5.56, you have 12 Ar-variants, and class IV body armor…Cool stuff man, but how does that relate to anything? We that have grown up in the woods, and have spent our lives refining our skill sets, value things a little differently I guess.  Being prepared is no different then growing up.
My Son just started kindergarten,in so he now is doing real school stuff. No more toys in class, and he is actually expected not only to learn, but to retain the knowledge. In so we work him at home pretty hard in order to solidify what he has learned, repetition makes the heart grow fonder right? 😉 But anyways, the other day he was supposed to write numbers, and was having some trouble writing the number 2, so we drew guide lines for him, then dots, then a starting point and an ending point. he still wasn’t getting it. He quickly lost focus and became frustrated. So we just gave up right? No way in hell, I looked him straight in his eyes and said “If you give up on yourself, then you have nothing to believe in ever. Just stick to the path, Keep going and it will all make sense. Just never give up on yourself.” Then magically he could draw a 2… Wait a minute, no he couldn’t. And that was never the point, as he worked towards refining his skill, he learned that he will earn his ability. Being prepared has nothing to do with looking the part, or ownership of the tools. It has 100% to do with proficiency earned through practice. Owning a guitar makes you no more Eric Clapton, then having a McMillan tac-338 makes you Chris Kyle. It is the work that makes the difference. We, having the luxury of growing up in the Great Northwest, have been blessed with the opportunity to spend a fair amount of time hunting, trapping, tracking, shooting and being prepared. It wasn’t (and still isn’t) a fad, it is just part of life. All the ammo in the world shows me nothing about your ability. Show me targets with tiny groups and barrels that are wore out and you will have my attention. Tell me stories of 1000 yard elk kills, and I will listen. Show me a freezer full of head shot squirrels and you will have my undivided attention. That isn’t something that you stumble into. That is hard earned knowledge, and I respect that.

As  children, we are expected to learn the things that will make our lives better. We learn to add and subtract.  We learn to read and to write. We learn to speak, and more importantly, to listen. As we grow up we are given opportunities to listen to those that have gained there knowledge through hard work. If we spend enough time with our mouths shut and our ears open in presence of people like that, we may gain the the ground work for our own knowledge. But that all depends on our willingness to practice what THEY have preached. True knowledge is something that is crafted, and cultivated, not something that you can buy in a box or read on a forum. May your pursuit of knowledge never falter, and may your willingness to shape your craft never grow tired.

-Grant Willoughby 9/11/2016-

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