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U.S.M.C Seals vs USN SEALs?

Why are SEALS in the US Navy?

Im writing this article to ask why NOT the Marine Corps? Before we get into the meat and potatoes of this discussion let me give you some background on where I am coming from before folks begin to argue and get off topic. I spent my enitre military career in the US Army and almost all of that time in the Special Forces. I am not asking this question as a "Green Beret" rather as a tax payer. To me, a tax payer, Navy SEALS don't make any sense, however Marine Corps SEALs resonate with me.


Military Addiction

    Addiction in the military. First of all NO ONE wants to discuss this because it requires everyone involved to look inward, and people just hate to do that. Myself included, but here we are. I honestly don't expect this article gain any traction because im talking about the least popular subject in the world.

     Ive also been hesitant to write this because I know it will piss off some friends and family who would rather me hide it, but I am an honorably discharged (retired) recovering addict with full benefits and as you will read, im very lucky to be so. Im not writing this article in an effort to preach or sway people into showing me some kind of sympathy; I would like to start a discussion about addicition in the military, specificaly how addiction in the military is mishandled through good intentions mized with a whole lot of "CYA" aka Cover your ass.

Let's go over some general terms (my personal definitions) before we get into the meat of it all.

Perception. There is still a gross disconnect between addicts and non addicts and to be fair thats not exclusive to the military. If you were to look at a someone addicted to opiates there is an unspoken "understanding" that something in this soldiers life went wrong to set them on this path. However, when we look at alcohol the view tends to be skiewed towards moral or ethical issues, after all you can enjoy a beer without a problem so it must be this guys moral compass. The fact is, alcohol is just as addicting as opiates and can even KILL you if not detoxed properly. There is no difference between the two addicts, just the "drug" they use, both need recovery and both need sobriety. Sobriety and revovery are NOT the same thing but they do go hand in hand.

Sobriety. In simple terms it means no longer using the Drug of Choice (DoC). It doesnt mean no longer addicted, it simply means not using or abstinence. Military addiction revolves around sobriety and abstinence, not recovery. As long as the SM isnt using then in the eyes of the DoD everything else is the SMs problem, when It is recovery that an addict needs to maintain sobriety and live a normal life. Sobriety is the current metric used to define the success of an addiction issue within a particular command. It is absolutely possible to be free of chemicals and exibit all of the toxic thoughts and behavior assiciated with addiction. We call them "dry drunks."

Recovery. Recovery is the general term we use for the whole life changes required to maintain abstinence. Recovery is the individual work the addict must do in terms of working a programs steps, repairing burned bridges and more importantly LEARNING to live sober. Part of recovery is dealing with loss, and the loss that comes with your new sober life.

Will power. The belief that through sheer discipline addiction can be stalled or even cured based on the addicts drive and work ethic. Its also the most used excuse to attack someone morally and ethically for a chemical addiction that could be lethal if not managed correctly. 

An addict can be sober on any given day, but an addict can only be in recovery when they have the will, tools and the time to live sober...

     As leaders (or even as addicts), many of us have encountered this issue at least once in our careers only to find out our hands are completely tied when it comes to addressing this issue on an individual basis. Why is that? Well the answer is simple: We kick out everyone that has any experience on the subject, virtually no one understands what the addict is going through. Policies and regulations are written by folks who DONT suffer with addiction directly, its not good enough to know an addict... The ones who dont get kicked out are propted up as symbols of success in an effort to cover up the failure of our military addiction programs. The military definition of success revolves around continued military service. As an addict, our brains simply are not working correctly and our logic doesnt make sense, there are physiological reasons for this that would take too long to explain in an article. We (addicts) even KNOW it doesnt make sense but its the DoC talking, not our brains. This is why we have sponsors, we need someone who "gets" it when we explain our rationale, our sponsors help steer us back to the right path and provide clarity. Thats how we promote the dialog we need to get better, because our sponsors are addicts and we can trust they wont judge us.. There is nothing worse than having to explain my addict rational to a supervisor who simply is not equipped to understand these issues.

We know we are wrong, we know we are hurting ourselves and our family and we know we are ruining our careers. WE JUST CANT STOP.

