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aging and survival

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posted on Jan, 20 2008 @ 10:40 PM
I was reading the thread about being over weight and survival scenarios, and noted how many stressed physical fitness as a survival essential.
That got me to thinking about my own age and those of us who have some years on us.
I'm a fairly recent retiree and at 55 don't consider myself a senior citizen just yet but........
While my military career required a high degree of phisical fitness, and acording to my mustering out physical I'm probably above the norm for the civilian population, sadly I have to admit Iain't as good as i once was.
I survived Vietnam, Grananda,Kuait,Somalia ,Afganistan and a few other deplyments that are not in the public domain. In addition i have lived thru a couple of earth quakes, several tornado's a huricane or two, and even a volcanic eruption, but i was a younger man then.
These days I can remember sleeping outdoors in a snow cave at 30 below 0, but my feet get cold in my living room in Arizona.
I can still hit a target consistantly at 500 yards with open sites, but need glasses to read a menu.
When " humping the bush" I had a cast iron gut and didn't mind rat on a stick or fish heads and rice if the need arose, these days tex mex food requires an antacid chaser.
While I can still shoulder a 60 pound field pack and hike all day if needed, I aint gonna get near as far as I used to.
I might be able to whip another fella in a fight but if i have to run to catch him, I'll probably just have to forgive his transgressions instead. Besides even if i win, I'll probably spend longer healing than he will.
I've never had a mid life crisis that i'm aware of, but i have learned to accept that i have more years behind me than i have left up ahead.
That gets me to thinking about my own mortality and sit-x.
Every year of prepardness that goes by with nothing happening, means i have fewer years left to survive for.
I have accomplished alot of things in my life, and have few regrets, but one thing I haven't accomplished was a long term commited relationship that would leave me with a spouse and children to provide for.
I tell myself that in an extreme situation I have experience and knowledge i can pass on to others, but there seems fewer and fewer that are willing to listen
I guess what I'm searching for is a reason other than pure stuborness for wanting to be the last man standing.
I know, i'm just venting but from some of these threads i gather i'm not the only one here with the candles on thier birthday cake amounting to a serious fire hazard.
For you younger folks, I remember what it was like to not be able to imagine your own mortality.
For us other seasoned folks, I was wondering if any share my concerns.

posted on Jan, 21 2008 @ 08:56 AM
You make an several excellent points in this post. Thanks for writing your thoughts.

I understand what you are saying when you ask the question, "Why be the last man standing?" Is it better to live through almost complete annihilation of the human race, just to spend the rest of your years barely eking out an existence or would it be better to just perish with the masses and be done with it?

Like most survivalist, I like to watch movies like Mad Max or Waterworld and wonder what I would do in a situation such as that, but when you look at the "life" they have,

I think that I would rather be surrounded with my friends and family when the big one hits and go out with them than living in some post-apocalyptic scenario out of the movies. Just my 2 cents worth.

posted on Jan, 21 2008 @ 09:07 AM

Having a family is not the only reason to survive. With all your skills and experience you could help other less prepared individuals and families make a go of an otherwise hopeless situation. Being former military, you know service to others is a reward in and of itself.

Everyone feels good when they've made someone elses life a little better by a random act of kindness. I try to help others whenever I can, even if it hurts a bit sometimes.

My birthday cake is starting to get a little candle-heavy as well at 45, so I know what you mean about the physical decline associated with aging. They say with age comes wisdom, so find ways to compensate for your shortcomings. My father-in-law is 82 and he still does his own wood cutting, animal feeding, and repairs around his farm. He's not as quick or strong as he used to be, but has found new ways of doing old tasks. He's really amazing to watch.

posted on Jan, 21 2008 @ 09:35 AM
Great Post
and flagged

Though I am 20 years your junior in looking at survival realistically I always try to keep in mind that we may be traveling with folks that are older in age
as well as folks that are younger in age who's physical and mental capabilities may not be up to par with what we need..

An example of this is I for one could push on all day carrying 85 to 110 pounds all day no matter how bad it hurts or how slow the going was my wife on the other hand could not do this she just doesn't have the built in survival and fortitude required things that I learned both in Getting my Black Belt and again in the Army..

At any rate I guess what I am trying to say is that sometimes when planning I keep my plan well thought out so there is indeed a plan to follow but also dynamic in how tasks are accomplished the younger well they are good for some work and entertainment (face it kids are fun) and don't ever rule out the old folks they may save you considerable time and effort in doing things the way they did them years ago..

