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Poaching on Federal Land
Aberdeen Proving Grounds

Generally—pretty standard—for all military installations, and I’ve worked at a lot of them through Maryland and Northern Virginia—the company you work for has to submit your name and social security number and you have to sign an affidavit for a full background check done by the FBI, can take from days to weeks, depending on their backlog. You are either approved or denied, you’re not given a reason if you are denied. Felonies do not necessarily exclude you, if you have a steady work history after you get out of prison. I know plenty of guys with felonies who got accepted, yet I know many guys who never committed a crime and had no record and got denied. If you’re denied they don’t say why.

There is an orientation class. You are introduced to guards and escorts, which are two different things, the difference is one is armed and one is not.

An escort is not armed, a guard is.

Sometimes they just have escorts and no armed guards.

They will ask guys if they can pass a full background check, where the FBI comes to your house and interviews you—if they want to be an escort. For every manhour for a guard or an escort the company has to pay that to the government. So, if they can get their own people okayed as escorts they save money. You are filling out a booklet as big as a phone book—I wasn’t doing all that shit, the FBI talking to your neighbors, people you grew up with.

Once you pass the orientation class, the workers are given a badge with a picture on it so you can come into the base and work. While you are working you are watched at all times. We would often build a plywood barrier around the job and the escorts and guards would sit outside that as a safety consideration for accidents falling, hammers getting lost, saw dust, power tools getting dropped. But once we come out that plywood door, anywhere we go we are watched, even when we go to the bathroom.

On this one job on Aberdeen Proving Grounds. The Pseudo island area. There was 12 guys for the framing and sheeting.

They have this things called the shock tube this giant turbine that can blow over an Abrahms tank, or so we were told. It would generate wind power to test heavy equipment and vehicles. We were building the building around the whole machine. The machine was bigger than this building we are in, 150 feet log, two stories tall, about 50 feet wide. We had to leave enough room for their diagnostic equipment.

The guard was just an army asshole dressed in camo fatigues. Sometimes it actual soldiers with guns watching us, sometimes civilian employees. They had armed soldiers keeping us corralled in around here. One morning a guy asked to go to the bathroom and the guy says, “Let’s go, everybody is going. I’m not going to be running back and forth all day so we all go and line up like we are in first grade.

He marches us all over there to the lavatory and marches us back. I didn’t have to go. So, an hour later I tell this idiot, “I got to go piss, now.”

A white guy, 5 10-11, in shape, slightly stocky guy. He had an M-16 A2, the old 90s style woodland camo pattern the army had.

He was an asshole, had the “I’m in the military and I’m giving the orders here” type personality.

He says, “Well, you should have went when we all went.”

I told him, “Look, motherfucker, I’m not in the military, my company is paying you to watch us. If I’ve got to piss, you’re taking me over there to piss.”

What’s he going to do, shoot me?

If he shoots me hopefully it’s in the head so my family gets setup with a good law suit. Man wants to take a piss and soldier guns him down?

He shut his mouth and took me over there to piss, nothing else he could do.

It was a little bathroom you went in and they waited outside. If he’d a come in there I might have pissed all over his shiny-ass boots.

At this same exact job, the building we built, they hired this crew, grandfather, father, cousins, grown men, a bunch of Dundalk hillbillies, they were putting the siding on this building. We come in off of Route 40 and get to this gate to get checked in. Then you go down this long winding road to the woods to this other gate, between these two gate they took their bow and arrows and were pulling over and poaching dear in the woods—a full felony on a military base! You aren’t supposed to be popping dear any time of year and they through these deer in the back of the pickup truck. We’d come in at 7 and they’d already be in they’re skinning deer, throwin’ entrails into the dumpster, coolers with ice in it, they were all prepared.

These were tame deer. We would see them walking around, coming and going, like liberals—four-legged liberals—and then the hoodrats show up with bows and arrows!

The job lasted long enough for them to grab 14-15 of them. They would bag at least one every day and they were there two weeks.

It’s all about living off the land. The incredible thing was my boss told them not to do it and they couldn’t help themselves, were like, “What the fuck you talking about? There’s dear walking around, why shouldn’t we bag one.”

In retrospect they probably helped the deer population on Aberdeen Proving Grounds—thinned it out a bit.

White trash pattern behavior.

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