Before we go any further it needs to be understood that our service members are people first, just people. The rules of addiction are no different for those in uniform than they are for civilians in suits. It doesnt do anyone any good to label someone an alcholic or addict if they cant see that for themselves, and to make matters worse the DoD feels like it owns the outcome of someones sobriety based on the service members continued service in their particular field. Let me explain, the success stories you here about addiciton in the military almost always revolve around the SMs salvaged career, rarely about their lives as a whole. What if the Service Memebers sobriety isnt compatible with Active Duty? In those cases the SM is generally viewed as a "problem" and magically attitudes shift back towards the asinine "Zero tolerance" policy of just crucifying them with UCMJ action. Why not transition?

Ultimately in order for someone to sober up the consequences of their use MUST outweigh the benefits of continued use. The DoD can have a role in those consequences for sure, but applying a moral or ethical stigma isnt the way to do it. As an addict I think: If you take away all future benefits of sobriety then why bother getting sober? You simply cant order someone to be sober, then crucify them because they cant. If they could we wouldnt be having this discussion. As leaders, our realtionship with addiction has been historicaly based on the soldiers overall performance but NOT giving them the tools they need to restore balance in their lives. Military programs revolve around abstinence and dont allow any wiggle room when it comes to giving the SM time they need to repair their lives. Its either stay dry or get discharged. Having said that, punishing them for lost gear and lost time is the RIGHT thing to do, thats a consequence. 

I can tell you first hand that the military programs and the attitudes of my leadership were entirely based on my best interest being their best interest. When it became clear that my best interest was NOT in their best interest we had a problem. Service members are basically ordered to be sober for a year to avoid getting kicked out of the Military and then they are thrown into groups mimicking Alcoholics Anonymous but these groups include people who dont want to be there. The people who DONT want to be there make it impossible for those who do to get better. We simply are NOT there for the same reasons so why pour out my soul there? Why confess my sins and problems to a room full of E1s who just want out of the Army? Fuck that, these programs are a joke and in many cases are downright harmful.

There is an inherant beleif that somehow SMs are different than everyone else, thats just not true. ALL addicts think they are uniquely unique, and when the military adopts that frame of mind we tend to foster their (the addicts) beleif that they are somehow not responsible for their addiciton. We all have problems, but for some of us chemicals became our source of comfort, not people. We addicts are not unique, that needs to be understood from the top down. Civilian corporations are way better at addressing addiction because they understand its simply NOT their battle to fight. The addict either shows up for work and performs or gets fired. When a civilian employee asks for help they either get the time they need for rehabilitation and recovery or they dont. But I can assure they corporate leaderhsip doesnt see the success or failure of a particular indiviual as a refelction of their own success/failure and leadership but the DoD does. As a senior NCO i have fired folks for chemical dependency based on the fact that that particular service member couldnt get sober in the very rigid and linear window we offered him. We operated on the notion that we had the single best answer. The idea that he could get the siginificant time needed to get truly sober simply wasnt on the table so we kicked him out of the unit (not the Amry). Luckily for him, his next job was administraitive and that allowed him to get his life back on track, he has since gone on to be one the most highly regarded Green Berets ive heard about (operationaly speaking). In many cases it takes much longer than 90 days to get clean. We have to give them the time they need to relearn how to live sober and we dont even have that in the aresonal of options available.

When a civilian goes to a 90 day rehab stint they sometimes have a 6 month halfway house requirement for them to relearn sober living. They dont always use that oppritunity but it is an option available to most of them. Because of the rigid way in which military benefits are managed a sabatical isnt even on the table (unless of course your an officer pursuing an advanced degree) so they figure out a way to hide their addiction until they can draw retirement.

IF a SM has 16 years time in service, the spectre of recovery looks alot different to someone with only 2 or 3 years. The failure of a senior SM to successfuly negotiate their sobriety will have significantly heavier consequences them and for their familes. They could potentially be seperated, most likely dishonorbaly after all those years with virtually NOTHING to show for it. That creates a massive gap in their employement resumes and life long questions that will hender future job searches. Most folks with that much TiS have by then families and mouths to feed. The motivation to just shut up and hide is overwhelming. A service member in their early 20s or even at 19 years old looking at a discharge has a whole lifetime ahead of them to recover. However the policies in place for addiction treat both service members the same, despite the consequences. You want to know why addiction is hard to address in the military? Thats why. Looking at losing the last 17 or even 18 years of your soul is an unbearable thought for many senior leaders.

