Saturday, November 09, 2013

Weighty Matters - Veterans Day - Swords and Squirrels

Veterans Day is an official U. S. holiday honoring those who have performed armed service for their country.  The holiday is observed each November 11th to celebrate the service of all U.S. military veterans.

Many Vets May Not Realize

What else is November 11th? – It is the Feast Day of Martin of Tours, Patron of Veterans and Soldiers.

Martin was born in 316 AD in Savaria in the Diocese of Pannonia (now Szombathely, Hungary). His father was a senior officer (tribune) in the Imperial Horse Guard, a unit of the Roman army in northern Italy, where Martin grew up.  ...As the son of a veteran officer, Martin at fifteen was required to join a cavalry ala. Around 334, he was stationed at Ambianensium civitas or Samarobriva in Gaul (now Amiens, France).  It is likely that he joined the Equites catafractarii Ambianenses, a heavy cavalry unit listed in the Notitia Dignitatum.

While a Roman soldier deployed in Gaul (modern-day France), Martin had a vision, which became the most-repeated story about his life. One day as he was approaching the gates of the city of Amiens, he met a scantily clad beggar. He impulsively cut his military cloak in half  to share with the man. 

Martin died 8 November 397, the Bishop of Tours in central France.

Morale: Swords (long knives) have been as useful for sharing what is yours as for taking what is someone else'sConfused? Before there were armies, there were of course hunters.
Warfare is as old as human civilization itself. In fact, as soon as the first pre-historic cities formed approximately 12,000 years ago in present day Syria, Jordan and Iraq, these settlements likely began quarrelling among themselves. The first armed conflicts were probably fought over scarce resources or territory, or even between city-dwellers and marauding bands of nomads in search of food or livestock. source
Note that the introduction of bows and arrows apparently nearly coincided with the advent of warfare, about 5,000 years later than hunting to feed (share with) the tribe and family:
The art of spear hunting was revolutionized by the invention of the spear thrower (or atlatl click this icon to hear the preceding term pronounced) about 17,000-15,000 years ago.  This was a wood or bone rod with a hook on one end that fit into a socket at the base of a spear.  This device was used as an aid in throwing spears.  It increased the range and force of impact of projectiles by essentially increasing the length of the spear thrower's arm.  The net effect was that hunters did not need to get as close to prey before throwing their spears. ...The bow and arrow were invented by 12,000 years ago or a bit earlier.  source
So, what is an appropriate Veterans Day activity?  If you live in an urban area, the modern version of  pre-historic cities, preparation for defense against gangs may be the order of the day under a government administration that wants to strip the law-abiding of weapons for self defense.

If you can access rurals areas, however, your preparations to obtain food for your family are more likely to be the order of the day under the selfsame government administration that wants to strip the law-abiding of weapons for hunting.

What do I plan?  Have you ever eaten squirrel? My grandfather, an infantryman who barely survived being gassed on the front line (WW1 veteran), served squirrel to me for breakfast at 10-years of age. (My wife's grandfather died well before her birth  (U.S. veteran of War Between the States.) I inherited my granddad's squirrel rifle, which is too dangerous to fire up at a squirrel for anything else living within a mile.  I have successfully hunted squirrel with a pump pellet rifle, however, and for this Veterans Day I intend to hone my skill at field dressing (4-minute YouTube, "field dressing a squirrel" ) a few, just in case the skill ever becomes necessary for family/neighbor survival. How many of you can say the same?

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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