I enjoyed your post and keep in mind that we are listening and looking for input I myself sometimes spend so much time listening that I forget to respond when I have listened and learned so keep with the great posts and never forget we are listening just sometimes not responding.


posted on Jan, 21 2008 @ 10:53 AM
Survival is really a state of mind. Being in good shape certainly won't hurt your chances, but it's not the whole ball of wax. Every member of your group probably has some valuable skills or knowledge that can help out along the way.

Older people are usually a storehouse of information when it comes to doing things without the modern conveniences of life. My father in law grew up during the depression when resources were scarce, and smarts and hard work were the name of the game.

I've learned a great deal from him over the years, and honestly believe even at 82, he'd fare better than most people half his age loaded down with supplies. Looks can be deceiving, especially when it comes to the older generation.

posted on Jan, 21 2008 @ 11:04 AM
i too enjoyed reading this fine thread, these younger generations are a bunch of softies(is that a word?) and i would think an older more experienced person would be a great addition to any group trying to survive.

[edit on 21-1-2008 by plug_pray]

[edit on 21-1-2008 by plug_pray]

posted on Jan, 21 2008 @ 03:01 PM
Thank you for your post OP. I have thought about this alot as well. I'm 53, my husband is 62 and we live on a nice piece of land in the mountains. We have enough land to raise our own food, have goats, chickens and even horses for transportation.

But it takes alot of physical labor to do the gardening, ploughing, etc. I do have concerns that if anything happens, we won't be able to care for ourselves. What we figure we would do in the event of catastrophe is gather up some strong young people and offer them part of the garden if they work it and help us out. We do have enough land that some folks could at least put up some sort of shelter and live if they need to. I do think communities will be very helpful in this way. We would all need to pull together to survive.

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 06:27 PM
First and formost, Thank you all for your interest and responces
( Glad I'm not the only one who thinks about these things LOL )
I have read the various responces and points made, and thought more about my topic, and have arrived at a couple of qualifiers.
First, I think my motivation for wanting to be " the last man standing" would depend on the specifics of the situation at the time.
As a forinstance, If the situation was martial law, or some other human intervention that goes contrary to the best interests of our country, I would have to revert to my oath of alegiance and defend with lethal force if nesisary the constitution, our country, my comrades, and any who could not defend themselves.
I would be hard pushed to find a better reason to go down fighting rather than laying down to die.
I am fortunate in that where i live there is a loose affiliation of other combat arms vets, who have formed what we call" the poker club". All of us are still reasonably healthy with a wealth of front line expereince, and a tendency ( by habit or instinct) to keep our TA50 ( gear) " high tight and right".
Push come to shove we could field an expierenced squad of fairly well equiped hard core survivalists.
Where this pertains is in responce to Forestlady's kind responce, in that at our worst we could contribute a fairly solid traing and command cadre for a larger group.
I also totaly agree that older folks have alot to contribute.
I gather from these threads there are quite a few former military vets here, both from support and combat arms cadre. No matter what branch or MOS we all share one thing in common. The most valuable things we learned didn't come from basic or AIT traing. They came from older troops that had " been there, done that", and were willing to educate us along the way.
I myself owe my life literaly to an old E8 named Sgt Thie, who got his first expereince at the end of WW2, served 2 Tours in Korea, and was on his 3rd trip to Vietnam when i met him.
He taught me how to survive the jungle and prevail in a firefight.
I can quite literaly trace my survival in numerous situations to this one man who would sometimes seem to be shouting in my ear when the poo poo was in a gale force wind.
I often find myself torn between hopeing i get out of this world before sit-x were to happen, and kinda wanting one more duty on the ramparts before i can no longer shoulder my rifle and pack.
Sadly, i look around and see things progressively getting worse, and thinking it's all building to a head.
Any combat vet will tell you they don't want to see any more killing and dying, but at the same time, I can't help but think every herd needs to be culled to stay healthy.
In any event, thank you again for allowing me to voice my thoughts, and any moderators who may read this, pass on my thanks to the head office, for a place to share them.
My nik here will be my call sign, and " ATS" will be the password. Your all welcome in my foxhole anytime.

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 08:11 PM
OneShot, good post. I heard during marshal law the soldiers will confiscate all your food, and if you have guns and don't surrender them and they find out that they will maybe kill you. What's with them taking all our food? The government is goign to send people out to "keep order" and expect them to be orderly themselves if they have no food? They are to "keep order" by stealing and raping the populace?

These are soldiers or criminals? Which?