Recidivism and relapse. My challenge to congress is to formally launch a study to find out exactly what the relapse rate is for recently seperated SMs who have participated in a CoC recovery program. I dont have the numbers (i hoenstly dont think anyone does) but i would imagine the relapes rate is off the charts since the DoD is exclusively focused on them simply not using while they are on active duty. The disparity between active duty and veterans affairs addiction must be looked at in order to get any real data. I personally tried to stay sober simply to make it to 20 years, i have to beleive others are doing the same thing for the same reason. For me however i couldnt hold on and my life started to fall apart fast.

If you combine the broken, sober based approach to addiction with the family issues the military creates you have a recipe for disaster. Having been thru the toxic military divorce industry and the indifference my CoC played in THEIR role, combined with my own addiction, im not surprised the suicide rate is as high as it is. Personally i almost checked out and ate a pistol, no shit i was there... I was ready to end it. As horrible as this sounds, a dear friend of mine (Green Beret) took his own life that day and it woke me up. His tragedy was my saving grace and that is the ONLY reason im here to write this article. In my own sad way I am still very grateful for him being in my life right down to his bitter end. Yes, he was getting the same treatment by the DoD...

In order for this next part to make sense i have to explain this part first. I knew early on i wasnt in control of my drinking. Doing what all addicts do i tried to create the illusion to myself that i would and could fix it so i checked into the out patient recovery program the Army offers called ADAPSE (just google it, they suck). It was during the outpatient program i discovered all i had to to do was pass a piss test and hide my drinking for a year and i would be off the hook. That year would take me that much closer to retirement where i could drink to my hearts content with out my CoC giving me grief (addict thinking). Or so i thought. Mind you i was deploying on and off the whole time as a senior NCO in a leadership position.

Well, when i tried to notify my CoC a second time i needed help everything had changed. Their approach was VERY aggressive and their immediate disposition was to kick me out of the Army because of an arbutrary timeline standard for sobriety, lucky for me i was "protected" under a very obscure regulation. They had a war to fight, and didnt have time for people like me. I dont blame them, I really dont they dont know what they dont know. My eyes were opened to the reality of my life in the Army. It was clear that after all the combat, blood, sweat, tears, sacrifice and LOSS that none of that mattered to them because i am a "problem" now. I went from hero to zero in less than 30 minutes because i asked for help.

I was fortunate enough to get a 90 day civilian treatment program and even luckeir to have a cadre of civlian addiction counselors that worked with me. I say fortunate because of my rank and the prestige f my position, but im under no illusion a E1 would have gotten such help.  In my world made what this system work is that they simply didnt care that i was a soldier, to them i was just a hopleess addict. They focused on me, not my service, certainly not my Beret. I would say that for a vast majorty of SMs who are seeking recovery that they genuinely want to finish out their time on active duty honorably. Thats not my story, I understood that for me and me alone, sobriety and active duty were not compatible and I made the decision to retire when the option presented itself. Its that understanding that gave me the perspective that i have now. That perspective is based on the well being and revocery of the person, not the soldier.

I still talk to active duty service members all the time, I dont counsel i just listen and tell them my story. im not invested in the outcome of their careers so if that helps im glad, if it doesnt i genuinely wish them well. I have learned that recovery and sobriety are really not the same thing and that the rigid approach to career development and the inflexibility of the military benefits removes perceived options from someone struggling with addiction on active duty. Im stating clearly, there are no good options for a suffering addict, the people who achive recovery are the lucky ones. If youre an addict think about yourself not your service, be selfish. If you can help your self then any service you could offer will be there when your ready, not the other way around.

Life after the military. Although ive managed to move on and rebuild my life its not without hiccups. I still work on my sobriety and i battle PTSD often. In many cases i dont feel welcome back into the community because of my addiciton, yes i still feel shame around some of the team guys. I know for a fact many others addicts feel the same way. Ive been sober for over 5 years now and i still know people who are mad at me because the perceived "grief" they feel i caused them back when they owned me. I will always be a "that guy" to them, i know in SOF people dont forget or forgive like that, ive learned to live with that. i go into Facebook chat rooms and still see people "mother fuckering" folks from a DUI someone got 15 years ago! As if that guys DUI ever actually effected them or the war. Its that langauge and mind set that we are all aware of POST service that hurts the guys on active duty. We tell them unequivicably that they are bums because at one point that had an addicition problem, its painful to watch. Up until now ive been mostly silent on my addiciton because of that reason. I recently reached out to the Green Beret foundation and have volunteered my time to folks who are currently dealing with addiction or the fall out from addicition and i hope this article resonates with the few that need to hear it.

