Army: Hot breakfasts in Afghanistan cut due to logistics, not budget
January 30th, 2013
11:30 AM ET
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Nutritional experts have long lauded breakfast as the most important meal of the day, but reports that 17 military bases stopped serving hot breakfast have one congressman up in arms.

On January 17, Congressman Bruce Braley wrote to Secretary of the Army John McHugh to express his concern. According to Jeff Giertz, Communications Director for the United States Congressman's office, he was prompted to do so after being contacted by the mother of one of his Iowa constituents who is serving abroad in Afghanistan.

"I am troubled that the Army would deny any deployed troops three meals per day, regardless of force size," Braley wrote in the release.

“These men and women put their lives on the line every day to protect the very freedoms we cherish. The exhaustive mental and physical labor that is required by soldiers to fight in harsh and unforgiving conditions is tremendous. We shouldn’t deny our troops something as fundamental as a proper meal."

As of publication time, Braley had not heard back from the Army Secretary.

While Braley and the mother were concerned that the troops weren't getting adequate nutrition, Army officials note that is simply not the case.

In a statement released by the Department of Defense, Jim Garamone of the American Forces Press Service said the reports surfaced "from a few forward operating bases in eastern Afghanistan's Paktika province that are closing or being turned over to Afghan security forces."

Colonel Joseph Wawro, the commander of the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, said breakfast and the midnight meal are now MREs (Meal, Ready-to-Eat) at the affected bases, while lunch and dinner are still served hot. He also noted most dining facilities have take-away items like cereal, granola, energy bars, milk, juice, fruit, etc. for supplemental snacking.

"This has absolutely nothing to do with the national budget and everything to do with our responsible reduction of forces," Wawro said.

Wawro said the initial complaint may have been raised by a recently arrived unit that was unaware of the recent meal changes.

Giertz, however, noted that Braley wrote the letter out of concern for the troops’ morale.

"The least we can offer is to get them a good meal," Giertz said.

Registered dietitian and Captain Christina Deehl said while MREs are not very popular among the troops, they do yield all the nutrients a soldier needs to meet one-third of his or her Military Recommended Daily Allowance (MRDA).

"When we initially entered Iraq and Afghanistan, soldiers were eating MREs every day until we were logistically established. Once again when we draw down and pull out, we will see a similar trend," Deehl said.

Deehl explained that army dietitians regard food as a tactical weapon, as it maintains mental and physical performance.

"We would never deprive the soldier of adequate nutrition and that's just all there is to it," she said.

What’s in an MRE?

According to the United States Armed Forces, a MRE provides an average of 1,250 calories (13 percent protein, 36 percent fat, and 51 percent carbohydrates) and one-third of the Military Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamins and minerals. It includes the following items:

  • Entree – the main course, such as spaghetti or beef stew
  • Side dish – rice, corn, fruit, or mashed potatoes, etc.
  • Cracker or bread
  • Spread – peanut butter, jelly, or cheese spread
  • Dessert – cookies or pound cakes
  • Candy – M&Ms, Skittles, or Tootsie Rolls
  • Beverages – Gatorade-like mixes, cocoa, dairy shakes, coffee, tea
  • Hot sauce or seasoning – in some MREs
  • Flameless Ration Heater – to heat the entree
  • Accessories – spoon, matches, creamer, sugar, salt, chewing gum, toilet paper, etc.

soundoff (359 Responses)
  1. personal training Long Island

    Love this line "These men and women put their lives on the line every day to protect the very freedoms we cherish. The exhaustive
    mental and physical labor that is required by soldiers to fight in harsh and unforgiving conditions is tremendous. We shouldn’t deny
    our troops something as fundamental as a proper meal."

    So true great job guys!

    January 21, 2014 at 6:19 pm |
  2. jolly

    I heard, the man from Nepal got the contract for food supply and he is making millions dollars and sending Nepal where shoulders who fight for country get minimum budget for their nutrition.

    September 7, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
  3. Ken

    Now I have a question. What about those Soldiers, Sailors and Marines who work night shift? Now they don't get a real meal at all unless they wake up in the middle of their sleep cycle to eat. I had to do this in Afghanistan until our DFAC got smart and prepared a midnight meal. Trust me, not eating a cooked hot meal is not fun. I agree MRE's a re nutritional but they don't replace a regular meal and they are meant to sustain troops in the field not those who have a working DFAC. This decision was made by Commanders who have the luxury of 3 hots a day. As a matter of fact when I was in Iraq, the 3 star had his king sized bed, personal washer and dryer, cook and food flown in by Military aircraft. I agree it may not have been a great idea for him to go to the DFAC and sit down to eat, but one of his several staff members could have gotten food for him from the place the rest of the base ate. I surely wish I could have had real food flown in for me...

