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Watch Out: Here Comes the Missouri Militia

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Jim Youchoff and the Missouri Milita want you to know that they're not a pack of crazy racist right-wing extremists.
​Major Jim Youchoff is the commanding officer for the St. Louis Brigade of the Missouri Militia, and he looks exactly how you'd expect him to look, based on that title: 57 years old, sporting camo from head to black lace-up boots, with a white handlebar mustache. He sits in the front seat of a blue Ford Excursion, along with three of his men. Two more men are following in their own cars. He grabs a walkie-talkie off the dash.

"Alpha Two and Alpha Three, hopefully this next job'll be more productive than the last," Youchoff, or Alpha One, says with a grin.

"Roger," responds Alpha Three, Sergeant Major Paul Kruse, a good-humored six-foot-six-inch former Navyman, driving behind the Excursion in his gold Nissan.

"Roger that," responds Alpha Two, Lieutenant Jeff Thomas, a fit 40-year-old former Marine nicknamed LT, who trails the convoy in his white pick-up truck.


The militia men are in Joplin to assist with the relief effort after the record-setting tornado that tore through town May 22. They're driving toward the next address on their list of people-to-help, as designated by the local New Creation Church. They're all volunteers, who pay their own expenses and work real jobs between their weekends of service.

They joined the Missouri Militia because they wanted to help their communities -- or because they saw the nation going down the shithole and wanted to buckle down with like-minded men -- or because they're grown adults with families and need an outlet where they can go camping with the boys and exchange self-depreciating wife-jokes for a weekend. Youchoff likes to describe his militia as a volunteer National Guard.

These six Missouri Militia members wanted to make the five-hour trek east from St. Louis the weekend after the storm hit, but were turned away by FEMA because the town was already crowded with volunteers. So here they are, three weeks after the storm: six strong, professionally-trained men, willing to do whatever they can to fix up this town.

These men train for scenarios just like this -- whether it be natural disaster, government collapse, civil war, riots, search and rescue, anarchist revolution, or whatever else. Their monthly training sessions include first aid, radio communications, terrorism prevention, land navigation, road clearing, marksmanship, biological warfare preparedness, all-weather survival, and any other fundamental skill necessary to subsist in a post-apocalyptic America. And they are absolutely ready to put their skills to use. They're chomping at the bit to clear downed trees and carry heavy things and operate large machines and search for children trapped in debris.

But one of their first assignment in Joplin...Well, they'd been told that they were going to patch a roof for an old man. They packed tarps, hammers, roofing nails and a ladder into their trucks. But when they got there and told the old man, "We're the Missouri Militia and we're here to patch the hole in your roof," the old man replied, "Hole in my roof? That's the first I've heard of it."

When the militia men circled the house, there was no hole in the roof. But Thomas did notice that a rubber wind guard had blown off, exposing a couple feet of the roof's wooden frame. "Well, we're here and we have the roofing nails. Might as well," Youchoff said. So Thomas climbed onto the roof and nailed the damn wind guard in place while the other five men stood in the backyard and watched.

"This is like a Union job," said Kruse, with a chuckle. "One guy working, five guys watching."

This next assignment, though, the one they're driving to, seems more urgent. They've been told to bring a power washer, after all. The house must be absolutely doused in mud and grime or maybe even that deadly fungus going around, they think. They are curious, then, when they drive past the destruction zone and onto the house's block, where every home remains standing -- maybe a few shingles out of place at the most.

"Is this the address?" asks Thomas.

"Yup, this one right here," says Youchoff.

"Jeez, this is cleaner than my house!" says Thomas.

"Well, we're here and we have the power washer, so might as well," says Youchoff.

Thomas smiles out of frustration, shakes his head, and sighs.

The woman who lives at the house points to the "dirty" part that she wants cleaned. Apparently, an oak tree had fallen during the tornado and splashed a few bits of mud onto the side of her house.

Two of the men, brothers Jeff and Brett Halfaker, roll the power washer around the house, spray the speckles of caked dirt for a few minutes, then roll it back into Thomas' truck. The woman thanks the men.

"You boys National Guard?" she asks.

"No ma'am," says Youchoff.

"Army Reserve?"

"No ma'am. Missouri Militia."

"Oh."

When Youchoff tells people that he and his men are with the Missouri Militia, he nods his head, purses his lips, and bends his mouth into a faint half-smile. He says it with the pride of a heavyweight champ. After all, he badly wants all these people to know who the real Militia is. To distinguish the good guys like them from those bad guys always shown in the media.

Youchoff isn't angry at the media, though. He's angry at all those crazy hate-mongering anti-government racist right-wing extremists who have tarnished the good name of constitutionally-appointed militias like his. Like that "militia" -- he uses air quotes to when he talks about the crazies -- in Michigan that planned to shoot cops. Or that "militia" in Minnesota that demanded $100 trillion from the FBI for "unlawfully" targeting them. Or that "militia" Timothy McVeigh claimed to be a part of. Or any of those other "militias" that the FBI considers threats to national security.

