I was a REMF

Personal data:
Roy Minier
US Army, SP5, legal clerk 66-69
3/6 Arty, Artillery Hill, Pleiku 68-69


"The Golden Age of Innocence --
Once lived and then lost forever"

I grew up in the the Golden Fifties
Everything back then was new
Rock, greasers, and 57 Chevies
There wasn't anything we couldn't do

Hot rod Fords, and street drag races
New boobs growing in cashmere sweaters
The thrill of youth that showed on faces
That easily laughed at serious matters

Saturday night sock hop dances
Slow dancing with your steady girl
Sneaking peaks at other girls
Thinking maybe next, I'll give her a whirl

Oh, we had our gangs, punks and hoods
But everything was settled just by fist
Honor was always avenged as well it should
But black eyes, not death, topped the list

Mellow days and careless nights
Drive-in movies, who watched the show?
The heavy petting and then the fights
"You're my steady, but that far I won't go!"

The slow drive back to take her home
The sweet goodnight kiss outside her door
The fervent promise that I'd never roam
The secret wish she'd give me more!

Life was tough and hard to take, back then
Or so we thought, but soon would learn
Boys grow up becoming men
And go places where men die, and bodies burn

It all happened so suddenly!
A heartbeat, a blink of an eye
It all happened so viciously
One day to live, next day to die

Nubile boobs in cashmere sweaters
Hot rod Fords and street drag races
And then began the home-bound letters
"We regret..." were all the traces

Left of lives that once lived for life
Those that did come home to peace
Now live with lives full of strife
And only wish the pain would cease



A silly ditty done in rhyme
Part serious, part sublime
But mostly just asinine
I hope this is not a crime

"A REMF's Prayer"

Now I lay me down to sleep
With prayers that chuck won't leap
Over the wire or under creep
And from incoming, not a peep

Just one long unbroken night
With no waking with a fright
With no fearful imagined sight
Just one night would be all right

But as I lay there and did this dream
Came the inbound with a scream
Nights like this can make you mean
No rest from war it would seem

You grab your jacket, boots, and pot
M-16 and all the rest you got
"Damn this shit" is a passing thought
As you wish that chuck would rot

Out the hootch and down the bunker
For an hour you just hunker
To say you're mad couldn't be blunter
Another night has been blown asunder

Eventually, the all clear sounds
The relief from all abounds
Perhaps tonight no more incoming rounds
Such nights form justifiable grounds

For a deep-seated hatred of war
Not for the cause for which I was sure
But for the fear and death and more
War does not conform to the stuff of lore

War is dirty, it's hard and it hurts
It kills with out mercy both shirts and skirts
This wasn't what I expected, the private blurts
I'm sorry my son, but that's the way war works




Where do you go when you're scared?
When flares and tracers fill the night air?

You're down in your hole, huddling low
The incoming thumps, the small arms crack
You keep an eye out for the bad guys to show
And you pray you're buddies are watching your back

Where do you go when you're scared?
You go inward, to a time and a place far away
There is a feeling that I believe we all shared
When you do your damndest to hold fear at bay

Chuck is out there, and he's madder than shit
There are more of him than there are of you
And he's creeping closer, bit by bit
As the flashes get closer, your fear grew

Where do you go when you're scared?
You go inward, and outward, and out of your mind
There is no place to go, your ass has been bared
You're stuck in this hole, and you'll stare till you're blind

Looking for the first clear target to shoot
You pray there are less than the rounds in you're magazine
It takes time to reload, and you might fumble to boot
And time you don't have, against the oncoming, deadly unseen

Where do you go when you're scared?
Nowhere my friend...you have nowhere to go


You can reach Roy Minier at: roy@widomaker.com

All three poems in this Gallery copyrighted © 1996 by Roy Minier, all rights reserved