    August 19, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
  4. Oren Borguez

    Got my first letter yesterday! Loved it. I feel like I am a component of something wonderful that is definitely just starting to transpire. Feeling a strange perception of community around it all. Maybe you're on to something here! Who would have ever imagined that men and women would truly print out words on paper just to have it sent throughout the mail to another person's mailbox. Next thing you know, peoe are going to be growing their own food and walking or riding bikes everywhere. It'll by no means function, damn progress.

    July 8, 2013 at 4:19 am |
  5. roy c johnson

    I am a veteran of 16 years and I cannot believe that the logistics with stop those men and women in Afghanistan from eating breakfast of all meals I think that there should be more sad and more done on this because it's really a bunch of bullcrap they're fighting over there for their lives and 48 fighting for our freedom we need to make sure they get their meals every day

    June 3, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
  6. sondra sego

    my son was in afghanistan they learned how to eat mre's back in boot camp some are horrid but some are good it doesnt matter they have to eat whatever they get or if you do what i did which i still have a page to send dontated food to them out in afghistan, the list of food to send is stuff like mac and cheese, the chef boyardee ready to heat in mircrowave popcorn, foods like hormel that you put in the microwave, things like that, also you can donate alot of baby wipes, tooth paste, mouth wash,deoidarant,also for the food again they like ramen noodles, i used ot send my son so much stuff the nice thing is that they all share their goodies they dont horde them and not share everyone shares what they i suggest you find a donation address and send them some goodies..

    June 1, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
  7. Rob

    Hey Buddy, when people are shooting at you it is WAR! I agree that Congress declares war. I am also sure that you have never been in a declared war. They didn't declare Vietnam a war either, we went and shot and got shot. It is called the Vietnam War. Why don't you check the last time Congress declared a war? It wasn't for the Korean War either. Hint? "Second" The President of the United States can and has committed American forces to go into battle. They call it peace keeping. We call it WAR. When I was getting shot at in Vietnam I called it Word War Vietnam because "My" world was in a War!

    May 31, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
  8. PullOut

    I don't see why ANY of our troops are anywhere but on U.S. soil!!! We have all we need here and our country would be much better off....

    May 29, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • Rob

      I will type real slowly so you can understand. I would rather fight on someone else's soil than on our own. We don't have to wait for another 911 to defend our country ,do we?. Or is that your idea?

      May 29, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
      • PullOut

        and how many of the other oh 193 recognized countries, with 192 being members of the United Nations, and the Vatican City have troops in other countries like we do?

        May 29, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
        • Rob

          Who cares? I worry about our country. Our friends help. But you have to remember who the world leader is, the USA

          May 30, 2013 at 12:29 am |
      • rp1588

        Prior to 2000, the US military helped cause well over a million deaths in Muslim countries. No matter who actually did 9/11/2001, the US military played key roles in making it happen.

        The US military wants war, not peace, and has endangered its own country since the beginning.

        November 11, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
    • Jerokhna

      Note: We as a country do NOT have all the resources we need. A lot of your electronics contain rare metals, exotic polymers and lithium in the batteries... we are in low supply of those as the raw deposits just aren't here. Hence, the incursions into the Middle East where all these, oil and other riches are found.

      May 31, 2013 at 7:32 am |
      • Rob

        Very thoughtful. We use to say Vietnam was for Rubber for tires. They said if Vietnam fell, the entire Far East would fall. As we know that didn't';t happen. All war is for selfish motives. One thing about America we leave when we are done helping other countries. We let them control their own land and people. If I was in control I wouldn't fight over oil. I would demand that they give us free oil in payment for the food that we send over to them. They can't eat oil.

        May 31, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
  9. ahsanraza

    i m join army

    April 19, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
    • Rob

      Suggestion? Learn how to write first!

      May 31, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
  10. angela

    I would like my husband to get out of the Army. A governemt that doesnt care -the military also coudl care less about them and the countries best days are way way behind it. Im not a proud American -are there any left?

    March 26, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • Rob

      Yes Mam, there are! I am one. Which country are you moving to? have been to many and can tell you about them. I am proud to be an American. I am also proud to be a combat disabled veteran, and I am proud to love my country, land of the free and home of the brave. God bless your husband and God Bless the USA! By the way, I am a SGM E-9 Retired

      May 29, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
      • Proud American

        Rod, GOD BLESS YOU, MAN! and THANK YOU! ! !