Its just like they told you in the Q course, YOU make the Beret the Beret doesnt make you. That holds true after you get out, its was always you and still is. Folks are out there and still deeply care for you even if some people simply cant see thru your addiction.



Tipi: The Original Tiny House

It is not hard to imagine what it would be like: no electricity, no police protection, no running water; you are on your own.  The coming breakdown could be a slow process like the fall of the Roman Empire, or it could be cataclysmic and happen overnight.  Regardless, you will need shelter, especially if you have the responsibility of a family.  Your family might be you and your dog, or you and a wife and kids.  You need a solution.  Using the “Rule of Three’s,” we know we can survive for only three seconds without hope, three minutes without air, three days without water and three weeks without food.  Shelter is foundational in a survival situation.  Three hours without shelter, in the worst of conditions, and you don’t have to worry about food or water or anything else for that matter.  You need to have a plan before disaster strikes.  There is much debate about hunkering down versus bugging out - should you stay in place or hit the road?  In the end, circumstances will dictate what you need to do.  Ideally, you need a shelter solution that satisfies both scenarios. [gallery ids="4126,4127,4128" type="rectangular" orderby="rand"] There is a lot of interest today in something called a “Tiny House,” basically a very small, stripped down version of a modern dwelling.  Why so much interest?  For many, cost is a factor. It is much cheaper to build than a typical three bedroom ranch.   For others it is a movement away from the acquisition of stuff while maintaining the necessities of a proper shelter.  For me, it would be a search for simplicity in our overly complex, high-tech society. Would a “Tiny House” be a solution when this fragile house-of-cards we call society breaks down?  What follows is my exploration of what constitutes a viable structure; a structure that is attainable and sustainable in the chaos of a future third-world environment.
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The North American Indians, the Eskimos, and the Mongolian nomads all handled this problem.  By modern standards, these primitives were not technologically skilled groups.  They were not well equipped with all the latest survival gadgets.  They could not run down to the local hardware store or department store for supplies.  They could not order a new power drill from Amazon.  They moved around frequently.  When the animals they hunted moved – they moved.  When the wood ran out, they ran out to a new area containing more resources.  Yet despite abundant limitations, they sheltered.  They sheltered in relative comfort in sustainable dwellings. All without mortgage payments, utility bills, televisions or electric lights. The types of shelters these simple nomadic people used were different depending on their environments, their cultures and their available resources. This shelter must be portable if you decide staying put won’t work.  It must shelter from the elements, accommodate heating in winter, cooling in summer, cooking inside, some level of privacy, storage for some stuff and be large enough for the clan you protect.  Of course, it must also be attainable and sustainable.  Is this a new problem, or has it been solved before? [gallery ids="4132,4131,4130" type="rectangular" orderby="rand"] Before I examine their shelters, let’s consider a modern man, high-tech solution like the “Tiny House.”  Put wheels on it and it is portable.  In that state, it is similar enough to a camper or any other trailer that we can lump them together as a group.  These trailers satisfy our list of requirements with one major critical shortcoming.  Even if you are a skilled plumber or carpenter, these structures are not sustainable.  You say you have the skills to repair sophisticated complex equipment, even so there will come a time when the shelter will fail, and you will not be able to fix it.  You could run out of gas, and it is no longer portable.  The computer driven devices could stop after an electromagnetic pulse event.  A wind storm tips the box-on-wheels on its side, and you have no tow truck or crane to lift it back up.  The solar panels on the roof get smashed during a hail storm; then your electric stove or lights stop working.  You get the idea.  Carl Sagan said, “We've arranged a civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster.” Edsger Dijkstra (a computer guy) said, “Simplicity is prerequisite for reliability.”  Therefore, my answer lies in simple shelters crafted by simpler cultures in simpler times.
