Happy Independence Day! This day not only marks another year of American Independence, but a day to reflect on Patriotism I’ve seen in the Redoubt since the previous 4th of July. [Update added afternoon of 04JUL.]

Because it is independence day, the Bald Eagle is one symbol that comes to mind. Interestingly, I see about one a month flying around the Redoubt (different ones each time). Sometimes the eagle is investigating a kill along the roadside. Sometimes it is perched in a tree. Sometimes it is flying about. But that white head is quite distinctive, so you always notice when you spot one.

The bald eagle is particularly a symbol of freedom in the Redoubt because it is seen often, but I’ve never heard stories of them being a government nuisance here.

I have some close acquaintances in Washington state from when I was stationed there. They were told by their local government that they could no longer receive permits to build outbuildings on their farm because a bald eagle had been spotted nesting in the neighborhood. In order to receive a permit to build anything else, they would have to first shell out $10,000 for a an environmental impact study to determine if the noise of hammering would disturb the nesting eagle.

Meanwhile, a developer bought the parcel across the street (literally), paid his bribe money (I assume), and built an entire suburb. So when I saw bald eagles in Washington state, I typically cursed because they were a sign of government finding excuses to bleed money out of common folks.

Is this guy watching you for Big Brother, or watching your back? Depends where you live…

Not so in the Redoubt. Most of the rural land I travel in the Redoubt consists of counties that don’t care about much more than your septic system if you live outside city limits. If you’re buying a place, that can be a two-edged sword, and I’ve seen some very “unique” buildings. But with that sweet smell of freedom to do what you want comes responsibility to know what you’re buying. There are certified home inspection experts who can help if needed. And while I’ve seen some houses I don’t want to stand in any longer than possible for fear the roof might come down on my head, I’ve also seen over-built structures that have parked and excavator on their roof, and that wouldn’t be built under strict building codes in leftist land.

So, seeing Bald Eagles here is a constant reminder that I no longer need worry about government interference in what one does with their land, and I love that taste of frontier freedom.

2nd Amendment

I’ve written before about gun culture in the Redoubt, and I love it. It’s no big deal here. You wouldn’t believe how high a percentage of folks I talk to stocked their freezer for the year when they saw a deer crossing their land as they relaxed and took in the view. Grabbed the AR-15 close at hand, one shot from an elevated balcony or deck (or roof), and now the freezer is full of grass-fed organic meat. What would that cost at a grocery store?

Most rural properties have enough length or breadth to support a personal firing range for most arms. Typically, the neighbors don’t mind, and simply ask that you check that your fire isn’t in the direction of a house or yard. In fact, they may want to come and join in for some target practice. Everyone is initially assumed to be responsible with firearms, so do your homework if you must to make sure you don’t give reason for doubt.

For most folks you meet on the street, or even in church, it is safe to assume they are carrying concealed. It feels pretty secure knowing that if someone tried terrorism or mass murder out here, they’d probably have their blood rapidly replaced with lead before they can do much harm.

In most places in America, the Constitution protects the right to keep and bear arms. In the Redoubt, the right to keep and bear arms protects the Constitution!

Respect for Veterans

I was trained by men who still remembered the days when it was common to see residential signs all around Norfolk that said, “No dogs or sailors on the grass.” Even for all the duty stations I’ve served at, the closer you are to a military base, the less folks seem to care about veterans because they are seen all the time.

But in the Redoubt, people constantly express gratitude to veterans, even though there are a lot in the countryside. In a store, in a church, or even just a coincidental meeting on the street, residents always show high gratitude for the sacrifices they know the veterans made for our freedoms.

Maybe folks don’t appreciate veterans as much in leftist territory because their utopian rulers don’t let them have much of the freedom the veterans fought for. In the Redoubt, we enjoy American freedoms every day, so there is much to be grateful for toward our veterans, who typically continue to serve communities even out of the service.

This hangs on the wall of many military officers I know… A constant reminder of things that made America great at its beginning.

Update: Redoubt Patriotism

Just in case you don’t believe me about Redoubt Gun Culture…

A resident in the Northern Idaho area of the Redoubt who was on his way to the local 4th of July Parade with his family said he didn’t mind if I posted a photo of him.

The only second look he’d be likely to receive would be folks wondering, “Ooo! What’s that?” Note the region-typical attachments for making dispensing of freedom discreet, so as not to bother neighbors.

If this doesn’t bother you or you wish you could do this too, then you’ll fit right in at the American Redoubt.

If this frightens you or makes you uncomfortable, you’d best stay in California where you won’t get hurt by seeing or hearing things that would violate your safe space bubble.