It's a tough image to shake. Especially when the sixty or so members of the Missouri Militia's St. Louis Brigade are all white males. Youchoff and Kruse and Thomas and the rest of the guys stress that they welcome everybody. But the popular perception of militias keeps many people away. In fact, Thomas admits that he was skeptical before joining. So was Steve Woodrow, the sixth member of the group.

But they did join, and so here they are in Joplin nailing wind guards and power-washing houses. Later on in the day, they carry a woman's belongings out of an annihilated storage facility. Then, as the mid-afternoon sun emerges from behind a wall of clouds, they clear bricks and wood and steel from the remains of a house. There they stand on the heap of rubble, six middle-aged men wearing camouflage clothes heavy and wet from sweat.

When the night comes, the people-to-help list has been completed, so the men pile into their vehicles and head out of Joplin.

"I thought we'd have more work to do," says Youchoff, staring out the window toward the empty sidewalk. "More steady work... Oh well. We're here."

"At least we helped a couple of people out today," says Jeff Halfaker.

The men in the truck nod in agreement.



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18 comments
Colonelsweeto01
Colonelsweeto01

I was in the Army for 3 years deployed to Baghdad for 15 months, did 2 years in the guard and now I'm in the Militia... How do you think all these organizations formed originally years ago before we had a government? Men got together and formed them before they were recognized formally by the government. As far as training goes, we train more than the guard unit I was in ever did stack up weekend to weekend, minus the two weeks a year. You can't change anything in the "real military". The difference with the militia is your not going to get to deployed to a war that is a sham. I've seen the "real" thing and I've seen the militia. I'd rather keep my freedom and be with the militia. You are the one who needs to grow up! Like just because these people don't want to sign their lives away, their time and patriotism means nothing because it isn't a part of some federally funded machine that only serves to use men and women as the tip of the spear of imperialistic expansion. One day the citizens of this country wish they didn't outsource there own combat power to the guard and active duty. Sincerely, Combat Infantry Veteran

Lin Lee Hall
Lin Lee Hall

I believe that our government is overran with power hungry communist monster puppets with the biggest one of those running the show, which is all politics is today... a show... to cover up the constant rape of the American people on every level of their civil liberties and complete freedom. Robbing us all of everything we are and everything we own. I am a 44 year old woman, who spent most of her life partying and in trouble with the law and not taking anything seriously in life, it wasn't until my first grandchild was on her way into this world that i realized the precious time i had blown. Now that i have "woke" up and can see the reality that our nation is falling, or actually being pushed down and ushered like cattle into fascism and debt slavery by a small bunch of idiots that think themselves the Elite whom we and our children are only here to serve. I find this fate totally and completely appalling and unacceptable! and further, would like to find or start a movement that doesn't care about a persons past, only what they stand for now, what they are willing to do to win back the freedom and rights that God gave us and our founding fathers fought to keep and preserve. If you don't believe in the Constitution and the Bill of rights completely and laying down your life to defend them as so many did before against ANYONE WHO THREATENS THEM, then you are not the people i want to be associated with. If you are not against the Bohemian secret Society, Bilderberg group, Carlyle group, Trilateral commission,  United nations, Freemasons... and any other offspring of the Illuminati or Elite our international banker scum...  I'm not a sadist, fascist, globalist, communist, socialist... I am not a Republican or a Democrat, or anything else for that matter... because in reality there is no left or right, there's just the crap they are doing to the people today. I believe in helping my fellow man as best that I can whenever I can, and i will never do anything that is immoral to avoid prosecution or persecution or even death because my so- called government told me to and i will disassociate myself with anyone who even entertains that idea for ANY REASON. and if you don't believe in God and that he is the only thing we should be beholding to, then your group is not for me. We do not have allot of time so, if you are interested in having me join your group and you fit my perception of a good group, or if you want to start a new group with me then please respond. Post grip... I am not a crazy person, i just happen to know whats going on and what were headed for and want to be a part of being prepared for it. 

PartisanRanger
PartisanRanger

It was easy to read the insults between the lines in this article.  It was presented in a way that would appear neutral, it was anything but. Quote, "because they're grown adults with families and need an outlet where they can go camping with the boys and exchange self-depreciating wife-jokes for a weekend." The Missouri Militia is not a social club, we are men of character who want to help our communities. After reading this article one would walk away thinking there is really no need for a active state militia but that interpretation would be wrong.  I am sure the writer was told but did not mention that the Joplin unit was assisting local authorities within the hour that the tornado hit.  They did search and rescue and had the unpleasant job of removing deceased bodies out of the ruble.  There was also no mention that units from the KC, Springfield and Columbia areas were in Joplin 14 hours after the tornado, arriving before the National Guard.  We had tools, food , water and a generator.  I respect the NG but they arrived with only boots and gloves. The situation in Joplin proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Missouri Militia/State Guard is needed and should have state recognition to better assist the people of Missouri.