        May 31, 2013 at 4:07 am |
        • Rob


          Messaged to any one doesn't like it here in the USA: You are free to leave. There are many countries in this world. Choice one and leave. By the way, many countries do not allow their citizens to leave so be sure to pick carefully in case you ever want to come back to a FREE country.

          May 31, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
      • christine

        I too am proud to be an American, and thank you and all our vets and service members for their sacrifice. Cause it IS a sacrifice to serve! Yes a lot has changed, but we are still the greatest nation on earth! Who is usually first of all nations to come to the aid of another when there is a disaster?? That's right AMERICA!! You go Lady Liberty!!!

        January 17, 2014 at 12:09 am |
  11. concerned army wife

    I am very concerned about my husbands wellbeing!!! I understand that they still get served at least 3 meals a day, but what I dont understand is why only 3 meals? These soldiers are working 24 hours a day and 7 days a week! They dont get enough to eat and they lose sleep because of the fact that they have to wait for the cafeteria to open up, and the cafeteria is only open at certain times and for so long. My husband was even assigned to do gate guard and where he is at, they have someone bring the soldiers their food because they cannot leave their job, but they only get their meals if the people brining them their meals dont forget.

    March 17, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
  12. TIm

    I am sitting here right now in AFG. i really dont care how many hot meals i get. i can live with two. the point is in my books is they cut the Breakfast out, i rather have them cut lunch. I ate MRE's 6 months straight 3 x a day in my first tour in Iraq, dont want to do that again but if i have to I will. Now my 5th and final tour here I prefer to ea twice a day but give me my breakfast back and stop lunch. going from dinner to lunch with out eating sucks but i will deal like i did before. buy the way after 6 months of nothing but MRE's i wont touch them again.

    March 16, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • Rob

      Tim, thank you for your service, brother. Hold strong, don't complain.

      May 30, 2013 at 12:43 am |
  13. jonbarnette

    The last time I checked, I was DEPLOYED and we are at WAR. Whether it is complaining about no hot meals or complaining about the hot meals that are served, it seems as though people are starting to assume that they should be fed the best food in the world for doing their job. We would save thousands of dollars a day if we closed all DFACs and only ate MREs. But oh wait then there will be a whole lot more complaining, and we can't have that. Suck it up, do your job, and be grateful for what you do get, cause I know I sure am!!

    March 9, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • cptg

      We are not at war – that requires a Congressional declaration.
      Maybe a declaration and a draft for overseas rotations would unite the country.

      May 31, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
      • Rob

        Hey Buddy, when people are shooting at you it is WAR! I agree that Congress declares war. I am also sure that you have never been in a declared war. They didn't declare Vietnam a war either, we went and shot and got shot. It is called the Vietnam War. Why don't you check the last time Congress declared a war? It wasn't for the Korean War either. Hint? "Second" The President of the United States can and has committed American forces to go into battle. They call it peace keeping. We call it WAR. When I was getting shot at in Vietnam I called it Word War Vietnam because "My" world was in a War!

        May 31, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • Rob

      Very well said!

      May 31, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
  14. Jane Blacksmith

    Who really gives a flying crap that these bases are closing, Mr. Jim Garamone? Using that sorry excuse, we might as well starve the troops to death so that we can close up the kitchens and food-supply lines entirely. Tidy up a bit, you know. Stateside we taxpayers are paying for phones and contraceptives and redundant food programs, offensive art that has no aesthetic value, the mating habits of insects, and inefficent and technogically inchoate green energy, yet we can't afford to feed some sausages and eggs to those living in one of the circles of hell on behalf of U.S. security? This is an outrage.

    February 4, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
  15. Bryan

    I don't know who fed you these lies. But here in the east they have breakfast food. They just don't serve it in the morning. They serve it with the other 3 or 4 entrees for lunch. So explain to me how this is a logistics problem, if logistically speaking, the food is getting here? If you ask me, it smells of not wanting to pay the contracters for a morning shift. I get it. What I don't understand is why we are paying contractors at all.

    February 4, 2013 at 12:23 am |
    • Bryan

      Further...I have never had a tootsie roll in my MRE......maybe that's just me though :D

      February 4, 2013 at 12:26 am |
      • Equorial

        Give us an FPO and I'll see to it you get a damn crate of Tooties. Been there, done that. And, after eating at ONE Army mess hall, I think I'd rather have an MRE (as long as it wasn't fish).

        February 4, 2013 at 7:42 am |
        • divinecamille

          BLESS YOU For offering to send a crate of Tootsies to the troops!!!!