IFAKs designed by Delta Force medics!
Examples of simple shelters can be a cave, lean-to, igloo, wikiup (a tipi like structure made of sticks), tent, yurt and tipi.  Even at a quick glance, some of these constructions do not meet my conditions.  The cave and igloo are not portable.  The lean-to, wikiup and the igloo are at best short term emergency shelters.  Admittedly, Eskimos survived in igloos, and the snow house meets most of the requirements we seek.  However, it is not truly portable. Yes, given the right conditions, it can be replicated over and over.  However, sustainability is the problem. July in Georgia, need I say more?  The tent, tipi and yurt are all structures that use some kind of framework and some kind of covering such as skins or canvas.  All three meet all of my requirements including sustainability.  Is one better than the others?  I think so. The tent works, but it has limitations.  In order for the tent to heat in winter, you have to have a stove, as open fires in a tent could lead to disaster.  Even a sheepherders stove can weigh around seventy pounds.  Not a deal breaker, but a consideration.  The tent design is not very efficient for heating and cooling.  The tent lacks insulation.  In order to walk around in it or stand in it comfortably, it must be large like a wall tent.  The tent is designed as a short term camping solution and would not be very comfortable over an extended period of time.  However, they are attainable and can be purchased for less than a thousand dollars in today’s market place. [gallery ids="4147,4149,4150" type="rectangular" orderby="rand"] The yurt is a circular tent of felt or skins on a collapsible framework, used by nomads in Mongolia, Siberia, and Turkey.  A wonderful structure that permits an open fire inside.  It can be very comfortable for a large family.  This shelter is portable.  It shelters from the elements, permits primitive heating in winter, cooling in summer from shading.  You can cook in it, and it provides privacy, storage for some stuff and can be large enough for the clan you protect.  It is attainable and sustainable.  If your budget permits, the yurt is attainable at a cost.  Anywhere from five thousand to eleven thousand dollars. A tipi is a cone-shaped tent, traditionally made of animal skins or canvas coverings, on a wooden pole framework.  The tipi, just like the yurt, is a sustainable structure.  It is also circular so usage of available space is maximized.  In high wind, the conical shape permits the wind to flow around the walls and when the tipi is properly staked down, it can handle very stormy conditions.  Smoke from open inside fires are vented upwards with a chimney-like effect created by warm air rising and the cooler air space between the inner and outer linings.  The smoke holes and smoke flaps add to this process to keep the interior of the tipi relatively smoke free.  When the temperature rises, so can the canvas.  By lifting the bottom of the outer canvas wall, you have a large umbrella that shades from the sun and permits full ventilation.  A tipi is a marvel of simple yet elegant engineering.  The plains Indians managed to transport their tipi homes with horses and sometimes dog teams.  A large, 18 foot diameter tipi can house a small family comfortably and can be purchased today for less than two thousand dollars. You only have to watch a few news casts to know that our American civilization is in transition and having an alternative shelter may become a reality.  Unfortunately, like Carl Sagan said, we are dependent on a complex system we don’t fully understand.  The unsustainable high-tech tiny house/trailer solution is out.  The igloo is out (not enough snow in Georgia).  The short term, emergency shelters like lean-tos and wikiups are just that – short term emergency shelters, not long term solutions.  The tent, the yurt and the tipi are all viable solutions.  So which one is best?  The tent is not efficient enough and the yurt is too expensive.  The tipi, for me, is the most attainable and sustainable shelter solution.  It meets all the requirements and has survived the test of time. Kit Carson, a famous scout, refused to travel with Lieutenant John Charles Fremont on his expedition unless a tipi was brought along.  Carson lived for years in tipis with his Indian wives.  He knew firsthand the comfort and practicality of the tipi in a traveling existence.  Good enough for the experienced Kit Carson, good enough for me.

More installments of this Tipi series coming soon!!!!!


