we're like a fratermity here and I have always been very open. I'm putting up the world's longest & most persoanl post. I ask you bear with me and read it all. *And then get out your wallet.* I'm quick to help others, especially children.
**yep, I'm standing toe to to, eye to eye with you and asking you straight up for a little cash. I'm not being slick, a salesman, or beating around the bush. I'm being real, direct- a man.
Sure in another place this would sound like a scam for money. But you guys know me here, or at least know of my reputation... SO I speak honestly & openly (and vulnerably so go easy....)
Please at least read it and give me some kind of feedback:
"Andrew Begins a Journey"
By Tres MonCeret
Wilderness Means - Survival Training and Rifle Training
I'm about to tell you a story about my young friend Andrew, age 12 who just killed a monster wild turkey all by himself. This story is very special to me for reasons I’m about to express.
Before I tell you this story I'd like to take a moment and give you a little information. Then please allow me to preface young Andrew's tale with a story from my own childhood- and then finally it will be the main event: the true tale that I'm calling "Andrew begins a journey." We'll get there I promise! Bear with me.
I have studied wilderness "survival" skills which are more accurately called "Primitive living Skills" for a long time. Time and time again I have came across the information and claim that "American culture is the only one that does not have a right of passage for their boys to become men." I totally understand what those highly educated writers & professors that have expensive little letters that follow their names mean. However I totally disagree. American boys DO have rights of passage and DO go through them.
Sadly, lacking guidance from an upstanding man American young men do not know the depth of what is hungering them nor what they are truly seeking. Most every young American lad DOES at least blunder their way through some right of passage. All the more sad- more times than not it’s an unguided and unhealthy right of passage. Enter gangs and their associated memberships we read of where a young recruit must do some hideous unlawful act to be -accepted- an -equal- and -belong- to the group.
Wether it be a "mild" gang and this requires hiding under a vehicle at the mall and waiting for the owner to come back to their car laden with their purchases and while they fumble to unlock their driver door the young recruit is to reach out from under the vehicle and slash the persons Achilles tendon with a straight razor and then flee, or a main stream serious gang where the initiate must make a vengeance killing of another gang's member that had taken the life of one of the former gang's crew.
Okay fine- your kid, or the child you have in mind is from the other side of the tracks.
Enter things such as the unhealthy ongoings of Prom and or the plain weird initiations of some of the college sororities. These are often no more than, or at least the draw to the initiate is that it's a right of passage to manhood even if awkward and unguided (by a healthy and responsible man) where the hopeful is secretly looking to appease this unknown hunger in his soul to be accepted, an equal, and to belong to the group; essential a peer, or even better(!) an up and coming leader of his peers.
? So these can be the two ends of our spectrum here. The drop out gang banger and the rich college kid. So what about that huge middle group: the "average" or "normal" kids?
Enter drunkenness, drug use, vagrancy, vandalism, legal trouble, sexual activity and the associated resultant teen pregnancy and teen parents that occur ( and on & on & on.) While I’m of course not saying that if we build a campfire in the wilderness after dark, pound a drum, say some powerful manly diction and tie a headband on every shirtless 13 year old boy concluded by eating fresh cooked wild boar right off the spit with a bowie knife- that then in America from now on American teens while traverse adolescence scott-free, I AM proposing that a lot of these individual occurrences by individual young persons are purely symptoms of them floundering through their unguided attempts to appease this deep hunger and innate need for transition into manhood.
The young male is, when greatly simplified a searcher of who he is to become ( A man, and as a man!) and what he was, as a child. He has a foot in both worlds at this point. The former is warm, comfortable & carefree but oddly no longer seems fitting or correct. He is estranged from what was normal yesterday. The other is adventure though this looking forward is unfamiliar, awkward and a cause of some anxiety and fears: often of incapability and failure. And thus the ensuing struggle and gross need for guidance during the journey.
A story from my youth: How it was and is so often done wrong...
