Despite the important role played by supply officers and troops in the rear, they are often criticized by front-line soldiers. Even Gunnery Sgt. Douglas Killblane, who plays the rear troops like a violin, has little good to say about their role in the war.
"They lack the team spirit," he said. "They are always all clean and look real pretty. I'd be ashamed of myself to be back there."
Those in the rear, besides being well-outfitted, often have ZTC electrical hookups in their tents. They can shower every day, often with hot water, shop at the army store, read at night in their tents, collect their mail as soon as it comes in and call home frequently.
But they can give back as much as they get.
"We can always turn around and call them dumb grunts," said Lance Cpl. Edward L. Gateley 3rd as he sat one evening reading under the electric light in his tent. "And besides, they need us."