Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Vietnam -- REMFs

I'm not sure where Rear Echelon Mother F**kers came from but it had to have come from someone with an IQ of a turd.

Most likely some bitch grunt who didn't get enough John Wayne Bars or sex on R&R. Who knows. Who cares. Who gave a damn. Certain facts are certain.
  1. That wasn't the original meaning of the phrase: REMF.
  2. It was used by the Infantry soldiers as a derogatory statement
  3. The phrase was about as pleasant to hear a nigger. And just about a prejudicial.
  4. REMF drew a line in the sand between the infantry soldier and anyone else who wasn't.
The key point to remember here is this.  An Infantry soldier was a man who was used for target practice and was capable of killing his enemy where as the REMF solder was a man who was used for target practice and was not ALLOWED to kill his enemy.

Believe me, you down in a blaze of glory Infantry solider, if I had it my way, your butt wouldn't have been required on my battle field of today -- unless, of course, you really do like getting shot at.

Do you have any idea how extermely costly you were to support? Listen, John Wayne, stop and think. Or are you too damn egotistical to realize you could have simply stopped what was going on by telling those West Point glory day boys that they were full of WWII shit.

You did near the end of your experiences in Nam but by then, it was too late for many of your fellow brothers who died needlessly in a war they called a conflict.

Fact is, I didn't want you to be in that country dying for a future one star anymore than I wanted to be there getting shot at and not being able to defend myself.

Besides, someone else was calling the shots and, damn man, don't you get it? None of us wanted to be there. Neither did the ones stateside calling the shots.

I don't advocate the Instinct to die.  Rather the instinct to survive.

Where common sense should have ruled, the spirit of death overruled. Do you think I enjoyed watching you die on TV?  Or witness men in silhouetted by the red fire of a B-40 motor round?
Or seeing you with bits and pieces of your bodies blown away on the hospital ship Sanctuary?
Or hearing the haunting screams of a man who was told he would never walk again?

Jungle warfare was never a situation where we should have been without years of training and expertise. And even at that, we were playing their game on their grounds.

Two facts were true about the Nam experience. 
  1. We used helicopters (choppers) for mobility
  2. TV coverage of the conflict brought the war into the homes of the America.
These facts possessed strengths and vulnerabilities. The choppers were expensive, required fuel, trained pilots and made plenty of noise. They also produced radio chatter the enemy could hear and understand. While a chopper could fly at over 100 miles per hour, its sound waves traveled at 700 miles per hour. But radio traffic could be heard as soon as the helicopter was in the air. Giving the enemy ample time to booby trap an LZ or prepare a welcome to my party with their B-40 mortar round assaults.

TV coverage didn't help either. They should you every night bloodied by war for no apparent reason.

But you knew why. You were going your job. You were following orders and you were as scared of being put into a body bag as we were.

But the TV media couldn't understand, nor could we for that matter, why there wasn't a front line where winning or losing could be measured. In Vietnam, the rules of engagement meant the front line was always around you. Like a lion stalking its pray. The vulnerable being picked off by snipers.

We, on the other side of this picture performed our jobs. Like us or not, we weren't your enemy.

We were your support. In my world that support came in the form of Aerial Field Artillery. And when the enemy did form a line and try to over take your position, we were the ones bringing the artillery to you.  Call us REMFs.  We helped to take the worry out of having the enemy up close and personal.

Without us, may of you grunts would not be with us today.

We were your close combat support.

We were the 4th Battalion, 77th Field Artillery(AFA).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just to note, another "difference" between the infantry and the support troops was that the infantry bore the vast majority of the casualties. I was infantry, and I did appreciate the support troops. Basically, we all had jobs and - for almost all - we DID them.