I could go on about that topic, but I shall spare you and now move to a story from my own childhood- the one that makes Andrew’s story so special and so immensely important to me right now as it’s presently unfolding before the eyes of this 36 year old man:
Mom and dad were divorced when I was 9. To save time suffice it to say that from a time prior to my parents divorce all through out my youth My dad and I struggled with our attempt at any resemblance of a relationship and truth be known I found it far more desirable to not attempt and keep as much distance as I could. This was life as we knew it, between Dad & I, wether Dad realized it or not.
Not having a “dad” as is supposed to be was tough but looking back I can name special men God placed strategically in my life as acting “Dad’s” to lead and guide me as often and when they could. No, it was not a perfect solution but the next best thing. I, unguided too was floundering with my transition from boy to man. And the more the floundering the longer the process I assure you.
As best I can remember I had tried to thrust myself into the journey of passage to manhood a few times only to bounce right off! But as with everything I was learning the hard way. One day, as best I can remember I was at a big eye’d and big idea’d age of 17. I had a 1979 Jeep CJ5 that was my daily driver. What a vehicle! I never knew their were actual vehicles you had to scrape frost first off the EXTERIOR of the windshield and then scrape the frost of the INTERIOR of the windshield every following 15 minutes if you wanted to see to drive! The downfall of American Motor company could have been prevented if only they had wired a light to the heater switch. If they had done that Jeep drivers would have had a way of knowing when the heater was on! Viola!
Per normal I told mom I would be getting up early the next day-Saturday and going deer hunting. Praise God mom trusted me to stay out of trouble, and for the most part she figured I had my head screwed on almost straight enough to at least keep the chances of me killing or maiming myself acceptably low. That Saturday morning in the pre-dawn hours I was off to a new hunting place I had came up with through a friend on my own. I had scouted it and picked the place I would hunt on my own. I was carrying my .243 Winchester rifle my Dad had got me when I was seven, and I was all the more proud to be hunting with perfect ammo for that rifle that I had developed on my own through laborious “load development” or the process a reloader goes through to find what recipe of powder, primer, brass casing and bullet combination a given rifle prefers and shoots to it’s greatest accuracy potential.
I parked the Jeep and began my stalk to the tree where I would hang my stand. I as ghost like as possible eased up the tree and got settled in. The sun rose and just prior to full day light I heard a startled call of a grey squirrel. Alerted I peered about still as a statue only to see a monster buck cresting the ridge not 30 yards from me.
I raised my trusty Ruger #1 and held dead center of the bucks neck just towards the head side of middle neck and caressed the trigger. The rifle barked, the deer jolted, made two small half yard hops and folded with not so much another twitch. I sat there in disbelief. Then I started to vibrate with adrenaline so vigorously that I quickly hung my rifle on a limb from it’s sling certain that if I didn’t I would drop it from my high perch.
After I recovered from My first real case of buck fever I climbed down to go inspect my harvest. One, Two, Three, Four, Five, SIX, SEVEN!,!!EIGHT!! points! I got an Eight point buck!- and look there, you can see where a tine was broke off from his sparring. He had been a NINE point! What a first buck! And all on my own!! (Your allowed to count every tiny nub of a point regardless of how minuscule on your first buck...)
It was at this point my chest began to swell as did my head. You’d think as I stood there alone in the woods realizing I had created and pulled all this off by myself that I was expecting the ghost of both Boone & Crockett to walk up take a knee before me and respectfully plead for my autograph.
I tied a line to the rack of my beast and drug it down to a drawn and field dressed him. Then it was on to my jeep where I pridefully tied MY monster buck across MY hood of MY Jeep.
I then went and checked him out at the TWRA checking station- at the BUSY Walmart of course, where I parked on the curb, of course. Then I was off to find my buddies for show and tell (and some “I’m the man!” gloating.)
But as I was driving and looking for my buddies, I got a sinking feeling. Something was missing. Then that ice cold haunt came over me once again as my thoughts landed on my dad. I wanted to share this moment with my dad. I wanted my dad to be proud of me. Especially since I had driven myself to a spot I had gained access to and scouted my self, and harvested a buck I had hunted myself with a gun I had sighted in myself using ammo I created for the rifle- all by myself- Like a “Man” does...
