Introduction: How to Fight and Survive the Coming American Wars
by Sam Coffman, U.S. Special Forces Green Beret, Survival Instructor,
© 2013

About the Story

This is a chance to teach the reader about some basic skills as seen from the eyes of a former Special Forces (Green Beret) medic who founded and runs a survival and herbology school (The Human Path).

Rather than just writing "how-to" manuals about these skills, the idea of this story is to be an entertaining piece of speculative fiction about a possible worst-case scenario in our own near future as Americans. The goal of the story is to present the opportunity to teach about field medicine, herbal medicine, tactics, communication (radios, alternative communication, etc.), reconnaissance, primitive and urban survival, sustainable agriculture, sanitation, post-disaster health care, weapons, explosives and more. The story is presented in weekly chapters that are not only meant to be fun to read, but also tackle different issues. For instance, in the 2nd chapter, there is a small amount of tactical movement and a larger portion devoted to wound care of a bullet wound that could have possibly perforated the abdomen.

These skills are not specific to only one single situation, however, but are usable across the board. For example, checking for internal bleeding, infection, bone damage, exit wounds and shock are pertinent to a number of types of injuries across the board. The herbs used are real herbs that are usable in the way they are presented. Nothing about any of the skills, materials, tactics, weapons, etc. is fictionalized beyond being part of a work of fiction. Anything presented in this story as a skill, tactic, tool or item is usable in any appropriate real-life situation -- especially post-disaster. These are skills we teach at my school nearly every day of the year. These are tools, medicine and weapons we use at my school nearly every day. These are also skills we use in remote areas of other countries through our non-profit (Herbal Medics) to help indigenous and local people in remote areas of countries like Nicaragua. Many of these skills are skills I learned while in Special Forces. Many of them are skills I learned and use every day outside of Special Forces as well.

The Story So Far

This is a story that takes place primarily in and around a small, rural town in southwestern Colorado after a collapse of federal, state and local government. Sometime prior to 2025, there is a limited nuclear war, with multiple nukes detonating in major cities around the USA. The economy, which has been plummeting for years, completely collapses. Droughts, massive climate change, pollution and famine sweep across the nation, followed by sickness and nearly complete lack of higher medical care (clinics, hospitals, etc.). Due to an attempted martial law near the start of the collapse, a limited civil war has broken out as several states decided to secede from the US. This pitted federal military against state troops, and created an even larger collapse of the rule of law.

Drug gangs from Mexico are using the chaos as a chance to move across the border primarily in Texas, and loot, kill and take what they want. Mexico, although not much better off, has been using the excuse of helping fight the drug armies to reclaim parts of Texas as well, and the USA (and Texas) are in no position to do anything about it. Texas finds itself fighting in a secession war on one front and dealing with drug armies and Mexico on another front, and slowly collapses.

This is the chaos that the story's main characters find themselves in. Farrell, John, Tim and Jeff are four friends and teammates in B/5/19th Special Forces Group Airborne out of Camp Bullis, Texas. As the entire chain of command has broken down and the vast majority of soldiers both in federal and state military across Texas have literally walked away from a battle pitting American against American, in order to try to take care of themselves and families, there is nothing left to fight for. The four teammates decide to travel north to Farrell's home town. It is a small town in a river valley in southwestern Colorado. They leave in April and the journey takes them nearly 4 months due to skirmishes, private ranch "warlords" with land that is very difficult to navigate through, battle lines between small military units that have broken out under a single commander in order to claim control and safety over an area, and rampant lawlessness.

When they arrive in Grindelia, Colorado in late July, they find that the town is relatively intact, but over the course of the previous year and a half of collapse, has lost a good portion of its residents and is having a hard time fending for itself as a town. Being an agricultural town and region that is located in a very fertile region, Grindelia has been able to sufficiently supply its own food and water, and other basic necessities. However, they are unaccustomed to many of the long-term issues of survival as a community such as communication, security, remote or post-disaster medical care, logistics, sustainable agriculture and more.

Farrell and his team arrive and are immediately welcomed -- as Farrell is well known and respected in the community already. They set to work to help this town prepare for a long winter. The story that ensues follows this team of 4 green berets (commo sergeant, weapons sergeant, medical sergeant, engineer sergeant) as they teach and work with the residents of Grindelia to survive a post-apocalyptic America and all that could be expected to follow in this kind of environment.

Chapter 1 Skills: Defending a community or urban area, the importance of Listening Posts/Observation Posts (LP/OP's), the importance of egress routes (escape and evasion), the importance of rally points, taking inventory of weapons, demonstration of points using a topographic map, small unit tactics.

Chapter 2 Skills: Small unit tactics, basic gunshot wound care priorities, field medicine, herbal medicine

Chapter 3 Skills: Coming soon...