I spent 21 months as a Contractor in Iraq; we had to show ID everywhere we went, had to use portajohns, sometimes slept in a tent and we had it much better than the troops. As for self reliance, during Ike, I was at Joint Base Balad while my wife and 2 teenage kids were at home near Clear Lake (the eye of the storm passed over our area). She put up the 3/4 plywood with help from the kids and after the storm, used a come-along to remove a 12" inch maple limb from a shed. By the way, my wife is 4', 11". I have very little sympathy for the people waiting for the government to come to the rescue.