I found my buddies and we looked at the animal and grinned and made a great fuss and took pictures and all the other requisite hoopla.
Not long after I swallowed the 9 pound frog in my throat and called my dad. I told him the whole deal. He seemed awkward at the phone call but was congratulatory. I expressed how it was a large buck with a nice symmetrical rack, not to mention just a really handsome deer and that I really *needed* to get it mounted. I asked if he would foot the bill or help me with a portion of the cost. (With his income bracket he could afforded to buy me a brand new Land Rover then & there.) After His him-hawing around He rattled off some cold high dollar official sounding jargon about how he could not enter into the situation because of something ‘er nuther deficiency in my past whatever according to his perception and his opinion in his altered world.
I crashed. HARD. I literally cursed myself for being so stupid as to become vulnerable to him again. I had enough wisdom then to know I was actually pleading & begging for his acceptance, for him to be proud of me- for his general approval. I know now as a grown man looking back that I was also asking him to acknowledge my journey of man hood and my right of passage- that it was well underway, and that this was a serious step of that journey. I rolled the dice and lost again with my dad. Crash & burn...
A friend of mine did the next best thing. He took the head of that great deer and removed the antlers from the skull and mounted just the antlers on the rack on a simple plaque for me. I was elated for the weeks to come every time I saw
that nice first & big deer rack hanging on my bedroom wall. What a
first deer!! But I must admit over the years this rack that hangs in my
living room today is still a prideful moment for the young man that resides within, but it has become an equal reminder of the many unfair hard crashes of my youth at the hands of my dad. To this day I still
nearly wish as bad now as I did back then that I had a full head
mount on this first deer of mine.
And now the main event of this past Saturday: Andrews story!!! The opportunity is here, NOW for YOU to help it be done right!
“Andrew has begun a journey...”
and it started with a Monster Turkey.
There is a family that lives on a farm a good drive from me that are very dear to me. While I’m a little long in the tooth now for God to be putting “dads” in my life still, I know for a fact that God has put My good friend David in my life for a person to go to when I need to ask any fatherly wisdom of an older man. We fellowship and help one another out. David has a wife and 5 kids. All friends of mine. Andrew is the youngest at 12 and still in the home. David and I talk often and deeply- and for the last week or so in so many words David has been communicating to me he’s beginning to see the man in his 12 year old boy peak out. It’s obviously a bitter sweet thing for David. Heck as an older friend to Andrew it is even bitter sweet to me.
David told me that Andrew simply told him the other evening he was going on the back of the farm turkey hunting. Not that it was in a defiant or disrespectful manner- but rather with an air and attitude of “My chores are done, I got time, I’m going out on theback of the farm with a 12 gauge by myself to hunt turkeys- it’s just what men folk do- no big deal.”
That was a week or so ago. As David and I talked ever so often on the phone He was telling me how andrew was getting the birds patterned and was doing quite well and seemed to have it down pat. All this “striking out on his own” type behavior is mostly new and big news.
A few days later David got the opportunity to go turkey hunting with Andrew. Andrew took the lead and told his dad what the birds were doing, where they needed to set up, where David needed to sit etc. Andrew called in the birds- exactly when where & how he had predicted. David shot a jake and Andrew, unable to see any beards indicating male birds let the flock scramble after his dad fired.
David called and told me about it and how he was proud of how well his son had patterned the birds, taken the lead for the hunt and at the personal growth of young son.
We celebrated on the phone over the event.
This past saturday I had went out of town for a rifle match and on my return trip I stopped by their farm. Andrew was proud to show me his HUGE gobbler he had killed earlier that day. The thing was the biggest wild gobbler I have ever seen. A full foot long beard, huge body nearly 25 pounds with daggers for spurs on it’s legs. And to think Andrew had pulled it off all on his own. I was very proud of my young buddy, and it set my introspective wheels turning. Slowly- with ever increasing speed My thoughts turned back to the first nice game animal I had ever harvested, on my own & how it all had went down.
