The Arsenal of Democracy

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by SeventiesWreckers, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. SeventiesWreckers

    SeventiesWreckers Load Bearing Wall

    For some of us, America has always been the "Arsenal of Democracy". The idea that America should lead by example, and stand ready to provide whatever we can, to those around the world that wish to live free, is a concept that goes back generations for some of us.

    Our parents, Grandparents, and Great Grandparents, recount wars of liberation, fought in far away places with strange sounding names, where great events took place. And Americans stood with others to replace tyranny with freedom. We have always been a people willing to share the bounty of our country with others in times of need, and much Blood & Treasure has been shed & paid to bring us to where we are today.

    The more Freedom we have here, the more inventive, innovative, and productive we can be. Which serves to advance the cause of freedom around the world. For some "The Arsenal of Democracy" is a quaint sounding, old fashioned phrase, something Grandpa might say that brings a smile around the table. It's not used very much anymore. It's been replaced with "The Military Industrial Complex". Which is a cold sounding phrase, devoid of any human element. I think some people like using it because it makes them sound smarter than they really are, and hints that they know some great sinister truth. placing them intellectually above the rest of us that still fly the Flag off the front porch.

    I don't like using phrases like, "The Military Industrial Complex", there's no room inside it to believe in the America I know is still there. So, I correct people that do use it, and replace it in our conversation with "The Arsenal of Democracy". They either agree, or we have a shorter conversation. Either way is fine by me. You can't save them all, even from themselves.

    The "Arsenal of Democracy" always produces more than it needs, providing leftovers for those of us that might prefer substance & longevity over newer & more fashionable. The newer gear is nice of course, and some of it is truly innovative. Lightweight, waterproof, pretty incredible stuff. But not all of us can afford brand new, state of the art gear & accessories. And the jury is still out on how really durable & long lasting the latest generation of top line gear really is. I guess we'll just have to see what's still in use 70 years from now.

    I have the advantage of having served in The Marine Corps during the 1970's. Our issued WEB gear was largely the same as Marines in WWII, and Korea used. My steel canteens were marked 1944, as were our canteen cups. The cloth canteen covers were newly made, cloth doesn't age well. Our packs were the same as the Old Corps used, a blanket roll made up with a poncho shelter half, rolled & strapped over a rucksack, with a M36, or Musette bag as a butt pack. That pack system was all we had, and it worked fine until the ALICE packs were adopted, replacing it. The ALICE packs worked fine, and we were genuinely happy to see the old pack system upgraded, and now the ALICE system has been replaced by a more advanced & user friendly modular system. I still like being able to build a pack out of the basics, strap it all together, and know it won't come apart after a few miles of route stepping. Being old school has some advantages. There is still plenty of Military gear out there in surplus stores across the country. Mil Spec is overbuilt, and lasts an incredibly long time. For the novice shopper, knowing what they are looking at, and how to put it to good use, is a bit of a challenge. I'll put up pics of gear that I favor, stuff I still use to good advantage, and I'd encourage others to join in, and post gear that they still find serviceable.

    Incorporating items from the past into a mix of newer product offerings is a cost effective way to stretch your financial resources a bit. It's also always nice to know how to use a Military Lensatic Compass when the batteries die for good in your GPS.

    Here's some pics of one of my favorite holsters. It's a M-12, made by Bianchi for the U.S. Military, presumably for the Beretta 92, but my XDM 4.5 .45 ACP fits in it like they were made for each other. The fit is snug, but I like it that way for hiking in the Desert, or climbing in the mountains. The tension could be reset a bit looser, but I'll leave this one snug. I paid $20.00 for it, and consider it one of my better pieces of gear. I wear it on a WEB cartridge belt that holds my old canteens, & other assorted gear.

    The Arsenal of Democracy is still there for you, and the rest of the world too.

    Here are some pics with a few closeup shots-







  2. threetango

    threetango Moderator Moderator

    You can't save them all, even from themselves.
    How true!

  3. tazo2503

    tazo2503 Moderator Moderator



    Me, (2nd/192nd 1977 - 1983), before me, 2 cousins (Vietnam), my uncle (Korea) , my dad (WWII), my grandfather (WWI). All Army. That's as far back as my family goes in the U.S.