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 11:25 PM
reply to post by Salt of the Earth
I can only tell you from my own perspective, and I can guarantee, you may not like the answers.
First and formost as is painfuly obvious in Iraq, the military is not a police force.
A soldier does not fight for political theories, or for administration's agendas.
Any soldier who has a bit of time in has already served under1 or possibly 2 administrations, with all the bi polar type behavior that can be expected from a 2 party system with different ideals.
In addition, an experienced soldier has most probably served under several commanders and Commanding officers, with all the differences that any multi person agency will have between CEO's and thier differing personalities.
The military's way of dealing with this inherent insecurity of the command structure is to train thier personel to follow orders regardless if they agree or make sense.
It is also true that the UCMJ ( uniform code of military justice) allows for circumstances where a soldier is justified to not follow an immoral or illegal order.
The problems arise as it does in civilian life, as to when and what constitutes an illegal or immoral order.
If you choose to disobey an order, and are in a combat situation, you can literaly be sentenced to death if your wrong.
Even if your right, your file will be flagged, and your chances of promotion and a career are pretty much gone.
It's not a judgement to be made lightly, nor acted on in haste.
Consequently an apparent lawful order to secure food stores and weapons in a state of emergency, could be made plausable enough that it will be followed.
When the 82nd Airborne ( my old outfit) was sent in to help after Katrina, they were mistakenly told to secure all firearms They followed orders and followed thier training. They knocked once and requested entry, if no answer they kicked in the door to clear the building, if there was an answer, but they were denied entry, they commanded entry, and then kicked in the door to secure the building.
I know in New Orleans, this sounds like very harsh tactics, but from a training standpoint, if you don't know who or what may be inside a structure, you clear it of weapons, and never leave a building behind you that has not been secured.
In the case of New Orleans, it was just one bad order from one officer. You can only imagine what would be the case if it were a presidential directive or a directive from the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Imagine if you will, one survivalist wannbe with a small stash of firarms, and alot of paranoia, over reacting to the military standing on his doorstep, demanding entry into his refuge he has made for his family.
Firearms, lack of training and fear, are a deadly combination.
One shot from inside that house, and the place will be lit up like the 4th of July. When word spreads about how that was handled, you can bet on more itchy trigger fingers. A few instances like that, and any self respecting officer, will order his men to approach every structure as a possible threat.
As to who would be the criminal here, i suppose it would depend on which side of the door you were on.
Make no mistake, martial law is a federal order, to disobey that order is a federal offense. Merely planning to disobey that order for martail law is conspiracy to commit a federal offense. So who do you think is the criminal ? Of course we are speaking strictly hypotheticles here for entertainment purposes LOL
As for confiscating the food stores, thats SOP ( standard operating procedure)
You secure all available resources including food, so that the distribution can be controled and equitable. In the case of food, centralizing the control and distribution of food would ensure that everyone had a fair share of available rations, rather than the prepared, having plenty and the unprepared starving.

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 11:40 PM
Part 2
Evidently in my efforts to be clear my previous post exceeded the size of the post window LOL
Any how, a starving mob is a security headache. In addition if you need to make a head count, what better place to do it than a food distribution depot.
In practicle application if you have 100 men to secure an area with a population of say1,000, the only way to do that is to consolidate the area that 1,000 occupy.
Failure to secure your area of operation properly will lead to a situation as is unfolding in Iraq where you have too many non combatants spread over too wide an area, providing cover for those who may not be non combatants.
I know, again as a civilian you will think this all sounds heavy handed and harsh to an extreme.
From a tacticle standpoint, it's simple logic, and the best way to insure against casualties in your own command.

I hope this helps you understand, even though I doubt it will help you sleep better.

posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 07:52 PM
My appologies, I seem to have side tracked my own thread.
If any moderators feel the need to clean up this thread, please be my guest

posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 09:34 PM
I vote to leave it in. You have plenty to say and you say it well. You're teaching this old man a thing or three.

posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 10:07 PM
I have always been a survivalist and stay prepared for emergencies. Lately I have been giving much thought to ways to make survival easier on myself and my SO who is a Vietnam veteran.

I am sure neither of us would make it far if we had to go on the run on foot. We have purchased several items to assist us in our survival. We have a 4 wheeler, ATV and both have dirt bikes.

I believe people should be used to the best of their ability in a bad situation. Our place would be to maintain a command base or safe area. The preparation of food, taking care of the sick or wounded, camp maintenance would be something less strenuous but very important.