Andrew was talking about how bad he wanted to have it mounted and even made a call to a man that helps make mounts for the local taxidermist. He requested the man get back with him with the lowest possible price of getting a turkey mounted. I had been noting the weary looks on David’s face as Andrew’s eyes beamed and flashed with the tale of taking his monster Turkey and how great it would be to get it mounted.
Feel free to donate right now for Andrew’s Milestone fund at my PayPal account: firstname.lastname@example.org
or mail a check or Money order to me at my adress below!
More on Andrew’s Family....
The family are all dedicated and sold out Christians. David is a fully ordained, God fearing, Pro-Jesus, Minister and local missionary. He is often doing practical ministry helping others out, counseling (I’m a full time job for him in that dept,) Leading bible studies etc, as well as working hard to be a husband, dad, friend etc. Becky the wife & mom is a dear friend and my favorite cook in the world save for my own mudder. Andrew as I said is still in the home and is a great friend to me and a really fun rough-housing & outdoors pal. He’s a good child that is active, outside and getting it right. This is a loving, God serving family that is a model and help to their community- a Christian family that is getting it right.
That weary look on David face as Andrew went on about his turkey? At no cause of their own this family has been thrust into an immense financial strain and incredibly stressful situation by an outside party. They have had to hire legal representation and with that and the situation in general are well more than finically taxed. Not to mention this is a severely hard economy for us all.
David is a good dad. He does approve of Andrew and supports Andrew. He is celebrating this new place and new journey in his young son’s life and he will guide Andrew through this rite of passage- for the duration of Andrew’s journey to manhood.
But David and the family is simply not financially capable at this time, not able to come close to paying to get Andrew’s monster mounted- This “stake in the ground” marker of Andrew’s first major stride into his own version of the right of passage towards manhood.
As I said earlier My introspective wheels began to turn with this event in Andrew’s life and it brought back all the memories of how my first big event of my own journey didn’t
Would YOU help me help this outstanding young man?? Now?
I spent the night with these dear friends Saturday night and left early sunday morning headed for my own church back home. As I made the drive I couldn’t stop thinking of the delicate place Andrew is now in in life, nor could I stop thinking how it had gone when it was my time. I began to pray and the more I prayed the more prayer welled up within me. I arrived at my church and as the sermon began -to be honest I did not hear the first 3/4 of my pastors sermon. My mind kept swirling back and forth between my past time and Andrew’s NOW. I continued to “pray without ceasing” and think openly before God about young Andrew and how the men around Andrew, the men around every young man need’s to get it right- must get it right. I prayed As I sat there in the church service about the need to get Andrew’s turkey mounted. Yes it’s a trophy for him, but unknown to him for now it’s a marker, a stake in the ground of achievement and advancement in his own way he must go mostly alone- his right of passage to manhood.
As God would have it my mind calmed nearing the end of of my pastors sermon this morning. He is teaching on the gifts of the spirit as written of by Apostle Paul in the book of 1st Corinthians Chapter 12. My pastor spoke a few minutes on the gift of faith. And I readily identified I had been Given a gift of faith from God for Andrew’s Bird- for Andrew’s Milestone.
After Church I called David and explained my prayers, a little of my story of my journey and that God had given me full peace about Andrew’s bird. I then told David to get the bird mounted and that I was committing to pay the bill 100% regardless cost. A gift of faith I reckon!
I’m laid off and live day to day! I don’t know if my own bills will be covered for next month. But I have a chance to assist & have a hand in it “being done right” for this young christian man that is on the right track and getting it right.
I’m going to be there for my little buddy and this family even if I have to sell blood plasma to cover the taxidermist fee. I shouldn’t have to go to that extreme, nor do I believe I will have to as God has given me complete peace that this is going to come together for Andrew and this family.
