Jesus fucking Christ dude, take Pav and me up on the offer for Moundsville next month once the weather breaks. I know a good, three story house there costs like, 20,000 to 30,000 dollars. I know a guy with a GED who worked in a floral supplier shoveling fertilizers and packing trees unto the back of trucks for landscappers working min wage buy two houses using his and his wife's part time wages. And you know what is south of moundsville? Nothing, nothing but forests. Wetzel county wilderness, where it gets cold and snows but won't kill you. You have the Ohio river, beautiful hills and a long history stretching back to the French and Indian wars, but also access to Pittsburg, Pa within a hours drive, as well as columbus, ohio in two hours, or cleveland in just over three. Life isn't bad there, your job would be answering phones.
Society has become a "Comply or Die" paradigm. They don't allow the uncontrolled to live - anywhere.
Okay, it looks like I was in a different kind of military than you two were, being in the 1-501 Airborne infantry, and I have that fucking rucksack (a black REI Daypack to be exact) and use it on a nightly basis, and wait..... I am also a hobo, and somehow I manage by. Drop the shit everyone. Military doesn't care about your ass, even if your AWOL, unless you did something especially twisted. If you are AWOL, at this point, turn yourself in, and tell the judge you have a baby on the way and that your married (get married). They will promptly either outprocess you, or imprision you in a 50 man per room prison if your army with a TV, and your wife will receive benifits. You can actually get a honorable discharge if you submit to imprisonment, and get your GI Bill this way. If not, then if your rapidly outprocessed, like toolbit taylor, then you can go to college in west virginia for free. And when work becomes too much for you, you can go down to wetzel county and sit on your ass with your girl and child and pretend your living out in a deep wilderness. Fuck, in wetzel country you can just live on your own damn mountain, it's not like there is a lot of competition for neighbors there- ask Pav, he knows, there ain't shit out there.
And the military, like cops, are easy to evade or disrupt, even against airstrikes. I've seen it firsthand in Iraq when I was in the triangle of death, our ordnance doesn't do shit if your walking along a birm and the missile strikes feet away on it. Nothing annoyed me more than the airforce bombing people are the wrong fucking angle and having shit bounce off or explode in the wrong place, looking at the aerial video and seeing people out in the open walk off in mass formation from something that would of destroyed a tank, and having then to try to track them down. We kept expecting to find them dead bleeding out of eyes and ears from the pressure of the explosion, but nothing. And even the most advanced nightvision that can track the point in the wall you brushed up against hours earlier or your footprints can be easily fooled. This is of course assuming the military would ever begin to give a fuck about you. It so fucking doesn't, unless your a hot naked chick, or doing something like fucking a donkey. They got playstation and Xbox you know.... they got shit they are more interested in than you. Only thing you gotta worry about is the cops, and they are quite easy to get rid of as well. When I was a hobo in San Francisco, the Presidio forest rangers kept giving me problems, in creeping up near to my positions, but because they wouldn't dismount, they never got close enough to spot me. I ended up having to go to Chinatown and buy two dozen wooden swords to pass out to the crackheads on hippie hill to get them off my case.... they gave the police a lot to consider, and it took pressure off those like me who were trying to work and save up enough for double rent. Cops mostly have military training, and won't break with it when pushing in deep in the woods. They know not to break the security of their 2-3 man formation, not to take certain routes at night due to the likelihood of injury, and just in general dislike the rain like any infantry guy does. This is all exploitable. As well is their understanding of property. My favorite place was the old Army Japanese Language School on Crissy Field, on the edge of Presidio's cemetery and a highway as well as a highway maintenance area where the hillside met the flat of the old floodplain where a building USED to be. The trees overgrew and collapsed over a fence, creating a biological cavern of sorts, and it was damn near impossible to figure out who's land it was from the outside because the fence was well inside of it. I had little to fear from a hobo sneaking up on me because I had a camoflauged wet weatherbag and dissapeared into the folds of thickets in the shadows.... you would literally have to step on me. And if infared ever became a issue, I would of just build a little body length dirt mound at street level and popped a cheap solar blanket above me via bungie cords. My ass would give off a heat signature of a squirrel from any angle. If they still pressed it, toss a couple of heat packages in separate directions before bedtime to confuse them and cause them to give up. Shit works, we tested this theory at ROTC, helicopters can't tell the difference. My old unit's scouts trained the scouts of half the west coast, I know their techniques, and can evade indefinitely. I am the better thinker afterall. And if they do catch me, suck it.... my ID isn't kept on me, it's in storage, with a wad of cash, a back up sleeping bag, and some emergency food (though right now it's admittedly not much food).
You also need to factor in lovely things such as a Class B motorhome you can build yourself and have registered in a state such as Florida. http://sportsmobile.com/
They are legal homes, actual homes recognized by federal law. You can slap some solar panels on top, and have a self leveling fridge and bathroom and bed on the inside. 1000 bucks on craigslist and you can buy a used van and start the conversion process. A old metal bowl with a hole punched out can be the sink, a propane tank your stove, both places in a plastic touchbox as your kitchentop. It's cheap, simple living, and the military won't give a fuck about it. If you live near a national park, your allowed camping there by federal law for two weeks before moving on to the next, repeat the cycle as often as you want, bouncing between them.
The trick isn't just being INVISIBLE, as police can do what they want to invisible men, but to be VISIBLE in your importance and cherished eccentricities. Cops will stop you if your carrying a backpack if it's before dawn or long after dark, but most they will give you is something bullshit like a jaywalking ticket..... if you bother to give them ID it's your own fault when you pay it, I never give me social or sign shit, and so never can be tracked down, even though I am wise enough to give my real name (minus my middle name) if caught in a lie, so I can claim 'Oh, I forgot, that was my old address or number'. Best of luck figuring out which guy with my name to track down and give the court summons to for a irrational cop stopping and fishing someone not doing something wrong in the first place, it's their problem, their situation, not my own. I actually act progressively, getting to know the cops, via security work alongside of them.... GUARDING during events the same places I would later on hide, learning their faces and system, and then at what their main concerns are. Most of it's irrational- they think homelessness in and of itself is the crime that all other crimes fall under- if you hunt down, break, and prosecute the homeless, then crime will go away. This is obviously NOT the case, tweakers are a small but very visible portion of the homeless population. Most are homeless and working. They just can't afford to get a place to live, and there isn't enough beds in a homeless shelter, because guys like Smears need to bring some girl on a vacation to the Grand Turks because the homeless have enough NOT to starve to death and therefor he doesn't have to look at the system any more indpeth- just seel the drugs and do his work and be left alone, which by they way, isn't true.... hard to get the max available in foodstamps in large cities, 200 dollars, to stretch the month given supermarket prices.
Police are the greatest threat to being homeless- a far, far, far second is being attacked by thugs. There are things that can be done to slow down and confuse the police, such as my distribution of wooden swords.... I didn't have enough for a place then, but if I was captured I would lose my right to work, having that mark on my record..... so I took what options I had at the time and played on their fears with a bunch of Nietzschean drug addicts known for chaos. However, I've since formulated dozens of better methods, a 7-8 of being Hobo's if you will (7-8 being the old infantry manual) largely based on norms of perception, tactics, and expectations on the part of cops, and their bias and prejudice. They are prone to the same limitations in thinking as any grunt is, and are still quite human, quite lazy, and fairly simple to discourage and confuse.