>3 years after The Eruption.
>2 years after The Storm.
>As we set out for the first time, I thought back on how different this world had become. The unthinkable had become reality, and now here I was about to go on a patrol for a nation that hadn't existed for more than 2 years.
>I looked back at the crowd that had gathered to watch the first action of the newly formed Republic of the Gulf Coast Civil Reconnaissance Patrol.
>As we passed them we were given courage, we knew our cause was right.
>We were formed by the fledgling nation to deal with a new problem, people who were left in the wall of mangroves and water that is now known as the Foreverglades.
>These people who once survived off alligator, and whatever other aquatic could be trapped, were now going hungry, as the ash in the water killed the population of aquatic life.
>They chose not to join the new republic but to raid and burn the small towns in the south.
>So the military prepared us, basic combat training, ammo for whatever rifles we carried, some modified boats, with near silent engines, and one black hawk helicopter and crew. As well as an HQ unit, and radios.
>At the beginning there were 20 of us, 5 four man teams with an attached boat pilot. As the boats engine growled to life I sat and thought.
We were the first to go out, the first to prove a concept, the first to venture into the depths Foreverglades.
>For the first few days, patrols were uneventful, tuning off the engine and letting the slow current take us down the main waterway, the silence only broken by passing birds or a branch falling into the water.
Day 6 of patrols
>We see a small column of smoke near the furthest reach of our sector, we quietly ride in the excitement was palpable.
>Leaving the boat and pilot, we move through the dense mangroves, halting just outside a clearing. Creeping in the treeline we see the fire, two small huts, and hear laughter, a group of armed men wearing ragged clothes and crocodile hide. The same group that raided two villages days before.
>"HQ this is Marauder 1, requesting helicopter support" a message in the affirmative crackles through the radio seconds later. After a few minutes we hear the faint blades of the helicopter, blasting the same message as always "THE UNITED STATES HAVE FALLEN THE GULF COAST REPUBLIC HAS FORMED IN ITS PLACE WE ARE HERE TO HELP"
>The helicopters loud message blocked out any chance the raiders had of hearing us, as we took up position in the treeline. Each instinctively finding cover and placing our sights on the nearest target. The message continued "YOU WILL NOT BE STRIPPED OF YOUR ARMS YOU WILL NOT BE STRIPPED OF YOUR HOMES YOU WILL NOT BE FORGOTTEN" as the last word ended, that was our mark, we began firing, surprising the raiders around their fire, and before arms could be reached half were dead. We advanced into the clearing firing as we went, dispatching the remaining raiders.
>We prepared to enter the first hut, reloading as we stacked on the door. I kicked the door down, the point entered left, I entered right checking every corner and small space. Inside was nothing more than a table and some primitively carved chairs. "clear" I yelled as I turned around to exit.
>BANG BANG BANG, gunfire in the next hut we ran over, the door was thrown open and I entered, The man with the pistol began to turn towards me.
>I shot him twice in the abdomen and he fell, twisted on the ground.
>I looked up to find a horrific sight.
>Three women, two obviously pregnant, gagged, tied to poles, and each shot once in the head. A rotting dog carcass lay in between them, split open at the ribs, the flesh and meat torn or bitten out. The smell hit me next, and I stumbled out of the hut. I heard someone mutter "oh fuck" and another vomited.
>We went to the boat that day with a new sense of righteousness that horrible place burning behind us.
6 months, 13 camps, and 127 raiders dead later.
>We grew to 80 members, 20 teams. The new government, still weak but now in control has approved a mission for 5 teams to spend 3 days scouting and scavenging in the Miami-Dade and Broward are. The hope was that the missions to the former most populous zone in the area would legitimize the fledgling government, give people hope, and hopefully find something useful or somewhere that could be made livable. It had a fourth, everlasting effect. The CRP began to shift from a civilian militia operating closely with the government to a paramilitary special forces group. While its primary mission was to stay the same, due to astounding success and lack of combat veterans in the regular armed forces, plus having experience in what was in essence being a Long-Range Reconnaissance Patrol, as well as helicopter borne operations, its mission was expanding.
>The main takeaways from the Miami Expedition only sought to continue this trend. The unit gained experience with urban combat as lone survivors in high rise apartments and condos took potshots at anything walking near their street, and gangs in boats blasted through now flooded streets. In addition two pieces of gear that soon became central to the unit were brought back. First M79's destined to be used as teargas launchers in the police force were discovered and soon each team in the CRP carried one. Second a vehicle that soon became synonymous with the CRP, modified DUKW amphibious vehicles. These were soon painted olive green and modified with armor, better engines, as well as a Mark 19 GMG and M2 HMG.
>One thing about the CRP is that somehow, eventually you got a nickname. For example our automatic rifleman, he insisted on carrying an M240, we dubbed him Kelly after "Machine Gun' Kelly. Nixon carried an M16 and the M79, and Doc, well he was studying to nurse before The Storm, so he was half rifleman half medic.
>The thing is ultimately, as long as the mission was being done as well as it could be we really didn't care about being "professional" any more. When this whole thing started we were all clean shaven, military regulation and all that. Now as I looked around at the men of the CRP we were all ragged looking, most of us had beards but in all our eyes, you could see that we'd fought a war. And as the duck revved yet another patrol, we knew there was no one else we'd rather be fighting with.