I also full faith that enough of you- YOU- will be moved to donate money towards getting Andrew’s Monster mounted; that the burden will be great on no one person but very easily shouldered by all that are willing to chip in and see a good wholesome all American Christian young man through this incredibly delicate and trying aspect of his life.
I am looking for the most reasonable rate I can find to get this bird mounted. I don’t have any quotes back in of yet but some checking around has let me know the bill can be as high as $500 or more. I’m asking you to chip in and give some amount towards this young man’s milestone of life- that happens to be a turkey, but actually so much more.
I’m not looking for any glory or pats on the back. In fact though I don’t really see how it’s possible I wish to do this for Andrew and his family anonymously. Andrew doesn’t need to know I’m behind this. His right of passage needs to be primarily between him and his father first and foremost- a time for them to bond all the closer then as a secondary the other men around him chipping in and speaking into his life.
I’m contemplating putting this letter up in certain places on the internet to get the word out about the need. We all know the times we live in and some of the people that are out there. So for this family’s safety as well as Andrew’s I have gone back and edited out their last name. Also I do not know how else to do it to protect the family- So I’m asking every one that reads this- you- to make a donation of SOME amount. Send a check or money order to me at my address. I will forward 100% of the funds ( a statement I make knowing I will stand before God before to long) to Andrew for the Taxidermy fee. I have stepped out in a huge way in faith here, and am asking you to share the bruden with me and partner with me in blessing this young man, and most importantly showing Him first hand the love of Jesus.
Send donations too:
7959 Intervale Way
Powell, TN 37849
Feel free to include any notes to Andrew & or His family. I will certainly forward them on to Him with the money.
Thanks so very much,
I teach shooting, and handloading courses and coach shooters. I’m often asked about second amendment rights and in those circles there is frequent discussion of what politician has what views regarding firearm freedoms and how we need to vote, etc.
The NRA is the main front runner of defending our rights and all these are good and needed things. I have come to call this the “top down” approach. While those things must be done at that level to guarantee our firearms & traditional outdoors freedoms, I submit their is a better, long term way of ensuring and expanding our freedoms. I call it the “bottom up” approach. We as individuals need to get off our backsides and fix these problems once and for all from the bottom up. How do we do that? If enough of us would grab a kid (young or old) a .22 rifle, ammo and some old cans and take them shooting at an out of the way place- that is teach them and share our love of responsible recreational shooting, hunting & fishing- we could help America fall back in love with our firearms heritage, history and enjoyment of recreational shooting & traditional outdoors. If enough of us give enough people that experience- when we are old and gray and can no longer defend ourselves nor our rights- there would be enough pro-gun & pro-traditional outdoors people that if a politician reared up that spoke a negative about those freedoms not only would they be ran out of office, they’d be ran out of this country.
How many of us sit around and gripe about the overall problems of this nation in a “top down” manner? Get up, get involved as I have and fix this nation from the bottom up! Take your kid, a kid in your family- or beg, borrow or RENT a child and take them out where they can get dirty, sweaty, stinky, disheveled, scraped, bruised & with a small leakage of a little blood- all to say take them and let them be a vibrant full of life kid! And along the way bless them, SHOW THEM THE LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST IN EVERYTHING- teach them the way they should go. Support them and point them in the right direction. Pick them up when they fall, dust them off, put a bandaid on their bleedy knee and send them back in vibrant positive and educational play & experience!
Do this and I submit to you that when we are old & grey and can no longer work to change our country for the better- we’ll look up and find the youth around us getting it right, doing it right and this nation on track- under God. It happens one Andrew at a time. I have put you ahead of the curve and let you know of a need and a place and with a child you can start. I have let you know where their is a young man with a need who is on track and getting it right. Will you help me help Andrew? I hope you act, and all the more I hope you get the fever and in a new way and with all the more dedicated begin investing in the youth around you- consistently. We can make our nation change for the better- one all american kid at a time. Thanks for helping me, help Andrew to help my nation- from the bottom up.