Chickens: The Gateway to Self-Sufficiency

It has been quite a while since I've made a blog entry so before I get started I'll give you a quick update. I retired with 23 years of service last April. I hung up my Green Beret and multicam uniform for a set of bib overalls and a hoe. More than that, we sold the 10 acre farm we had in Cadiz, Ky and I bought 20 acres 60 miles to the south in Erin, Tn. As part of that deal, we gained some great neighbors, access to their 200 acres and a singlewide trailer, timber rights to build a log home, and a cooperative homesteading arrangement. Needless to say, there were many tons of household goods, tractors, implements, tools, a bulldozer, guns, ammo, stored food, livestock and more that had to be moved. We have been so busy. I barely have time to read friend's posts on social media, much less write an article. Somehow I also managed to teach a few classes for our members. Maybe this article will help to break my work rest cycle and get me motivated to blog about the progress of the log house and general homestead activities. Anyway, on to chickens. I've had chickens most of my life, except for a few years as a single soldier in the Army when I lived in the barracks. My Grandfather raised game birds and that's how it started. Eventually, we ended up northwest of Fort Campbell, Ky where I was assigned to the 5th Special Forces Group. Like many, we started out with a few birds just for eggs. A couple years ago we were maintaining a flock of 100 layers and I had plenty of Cross Fit customers that loved our free range eggs. We also raise about 50-75 broilers, turkeys, ducks and heritage pigs on pasture each year for our own consumption. Raising chickens isn't all that complicated. You have two choices, buy baby chicks and raise them to sexual maturity or buy birds that are already laying eggs. Baby chicks can be ordered from a hatchery, purchased from your local farm store, and often there is someone on craigslist hatching them for sale. If you order from a hatchery, typically there is a minimum order of 15. The day old chicks need each other to keep warm on the journey from the hatchery to your door. Often there will be a few dead chicks, especially if you order in winter and the delivery man puts them next to the wall of the delivery truck. In all honesty, this is not my recommended method for getting your first egg layers. It will require that you provide some feeders, waterers, heat lamp, a brooder and chick starter feed (unless you grind your own). The chicks will need to be kept under a heat lamp in non drafty area at 95 degrees the first week. The temperature can be lowered by 5 degrees per week. Once they are fully feathered they will be perfectly fine, even in winter. It will take 4-7 months to get your first egg from these chicks. That's a lot of time for things to go wrong. It's also a lot feed and time. With an initial cost of around $3 per chick and several bags of starter and layer feed, you can buy birds that are laying from someone on Craigslist for $10-$20 each. Of course they will need feeders, waterers and some sort of living space. We save eggs and hatch them in incubators. The cheap and easy method for brooding the chicks is to buy a 2ft x 3ft x 18 inch tall plastic tote from the Dollar Store. Build a frame from 1 inch square wood with legs that keep it a few inches off the floor of the tote. Cover it in 1/4 inch hardware cloth so when the chicks poo it falls to the bottom of the tote. We line the tote with old newspaper to absorb moisture and easy clean up. You can transfer the chicks to a cardboard box for a few minutes while you roll up the soiled newspaper for compost and clean the tote and hardware cloth with the garden hose. You can keep them in the garage, outbuilding or a spare room. We keep them in the house for a week or so after they hatch and then move them to the greenhouse. The 250 watt heat lamp not only keeps the chicks warm but helps with heating the greenhouse. After a another month we move them to their own pen. Since we keep a few roosters in our free range flock (so all are eggs are fertile for hatching), we don't put the smaller birds in with them until they are of similar size. The roosters will mount them and possibly kill them. Once they are big enough they all go into the eggmobile. The egg mobile is an old 32 foot camper frame with a chicken house built on top of it. The floor is old fence wire so the droppings fall through the floor and onto the ground. This is how we fertilize the pasture. The eggmobile gets moved around once every few days. Our chickens free range during the day and go back in the coop to lay eggs or get water. The eggmobile has milk crates for nest boxes, several roosting poles, waterers and feeders. I have 55 gallon drum mounted on the tongue of the trailer with a spigot and hose to fill the inside waterers. They can get about 30% of their food from grass and weeds and a little more from bugs and worms. We supplement their feed with some type of crop we grew, corn, sunflowers, wheat, kitchen scraps etc. Or you can buy pelleted layer feed. The chickens are trained to the eggmobile.  As long as I move it at night, when I release them in the mornings they go right back in that evening. If I move it during the day, the majority of them will stand around where the coop was, even though it has only been moved forward 32 feet from there, it confuses them. Chickens are pretty resilient and if kept fed, watered, given space to roam and a dust bath, will rarely get sick. The most common problem is lice. Don't worry, they don't like humans. Occasionally they will get worms. Diatomaceous earth in their dust bath helps with the body parasites, I don't really think it does much for the worms. If its really bad, I mix up some permethrin in a spray bottle and treat them individually. If I detect worms I'll mix piperazine in their water and confine them until they drink it all. When we raise meat chickens they start out the same way but they end up in 10x12 foot pens on pasture. they get moved daily and eventually free range during the day. They have a 21% protein feed in the mornings and in the evening when its time to lock them up. At 10-12 weeks we process them for the freezer. I have successfully bred the Cornish Cross meat birds with each other and improved the meatiness of Heritage breeds by crossing them. Don't let the internet hype fool ya. They can be a sustainable meat bird if not overfed. I had a Cornish Cross hen for 4 years and she laid enough eggs to keep us in broilers without buying chicks. The only reason she died was because the neighbors dog killed her. There are no dual purpose breeds, at least not in my opinion. I'm spoiled. When I see a chicken ready for the pot, it needs to have some big breasts and thighs. A typical dual purpose breed has sunken breasts and is just too scrawny for my liking. There edible but if I have a choice, I'll raise Cornish Cross or one of the politically correct variants like Red Rangers. Hope you enjoyed this article. If you want some chickens for eggs, just do it. Once you get a few chickens, you'll want some meat chickens. Then some ducks. Eventually a couple goats. Then you'll sell that house in town or the subdivision and move out to the country, where real freedom awaits. De Oppresso Liber AL    