Ozarkjoplin
Ozarkjoplin

I would beg to differ. The Civil Air Patrol is a militia.  Private citizens using their own property/equipment to aid the government/citizens.  The reason I believe that they are not thought of as such is the fact that they are indeed endorsed by the state/federal govt's and have been around for along time. One only needs to read the US constitution and the several militia acts as well as Missouris' constitution to realize that the Missouri Militia is acting within both constitutions, RSMO's and the founders intent.  In fact the members of the state government are aware of the Missouri Militia and are favorable to such an organization being REINSTUTED in  Missouri. A lot of good things could come from this if only encouraged by our state government. One only has to look to other states for examples.

Captcahos69
Captcahos69

The problem with militia's is the media. They have demonized the term with the wack jobs that the great American Sheep public thinks any group calling itself a militia is the KKK, or Nazis. In reality groups like the Black Panthers, or Utopian Anachist Party, or Communist Party USA, or Le Raza, or MS-13  are way more of a threat than the KKK who might have a couple hundred members left. The gevernment doesn't like militias because they don't want people to get the idea we can take care of ourselves. Actually we the people are the militia. According to the constitution, any able bodied citizen capable of barring arms is the militia. As far as the Missouri Militia, there are 4 brigades located in Kansas City, St. Louis, Springfield and Columbia that are affiliated and of the same philosophy as the group mentioned here. You can go on line @ www,missourimilitia.com to check it out.

Doc
Doc

Missouri does not have an active state reserve like some other states.  Any "para-military" group that tries to legitimately fill that role is categorized as a "militia."  Many such groups have the intent of helping Missouri citizens in times of crises, like the Joplin tornado, or to supplement Homeland security on an as needed basis.  An optional group is the Civil Air Patrol, which is not really classified as a militia.

Sgaus8679
Sgaus8679

Anyone with an ounce of intelligence can tell the difference between the Mo. Militiaand The Missouri State Guard .

Me again
Me again

PartisanRanger,

     I agree with most of your post.  However, I don't think the writer glossed over the militia, or meant to discount you and your group.  I think the writer was just trying to be light-hearted, and maybe you took it the wrong way.  What with the way militias are generally castigated, or otherwise known as extremists, I can understand how you would be defensive, though.

     I must admit I thought about joining your group, but without reliable transportation at this time, I didn't think it would be a good idea.  That, and I'm not in the greatest physical shape. 

     In any case, keep up the good work and keep fighting the good fight.  I respect you and your group, and I also respect anyone willing to volunteer; whether that be at a local soup kitchen, or in disasters such as this.  Don't let anything get you down, you're doing great work with volunteering.  Just because one day was considered sort of a 'bust' doesn't mean that everything you do is underappreciated.  I'm sure the folks you did help out on the day that the reporter tagged along were very very happy to get some assistance.

On a side note, here's a copy of a paragraph from the article.  You mentioned that you were there within an hour of the disaster or so, and maybe you were and the reporter just got it wrong?  In any case, I don't think you were being made fun of.  The writer did mention your training and various expertise, and stated you were professionally-trained and such, so I don't think they were making fun of you.

Copy and paste below-

"These six Missouri Militia members wanted to make the five-hour trek east from St. Louis the weekend after the storm hit, but were turned away by FEMA because the town was already crowded with volunteers. So here they are, three weeks after the storm: six strong, professionally-trained men, willing to do whatever they can to fix up this town. These six Missouri Militia members wanted to make the five-hour trek east from St. Louis the weekend after the storm hit, but were turned away by FEMA because the town was already crowded with volunteers. So here they are, three weeks after the storm: six strong, professionally-trained men, willing to do whatever they can to fix up this town. "

Tanker
Tanker

Just for clarification, the author was riding along with the members of the St. Louis brigade you just mentioned.

Sgaus8679
Sgaus8679

The Missouri State Guard 24/1 is the only unit in the State that is Recognized by the State .

Grizmibsf
Grizmibsf

The difference between the Missouri Militia and the Missouri State Guard is the name ,they both work to help the community in time of need or in times of disaster either man made or natural . We are all volunteers no pay we do it for the community we get our satifaction from helping others .

patricia
patricia

I have been stalked by the Missouri Militia since 2005.  I have nothing good to say about them, because I have watched them destroy the moral code of people who were once good.  Nanotechnology, biochemicals, and targeting people who have something that they want is key. 

LogicItGirl
LogicItGirl

Another difference is that one is a state-backed organization, while the other is a group consisting entirely of white males that decided to start and develop their own military in a country that already has one. If you think that things need to change, join the real military. I know they do more than have training sleepovers and such, but they've earned their uniforms. Or run for Congress. Or petition Congress. Vote regularly. Volunteer. You get the picture.

Time to grow up, boys.

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