I would not expect or permit a younger group to be slowed down by my inability to keep up. I would make my stand and defend it with my dieing breath.

Hopefully it won't come to such drastic measures but we remain vigilant and ready if/when the time comes to act.

It is not the government I would be taking a stand against. It would be citizens that pose a threat to our safety.

posted on Jan, 24 2008 @ 03:51 PM
Thanks for your kind words, If as you say, I can make any contribution to just one person than my time is well invested, and i leave things better than i found them. I take that as reason enough. LOL

Dizzy, Thanks for your reponce as well. It saounds as though you and your " SO " are still very active and probably most importantly, you are thinking and planning ahead.
While i myself tend to enjoy, or at least have become used to, the lone wolf life style, it doesn't prevent me from considering the advantages of sharing the hardships, as well as joy with others should the situation present it's self.
I have spent a significant part of my life alone in one form or another, and have arrived at the opinion that being alone is a state of being, being lonely is a state of mind.
Before i forget please convey to your S O my thanks for his service, and tell him " welcome home" for me.
You may not understand, but he will.

posted on Jan, 24 2008 @ 04:25 PM
Great thread. I too am of the seasoned flavor, and am well aware of just how hard survival mode would be on me and my wife. But with children and grandchildren, I dare not take any easy road out.

As to the "lawful behavior" of resistance: it all depends. If the last half a century plus has taught me nothing else, it is that success writes the history. If push comes to shove, my family and their welfare comes before any law. Plain and simple.

And no matter how or who you classify as the enemy, they're making plans and seeking the same advantages you are. Control of an environment is the key issue, and you either pick one you have a chance of controlling, or you let the other side do it. Again, plain and simple.

And try to never get in a fight you can't win.

posted on Jan, 24 2008 @ 05:57 PM
reply to post by NGC2736

Thanks for your responce and kind comments.
Absolutely you are correct, we all must choose which hills are worth fighting for.
I also agree that " legalities" are for lawyers to sort out.
I'll make my stand based on simple logic, and Right vs Wrong.
I know an argument can be made for " right and wrong" being subjective judgments, but I feel some things are inarguably wrong, as some are inarguably right.
I think these basic " laws" of humane behavior superced any man made laws which are most probably self serving at the very least.
For instance I would take the position that the inate law of liberty, trumps any martial law supposedly inacted for our own good.
I believe, women, children and the infirm have a right to be protected from those who would harm, abuse, or exploit them.
Naturaly, as I know these things to be subjective value judgments and binding on no one except myself, I would recommend they not be violated in my presence.

posted on Jan, 26 2008 @ 11:55 AM
Never have I heard anyone use their words so gracefully as you have sir when it comes to the topic at hand. It makes me proud to know that there are still people out there who are of your caliper. I personally have lost my faith in the human race. I am desperately at times looking for a glimmer of hope that everything that we have gone through as a species has not been in vane. People like you are far and in between. Thank You!

posted on Jan, 26 2008 @ 12:48 PM
reply to post by EntitySeed

You are too kind, I am humbled and greatful.
If, in this stage of my life, I have any net worth, it is due to the fact that I was given a strong sense of morals and honor by those who reared me, and life has honed the edge of those tools.
I regret that you have become disillusioned about our species. I have found that humanity, while capable of profound cruelties is also capable of magnificent nobilities.
Any survival situation will tax and reveal an individuals most basic strengths and weakness's, I have been privilaged to witness many extremes of valor, and fortitude demonstrated by common men and women in uncommon situations.

It is a shame that it takes extremes of adveristy, our own or others, to bring out the best in people.
It is my opinion that the more important the lesson, the harder the test.
If i can repay your kind words with an observation of my own, I would tell you to take heart.
As long as there is one person such as yourself, who still seeks to find those redeaming qualities in humanity, that search is proof that those qualities do exist.

[edit on 26-1-2008 by 1ShotDeal]

[edit on 26-1-2008 by 1ShotDeal]

[edit on 26-1-2008 by 1ShotDeal]

posted on Jan, 26 2008 @ 01:11 PM
I probably will never hear the end of what I'm about to say to you sir but I want you to know something. I am probably the most hardened person living today and it is because of the types of people that I have come in contact with over the years and the terrible abuse I have gone through in my life. " I'm not looking for an Aww that's to bad, either." I am 54 years old sir and your words have deeply touched my soul. I don't think I have shed a tear for countless years but I find myself sitting here wiping them off my face. I do not believe in "God" but I will say to you sir, God Bless and Thank You for your inspirational words and kindness.

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