John McCain Supporter in Saint Albans, West Virginia
Originally uploaded by Jason Means
At the John McCain meet-n-greet in Saint Albans, most of his supporters were decked out in this seasons most fashionable Real Tree Camouflage apparel. This particular gentleman even had his copy of John McCain's best selling book, "Faith of our Fathers", stuffed in his pants to complete his ensemble.
While I was snapping off a few pics, I heard an interesting conversation going on behind me. A couple of national news reporters were snickering and shaking their heads in regards to our camo clad McCain clan.
At first, I took a bit of offense - because I was wearing camouflage too. Nothing as expensive and modern as Real Tree mind you. My tastes are... how should I put it... cheaper. I purchase tons of foreign military surplus uniforms and camouflage apparel from the Sportsman's Guide - not just because they're cool - but because they're dirt cheap. They make excellent work clothes, and - if I hadn't already mentioned it - THEY'RE CHEAP.
Anyhow, as I continued to listen in, one of them further explained his point of view. He stated that in America, we're used to seeing camo clad folks stirring about, and think nothing of it because we recognize them as avid hunters, or just folks who like to blend in (no pun intended) to the Appalachian scene.
But, when we're looked at from afar, foreigners see something entirely different. They see something malevolent and mischievous. They see, and think... para-military and/or guerrilla forces. Stealthy factions that work outside or alongside our government.
After that statement, I was stunned. Never had I thought such a thing, but when viewed from a different perspective, he was exactly correct.
I was just about to give the out-of-towner a little piece of my mind, but in hindsight, I was glad I just continued to listen and take pictures. Photography is a powerful tool of observation, and this time it helped me pick up a little more than I normally do.