Myth: Tourniquets do not work on Double Bone Compartments

  [caption id="attachment_3670" align="alignnone" width="950"]2418-pb2-r1 Anatomy of arteries along forearm, leading some to incorrectly believe they run too deep to be properly occluded. [/caption]

      The placement of the tourniquet in the picture above would have some believe that it is ineffective due to it being over a " double bone compartment."    This post purpose is to address and dispel the common myth to avoid placing a tourniquet(TQ) on the forearm or lower leg because it might be less efficient at total arterial occlusion due to the anatomy of a double bone compartment, or might cause further harm due to a certain wound set.   If you have basic medical training and were taught "high and tight" is the only way to go, this is not saying don't go high and tight during Care under Fire or when hospitals are nearby, this is more a consideration for medical professionals in an austere environment where medical care is hours away and is not as applicable for the layman. Medical professionals have a higher level of care to deliver to their patients than just doing high and tight for every situation. Multiple sources are posted at the end of the article because I believe in evidence based medicine, not "I do it this way because my instructor told me." A study by Dr. John F. Kragh (US Army Institute of Surgical Research) who is a renowned tourniquet expert, found that not only is it not effective, it can be more effective and the benefits of proper tourniquet placement are key (Cited below.) Take into account that often times meaty thighs take two or more tourniquets and it can be easier to understand why a tourniquet would work better when there is a smaller circumference to compress. Why does this even matter?

 Tourniquets don't cause permanent damage until they are on for about 6-8 hours if done correctly, as early as 2 hours if done incorrectly in the case of venous tourniquets causing compartment syndrome. The body will physiologically loosen (even when applied properly) so re-assess your TQ's and expect them to come loose and need to turn the windlass again.. If tissue will be lost because this tourniquet will be on for over 8 hours, the TQ should be 2-4" above the wound to salvage as much tissue and save complications as possible. Optimally, if not an amputation, the tourniquet has not been on too long and the patient is hemodynamically stable, you will want to convert to a pressure dressing directly on the source of bleeding so you can have perfusion back in the limb, but only if you can monitor for re-bleeding. If you already have a "High and tight" placed by a non-medical provider such as a TCCC or First Responder, you can consider  at least approximate the tourniquet by placing a second 2-4" above the wound and loosening the high and tight. Your actions during initial treatment during your TCCC phases can come to bite you later, so consider not going high and tight if the situation is tactically safe. High and tight is for care under fire and non-medical professionals, but when tactically feasible the medical provider should strongly consider deliberately placing the tourniquet 2-4" above the wound,  converting it to a pressure dressing if the criteria is met, and at least approximating the TQ.Even if TQ's needed another revolution or two with the windlass when placed in these areas, the benefits of proximal placing are worth it.  Such is the standard put out by the Committee of Tactical Combat Casualty Care and taught in U.S. Army Combat Medic School and Special Operations Combat Medic School. Sources,  Evidence:
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