>A helicopter had spotted a large camp, so two teams were being deployed along with both of their ducks and crew. As we rolled in the helicopter radioed that this was a war camp; tents and a fire, no huts which meant no women, children or hostages. My team crept out of the duck as soon as it hit solid shore to get a view of the camp before we began the attack. It was well populated, but all the men were in a tight circle, we couldn't see what was inside. For us this was a godsend, we radioed in "Ducks one and two roll in, we've got a tight group so hit them with the MK19". A few seconds later the ducks roared in. We fired into the group, and instantly all sound was drowned out by the two MK19s and M79s lobbing grenades towards the enemy. They quickly scattered to cover and returned fire. Bullets zipped by, occasionally pinging of the duck's steel armor. Suddenly I heard a thump and a rocket flew by my head. "What the fuck was that" I heard one of the duck crew yell. Kelly yelled "since when the fuck have they had rockets" "keep firing" I yelled in response. A few minutes later all return fire had petered out.
>We walked into the clearing around and found two corpses, dressed differently then any other raiders we had seen, they were well dressed, and it was obvious this was not the ragged clothes of the swamp. In ones grip was a LAW antitank rocket. Searching the tents we found crates upon crates of ammo, as well as two more crates of LAWs all labeled "TEF Property of the Texas Expeditionary Force".
>Just a couple days later everything was different. Half the CRP teams, mine included, were thrown north. The way I understood it was Texas was getting real close in Louisiana, and their expeditionary force was patrolling half the country, and taking "volunteers" from all over. Now the reason I put it like that is that they say most of the out of state volunteers were offered safety to join, or just strait up conscripted. So regular army was gonna start heavily patrolling Louisiana, and we were gonna be pinpointing Texan patrol routs and the like behind enemy lines. You know, a show of force on land that was rightfully ours and all that good stuff.
>Anyway, we got assigned a marksmen, for all the teams to share. Due to the fact that he had never seen combat(like most of he regular army) the CRP decided he would be honorably dubbed Simo. They gave him some "advanced" swamp and marsh training, so at meals we'd ask him if he managed to kill the Gill-Man, how many soviet paper targets he'd slaughtered and finally we'd teach him actually useful shit, like how to keep water and mud out of your gun. Things the army thought were useless. I guess that's why we were out here.
> So the first run of this experiment was to be two teams and Simo, in a RHIB up river to a town called Lake Charles. We were gonna sit on the MSR or main strategic roadway, and report any Texan traffic. After two days the RHIB would come back to the drop point, load us up with more food and supplies, then after two days we'd be pulled out. Now is when I would tell you about how we fought our way to our scouting point in an old 3 story holiday inn, and once there we didn't stop shooting for four days, but that's not how it happened.
>The road was underwater. We radioed it in, but the army was in control, we were part of a bigger machine now, and The Plan said we had to stare at a flooded road for four fucking days.
>Thank fuck we're not part of the army, we just moved north they couldn't reprimand us, we were an independent militia. And what did we find but the Ronald Reagan Highway between Beaumont and Baton Rouge, without a drop of damn water.
>We stayed up there for the last couple of days, and it seemed to be an important roadway for troops and supplies from Texas to Louisiana, we'd see three patrols a day, and we least one convoy going either direction a day.
>The army never micromanaged us after that.
We're deploying to raid the highway the Texans are using. They made it official and declared war, claiming the people revolted from the swamps and the government wasn't legit. I guess we know where those weapons and LAWs were for.
>From our recon we know a convoy comes down the highway every day at about 4 P.M. Whats in that convoy varies, but it always comes by.
>We're in position, 3:55, and the we see the convoy in the distance. There's a fucking M113 with an M2 at the head, after that a couple fuel trucks.
>"While shit what are we supposed to do about that" I'm thinking the missions over. Nixon says "I've fucking got this", pulls the bedroll bag off his pack and opens it up. Instead of a bedroll he brought one of the Texan LAWs with "Courtesy of the CRF" stenciled on the side.
>What can I do but go with it. We wait for the convoy to get close and he shoots the rocket, absolutely gutting the APC. We shoot the drivers out of the trucks and I run up and put some demolition charges on them. They explode sending plums of dark smoke into the air. It's visible for miles, so we wait to see what kind of response there is. Hopefully we'd be able to ambush that.
>After about an hour a group of about 15 men riding horses come from the west, I could clearly see the TEF patches through my binoculars. There armed with a variety of cut down weapons, from lever actions to AR pistols with arm braces. We wait till they're dismounted and hit them with the M79 followed by a hail of gunfire. The M79 scared all the horses away, so they're stuck in an open highway, the only cover engulfed in flames. By the time the next group comes to inspect the burning vehicles and roasting carcasses we were long gone
>So it seems Nixon was not the only cocky bastard leaving CRP messages for the TEF. Between the five teams out there we had quite the reputation, so much so that the Texans said they'd pay for any corpse wearing one of our patches. Of course we found that hilarious and used some old embroidering equipment to make shitloads of them. We'd leave little piles of them wherever we conducted a raid.
>Eventually we got the green light for 4 teams, along with the army sniper we were assigned, who had yet to see combat, to go hit a town called Opelousas, west of Baton Rouge. The idea behind this was the army could get as far as BR but it hit stiff resistance there. However it seemed the major stores of weapons and ammo had to be further back. The only town both nearby and with a functioning road was Opelousas.
>We got dropped of by helicopter a days march away, and hoofed it the rest of the way. Once there we set up to survey the area and find the supply depot. We holed up in a waste management building southwest of the airport. As it happens just east of the airport is a small national guard base they were using. We radioed all this in to base, and that's when shit went south