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Soldiers In Afghanistan React To Change In Breakfast Service


Hot breakfast.

Soldiers in Afghanistan have been filling us in on what it means to no longer get a hot breakfast each morning - and it has a lot more to do with morale than hunger.

The comments are in response to a story that appeared in Home Post last week about the Pentagon's dismissal of a viral email that claimed all troops in Afghanistan weren't getting breakfast. According to the American Forces Press Service:

The Internet myth’s genesis came from a few forward operating bases in eastern Afghanistan’s Paktika province that are closing or being turned over to Afghan security forces. Instead of a hot, prepared breakfast, service members at those bases receive packaged meals known as “meals, ready-to-eat,” or MREs. This streamlines the logistics for these closing bases, officials explained.

But soldiers writing to Home Post say it's not that simple. Mitch Story wrote on the Home Post Facebook page:

I am currently in Paktika Province and we do not have breakfast or midnight meal. We are down to 2 hot meals a day ( lunch and dinner) or guys who run missions at night and work night shift only get one hot meal a day. The Battle Space owner out here instructed the Contractor who is in charge if the chow halls out here to cancel the meals. What they did not consider is that there a lot of units that are still out here and will be here for quite some time to come (my unit). I don't know why the DOD is not owning up to the facts. It appears to me they are trying to cover up the fact that we are not being fed.

"Disappointed in Afghanistan" wrote:

I am here and its breakfast time and the dining facility is CLOSED. There were a box of MREs out at dinnertime last night for the taking, but no one seemed to be taking them (no surprise), I surmise, most, like myself, are simply skipping the most important meal of the day. Bad decision by someone. Hot chow in the morning is not only good, its good for morale. Probably why on missions or exercises when MREs are necessary, they are offered for the LUNCHTIME meal, with hot breakfast and dinners. Why do Soldiers here have two hot meals back-back w/in three hours of one another, and then go without for 18 hours? Doesn't make sense. All leaders know (or at least should know), there are three things you don't mess with: A Soldier's mail, his money, or his chow. Hopefully common sense will eventually prevail.

And John Golymbieski added:

My nephew is over there and he is not getting breakfast any longer the mess hall was open 24 hours is now open 3 hours for lunch and 3 hours for dinner if he wants cold cereal for breakfast he has to go to the other side of the base, if they are on a mission for several days and come back they have to wait until the mess hall is open.

So it sounds like MREs for breakfast becoming more and more common. What have YOU heard?

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Avatar for user 'tmcneese'

tmcneese | January 25, 2013 at 12:38 p.m. ― 4 years, 1 month ago

So thankful that you posted comments from primary sources. How/where can these comments get out to main-stream media? Everyone, everywhere is reporting this as a myth (and pushing it under the rug). I don't think that main-stream America realizes that our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines are at the mercy of the base services... they don't have the option of going to get food off-base. I also don't think that most civilians understand what an MRE is, how it tastes or even the scary long shelf life. While we are all about eating more healthy we are feeding our heroes garbage that will outlive us all?

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Avatar for user 'jackofall'

jackofall | January 27, 2013 at 7:45 a.m. ― 4 years, 1 month ago

This is how our military are treated over there. When they come home, how well do you think this treatment will be perceived when they are told to come take our guns? Wake up soldiers of America, you are expendable. You're nothing more than robots to them.

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Avatar for user 'soldiergirl'

soldiergirl | March 7, 2013 at 6:05 p.m. ― 4 years ago

This is a common practice at all closing facilities as they draw down. Soldiers are not suffering eating MREs. This is a common practice. I have been a soldier for going on 35 years and have eaten c-rations and every version of MRE that has been tried in the Army. If Soldiers are going hungry it is because they did not take one of the MREs provided. If there is going to be no hot breakfast, then a soldier is able to take an MRE with them after dinner to eat for breakfast the next morning...or they can go and pick up one from the dining facility for from their logistics/supply person in the morning or when they get back from a mission. That's what we do in a field environment on exercises and during deployments. This is common practice. MREs are very high in calories to ensure Soldiers are provided required nutrition (I can't even eat ALL of the MRE because for me it's too much food) I'm not saying I "love" MREs, not even saying I "like" them...but they are sustenance ...just because you don't "like" the taste or the selection does not mean you are being starved of nutrition...that is self inflicted if you "choose" not to eat what is provided...when a soldier signs on to defend their nation their contract does not state "you will always be provided "hot" meals and if you aren't we'll make sure we only provide you food you find satisfactory to your palette or within walking distance that is convenient for you. I too would write home and ask my family to send boxes of cereal or granola or other items...not because I wasn't being provided meals, but because I wanted things I liked vice what was provided...Soldiers are not starving...if they are then they need to tell their leaders that they are starving and if their leaders are letting them starve then they can go to the chaplain or the inspector general...are hot meals good for morale, but so is closing down facilities and bringing our soldiers home where they can go wherever they want to eat when they get back.

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Avatar for user 'LTCmikesr'

LTCmikesr | May 31, 2013 at 9:18 a.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

I guess if they don't like MRE's, they can whine to either folks back home OR the recruiter OR to the other 99% of Americans who could care less about the "troops" and sure don't want "my kid" to have to endure doing ANYTHING for their country!! Hey, you 99%, your bumper sticker is retarded!!!

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | May 31, 2013 at 12:54 p.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

The House, Senate, and White House kitchens should only serve MREs while troops are stationed overseas.

Perhaps then they would be more reluctant to send other people's kids "over there".

Especially John McCain. When asked by a reporter with the Financial Times of London about what to order in the Senate Dining Room, he replied, “It’s all awful.”

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