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This time at Camp Vigilance (CV) was a terrific experience for me. (See pictures below.)
I had seldom (like never) hobnobbed with folks interested in anything like military or gun-toting activities, and did not know how I would feel or be received. The closest I had ever gotten to the military was Boy Scouts. But I do not hide that I am a Christian and an Episcopal priest. A couple of musters ago, another fellow and I thought that it would be good to start the meetings with a pledge of allegiance to the flag (which they had done at one time), and with a prayer. I suggested that, and got a few quiet OK's, but mostly silence, so the idea did not go over. But when issues came up, I would note that we will not win this border battle without recovering our Biblical base in America. There would always be one or two agreements, but mostly silence.
Men do not like to talk about religion, largely, I think, because men tend to process life with their minds, and Christianity has had a terrible reputation as being intellectually deficient for over two centuries.
This time, one of the fellows had gotten news that a buddy of his, Larry, had been killed in Iraq. The leader at CV told me that the fellow would be saying something about his friend just before our next meeting just about to happen, and asked if I would make a few appropriate remarks and offer a prayer. I was surprised, and delighted.
In my remarks I said that...
...all military and police activity are subsets of the wider spiritual warfare which goes on all the time. Whether we win or lose the military conflict, the spiritual war continues, and we dare not neglect it. We must be continually prepared to fight the cultural-moral-spiritual battle.
We have two choices in the political realm: "Jesus is Lord" or "civil government is lord." As our Declaration of Independence clearly spells out, we get our rights and freedoms from God or we do not get them at all. If God is not Lord, then whatever rights we think we might have can be (and routinely are) removed by civil government at its will. The "rights" given by civil government are not "inalienable". Like Larry, we needed to be willing to risk our lives and time and goods for the freedom we get from God, or we will lose it.
The response was, so far as I could tell, universally positive. Several persons thanked me afterwards, and I discovered a couple more Christians in the group. I have been increasingly and pleasantly astonished at the reception I am getting from these people, who are not at all the sort of people with whom I have usually been friends. I believe the Lord has more in store for us. Two of the persons who thanked me told of their own spiritual experience in coming to this MM group, and said they thought the formation of that group was of God.
I believe that also. We must begin at the very
bottom to rebuild our republic under God. And this is the sort of place
that it can happen. The name Minutemen is entirely appropriate.
Out on the border, on a several mile stretch near a town called Campo, we had six teams of two posted strategically for a night watch from 6 pm to 2 am, some with night vision equipment. I and my mate were at the far western end. We did not see any illegal aliens, but just below us and to the east, over a small ridge between our lookout and the border fence, an event took place.
A coyote (guide for the illegals) was on his way back to Mexico from leading some folks inland. The team just to the east from us could hear the fellow go up to the fence and talk with someone with a car on the other side who had come to pick him up. He had to talk through the fence as there was no opening at that point. Our folks made some noise to let them know that they were spotted (we are not allowed to approach the illegals or directly contact them), and the fellow hightailed it off to the east, hoping to find an opening in the fence where he could get through without being seen. There was no opening right at that point. But we had teams all down the line for about three miles, located at any openings in the fence, so he had to hike a long way along back roads. The Border Patrol was notified by radio, but we did not find out whether or not the fellow was picked up.
You can see here a picture of the fairly impenetrable fence (go down to pix #7 & 8). These pix are several miles to the east of our position, the east end of that segment of border near Campo we cover where the fence ends. (The fences end where they encounter impossible mountains, steep slopes, or solid rock.) We were at the west end where it ends. You can see in the distance where our position was in pix #14, from the top of Little Dog's hill. We were just this side of where you see the road end going up the far hill. The fence ends there also. At the top of that hill someone put up an American flag. We often use that peak as a lookout post.
The coyote would probably have had to hike all that way on back roads down past Little Dog to the far east to get around the fence without being seen by our six teams and at least two other local teams which were covering that night also. You can see the very porous fence which takes up from the solid fence at pix #'s 5-8.
The other two teams are Little Dog (a loner - see pix #11 - and a Czech fellow with a very strong accent who runs his own little group called CMMP (California Mountain Minuteman Project - www.cmmp.cc ). Mainly himself and any others whom he can get to join him for a while. He lives there, just east of Little Dog, in a trailer. Having grown up with tyranny in Czechoslovakia, he is sensitive to the growing threat here.
To add to the experience, this was the first time I had brought a friend with me. The numbers keep growing. We must have had close to forty there this weekend.
Below are pictures from the May muster at Camp Vigilance.
This pix of me was taken by a friend and sent by email.
I am not sure of the site location, but it was probably last month at the April
Looking down on the Anza-Borego desert from about 1000
(?) feet higher on highway CA 79 on the way to Camp Vigilance -- looking over my
red cartop. Route CA 79 is a beautiful ride from where it crosses I-15, to
where it connects with I-8 in the south -- which takes us then east to Camp Vigilance
We MMers volunteered Saturday morning to help with the clean up of a local
public gun range, thousands of shotgun shells to pick up. We did not even
try to pick up the even more thousands of brass casings. But they were not
the eyesore that the bright plastic shotgun shells were because they blended in
with the soil. There must have been over a hundred people there cleaning
up at the several gun ranges along the mountain side.
With rakes we were able to clean up a good deal of the
mess (picking up only by hand was mighty slow...). I should have taken
close ups of the trash, which was considerable. People used the range with
never a thought to pick up. But the government agency which permitted the
use of the land told the club that was using it that they had to clean up or get
out. (So why do we have to be told???)
One fellow (not an MMer) had brought his shop vac attached to a generator on his truck, a small corner of which you can see just below the right corner of the picture. He had the right idea -- much faster than by rake and hand. All those little dark and red spots are shotgun shells -- amidst lots of other trash. About a dozen of MMers got this whole area pretty well cleaned up in about two hours.
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