By Major Van Harl USAF Ret
Wisconsin -(Ammoland.com)- In Last weeks latest episode of the Walking Dead one of the non-important living characters (a NIL-C or NILCES) (meaning he is expected to die soon) is working with a construction crew outside the safety of the gated community where the current heroes are holed up.
They are trying to acquire building materials that will be taken back to the community to help strengthen the metal wall that so far has kept the “walkers” (read zombies) out. With paper in hand, the NILCE heads to a private area to satisfy personal needs, telling his cohorts that “I gotta send a fax to Cleveland.”
I told the Colonel when he strolled off to relieve himself that the “walkers” were going to find him. At Infantry school we were continually instructed on the dangers of trying to satisfy personal needs in a combat environment. When you have to relieve yourself, or feed yourself, do field hygiene or even try to sleep, and evil is lurking just beyond the tree line, you are potentially in as much danger as when the bullets are actually flying in your direction—you let your guard down.
There was a reason the US military went to OD brown underwear for the troops to use in combat. You are all dressed up in the latest camouflage uniform looking very un-noticeable in the field. You drop you pants and first, your glowing white underwear alerts everyone to your location.
Then (for you white boys) out comes your glowing white backside and the evil in the tree line shoots you.
The NILCE came running back, pulling up his pants and of course drawing along the “walkers” right into the cohorts, who immediately start, yet again, fighting for their lives. Another thing you learn at Infantry school is your fellow soldiers don’t want you deliberately upsetting the enemy, because when the bad guys start shooting at you for screwing up in a combat zone, their incoming rounds could also hit your Army buddies.
Buddies who will not be your buddies for long if you keep messing up and getting people unnecessarily hurt or killed. Of course in the “Walking Dead” you get eaten.
Satisfying personal needs never goes away whether in a combat zone, or in a crisis area such as a Katrina type disaster that takes out half your home state. You still have to eat and drink. You still need paper products for meeting your personal needs, and if you do not have these on hand when the crisis happens, you still continue your bodily functions. They do not get put on hold until FEMA shows up with a semi full of bathroom tissue.
Do you remember Holden Caulfield the main character in the book Catcher in the Rye? In the book his sister gets her monthly period, but there are no “supplies” in the home for her. So Holden is ordered by his mother to go to the store and buy some feminine hygiene supplies and he is mortified to have to do this. Even at fifteen and a Boy Scout (Be Prepared) I did not understand why the women folk in Holden’s home did not have some needed products on hand, and I said so in tenth grade English class. This of course drew un-wanted mean stares from the girls in the room, and my female teacher advised me we could discuss it after class.
This issue also does not go on hold in combat, or as the “walkers” are looking at you for lunch.
Again don’t wait for FEMA to show up with that second truck, full of feminine products. I remember in Sunday school hearing a story about Biblical era soldiers being very thirsty while on the march. When they finally came upon a river, many of the soldiers throw safety to the wind, and pushed their faces into the cool water, not paying attention to danger. Other soldiers used their hands to cup water into their mouths while at the same time scanning the horizon for the approach of evil.
Which one of these types of soldiers do you want protecting your back in a crisis? When you take away people’s basic creature comforts, and add the stress of combat or disaster, even well meaning people such as friends and family, will fail you.
North Americans are a very private culture. Our wealth allows and affords us that luxury–a luxury that we take for granted. In today’s world of global uncertainty, drastic change will happen in an instant, and our luxury of privacy and great hoards of consumer products will come to a crashing halt.
Faxing Cleveland using an old Sears catalog will seem like the easy part of that equation.
Major Van Harl USAF / [email protected]
About Major Van Harl USAF Ret.:
Major Van E. Harl USAF Ret., a career Police Officer in the U.S. Air Force was born in Burlington, Iowa, USA, in 1955. He was the Deputy Chief of police at two Air Force Bases and the Commander of Law Enforcement Operations at another. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Infantry School. A retired Colorado Ranger and currently is an Auxiliary Police Officer with the Cudahy PD in Milwaukee County, WI. His efforts now are directed at church campus safely and security training. He believes “evil hates organization.” [email protected]