I walked to the road and turned myself in officially becoming War Criminal 53. My new home would be a concrete box a little smaller than a dog’s travel kennel. I would crap and piss in a small tin can, luckily there wouldn’t be much of that because I was about to be starved and mentally and verbally tortured for two days in mock prisoner of war camp during SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resist, Escape) school.
SERE teaches you to survive with dignity, but it’s a terrible experience to go through, even just for a week-long training. It’s also why I have the utmost respect for John McCain who was shot down as a Navy pilot in Vietnam. He endured the torture for years, he survived with dignity, and he served his country until his last breath. Regardless of the politics (I didn’t agree with him on Syria and Iraq), I respected and loved the man for staying true to his convictions.
Most high-risk jobs with a security clearance require you to go through SERE training. Aside from learning how to trick your interrogators, you also learn the importance of having the right gear with you during the evasion exercise. Get caught early, and you end up with bonus time in the camp. Probably the most valuable tool for me was my folding knife with a serrated edge. Amazing what a knife can do for you in the woods and in the real world.
Toward the end of this year and into the next, we are working on some incredible items, all custom, for our members. The most exciting for me is the EDC carry-on travel bag for our Premium members.
Lessons like SERE school are where the guys and I draw inspiration when we decide what goes in the crate each month. We take EDC seriously and hope you do too.