Alexander Hamilton once said, “There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism.” Seeing what our country’s servicemen and women have done throughout history certainly makes this sentiment ring true. With Veterans Day around the corner, there’s no better time to reflect on the acts of quick-thinking, bravery, and heroism our veterans have exhibited in order to protect and defend our country.
No one knows survival skills better than a soldier. Taking a page from their book will aid everyday Americans in their own future emergency scenarios. Whether it’s what to do or not do, when it comes to soldier survival, there are plenty of examples throughout history that are worth noting.
As you gear up for Veterans Day, reflect on the following three survival lessons exhibited by American servicemen of the past...
Lesson #1: Build Alliances and Barter for Supplies
The American Revolution represents our nation’s arduous struggle for independence from the British. At that time in the 1700s, Native American communities had already inhabited what is now America for generations, and their support was a key resource for the American Patriots in the 13 colonies as well as the British. Both sides worked hard and strategically to secure this support from the Native American nations’ chiefs, and a lot of it came down to trade and barter.
Even before the war started, Anglo-Indian relations were strengthened when the Jamestown colonists began trading glass beads and copper with the Powhatan Indians in exchange for corn. When the war started, the colonists were reminded once again of the importance of trade and gift-giving.
As History Is Fun shares, “When delegates from the First Continental Congress met with members of the Six Nation tribes in 1775, they brought with them rum and other gifts to persuade the powerful chiefs to remain neutral in the ‘family quarrel’ between colonists and England. As each Indian nation weighed the choice of whether to remain neutral in the conflict or take the side of the American Patriots or the British, they had to consider how their choice would impact their access to the gifts and trade goods upon which they were now dependent.”
Take a moment to reflect on your current situation and who your allies may be. This could include neighbors, friends, and extended family. Building a community of support will help you in the long run, whether it means emotional support during tough times or a built-in barter and trade network for resources. Analyze which items you can stock up on now that will be in high demand down the line, such as stoves and fuel, water filtration solutions, or emergency survival food. The more you’ve strategized ahead of time, the better place you will be in to barter effectively.
Lesson #2: Importance of First Aid and Purifying Water
Fast forward a little over three decades after the American Revolution, and we have the War of 1812. During this war, the United States took on our old rival, the British, in a fight to preserve our country’s continued freedoms and liberties and expand our territories.
Though roughly 15,000 American soldiers died during the War of 1812, most soldiers weren’t killed in combat. Most perished as an effect of germs. One surgeon reported that three or four soldiers were dying each day and were perishing so rapidly that there was a shortage of coffins.
According to PBS, infectious diseases such as dysentery, typhoid or “lake” fever, pneumonia, malaria, measles, and smallpox were the number one killer. Evidently, the soldiers didn’t understand the importance of maintaining good hygiene, as many of these diseases come down to practicing proper sanitation. From washing your hands to drinking purified water, there are basic methods to ensure germs are contained so that you won’t get sick.
Imagine that you’re stranded at home for days without electricity. This often means that you also lose your access to running purified water. Drinking contaminated and unpurified water is a sure way to get sick--which is why investing in water filtration solutions is a must for any preparedness-minded individual. From germicidal tablets to the Alexapure Pro Water Filtration System, there are plenty of options to ensure you have continued access to clean water.
Additionally, if you or a family member does get sick, you’ll need to have the resources to treat illness. Stock up on First Aid supplies now, and study up on the basics for treating fevers, wounds, and other common ailments.
Lesson #3: Importance of Canned and Nonperishable Foods
The practice of canning food was invented at the turn of the 19th century when the French army sought a way to make their food last longer. The last thing that an army wants to worry about is struggling to make a food supply last through a wide range of harsh conditions.
Canned foods were a staple for American soldiers during World War II. For example, canned foods were typically included within the K-ration, a boxed emergency food ration supplied to soldiers. The army put considerable thought into the nutritional and caloric content within these food rations, with the aim to give the soldiers good fighting energy.
Today, the creation and production of packaged and preserved foods in the United States have a lot to do with the army’s influence. As NPR reports, after World War II ended, a policy was actually created “to make sure both the military and its supporters can be ready at a moment's notice to convert over to producing rations or to create consumer products that they might be substituted in their stead.”
Whether stocking up on a supply of nonperishable emergency food or canning and preserving your own food supply grown at home, it’s important to be mindful of your food supply plan for emergencies. Don’t wait until the last minute to do so--you never know when disaster can strike.
From all of us here at My Patriot Supply, we would like to thank our country’s servicemen and women for all they have done and taught us throughout generations of our country’s history. To continue to honor them, I hope we can all keep these three lessons in mind while celebrating this holiday. Take the necessary precautionary steps now to ensure you and your family remain safe and prepared to face anything that may come your way.
Preparedness Advisor, My Patriot Supply