          February 4, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
        • john

          I like how under the hot sauce tab it says included in some meals. I don't know which MREs they have been eating but I hardly ever got dessert or candy in my MREs. Maybe they should revise this crap cause most of the main courses and side dishes in MREs SUCK!!!!!!!

          March 6, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
    • chris

      Wow...I had never thought of that. u are completely right. Someone doesnt want to pay for a morning shift...but at my chow hall they dont serve it at all...i have seen it served at lunch though at other bases. Im just so damn hungry all the time and eating a rubbermaid vegatarian ommolette is damn disgusting. but its just about calorie intake right? cuz that what it looks like on paper. people should come here for a month and work sixteen hours a day and then say eat an respect...none.

      March 7, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
      • matt

        MREs are probably one of the most UNHEALTHY things you can eat. look at all of the BS in them. nothing but artificial food and preservatives. how in the *** is that nutritional lol. youre right its all about calories. i bet if s**t had 1300 calories in it we could eat it too. all of crap in MREs just keeps your stomach "full" but hurts oyu in the long run

        March 14, 2013 at 10:07 am |
        • Rob

          No Matt, raw bamboo is worse. When you are hungry, without any food at all, you will eat anything. Monkey and snake isn't bad roasted.
          Remember that MREs aren't served in 5 star restaurants. They are "combat" rat'ions, nothing more or less. Creative GIs can make anything taste good. In Nam, we even made PIZZA from C-rations bread, meatballs, and other things pulled from c-rat meals. In Nam, many stews were made by dumping in 6 or more meals into a helmet and cooking over a fire. Everyone just dug in. Many times we wished we had written down what went it, the stew was so tasty we wanted to duplicate it, but couldn't.

          May 31, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
  16. More Thoughts

    The military's problem with self-inflicted deaths could probably benefit greatly by paying close heed to the bromine, fluoride, and chloride chemicals in their members' diets – and recommend and provide more foods and beverages that replenish the body's natural need for iodine – instead of the bromine, fluoride, and chloride that might currently be replacing iodine. This will help to relieve mental illnesses.

    Have them exercise and sweat more as a built in reflex to suicidal thoughts – and train them to eat sea salt and sea foods rich in iodine – and not contaminated with other heavy metals and toxic chemicals.

    Make this is a war against the poisoning of the USA population by the USA population – as we are ultimately in control of this. Do it NOW – for everyone.

    Do NOT allow fluoride, bromide, or chloride intensive ingestion as is seen prevalent in USA civilians even though it is a detriment to the wellbeing of societies.

    February 2, 2013 at 8:28 am |
    • Sheila

      I have spoken to many about the benefits of Iodine in the diet and even use Lugol's Iodine which is Iodine and Iodide which strengthens the Thyroid, pushes Bromide from the system which creates a more balanced mental state. Europe is pushing these chemicals out of their food production yet here in the US using dangerous chemicals and genetically modified foods is the norm, which is shameful. God bless our soldiers and Thanks be to God for their tireless dedication to freedom. Thank YOU!

      February 9, 2013 at 10:09 am |
      • Thoughts

        I have been investigating seaweed and eating more seafood. I found one kind of seaweed that is bagged in dry form – that says you can put on food like spice almost – but I haven't tried it out yet. I did buy some seaweed ready to serve – and that did make me feel better right away.
        Forgot to mention resting the adrenals – which would include resting the lower back to relieve overwhelm and stress reactions. Yoga – like kundalini yoga – is really good for this – for detoxing and distressing to put into better balance and relax. EFT (emotional freedom technique) works well. Learning more about yoga mudras and meditation will help greatly.
        Thank you for your input. I will have to look into what you mention for better understanding.

        February 9, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
        • moreThoughts

          Other ideas:

          1. Get supply to order bags of organic almonds, walnuts, dried fruits, etc. that can be used to nutritiously supplement MRE's. Almonds are high in calcium, iron, protein, healthy fats, fiber and other essential vitamins – and can be carried easily. Walnuts are good brain food.

          2. Order Celtic unbleached salt, or Himalayan organic salt. These contain the natural salts needed by the body to survive and feed (not destroy) the brain, etc.

          3. Use pure cane mints and provide non-diet gums (at the least) – instead of skittles as an example. Provide as extra to MRE if needed.

          4. Incorporate these items into MRE's for healthier sustainment.

          February 11, 2013 at 5:13 am |
  17. Penelopanter

    I just got paid $6784 working on my laptop using these simple steps leaked on this web page. Make up to $85 per hour doing simple tasks that are so easy to do that you won't forgive yourself if you don't check it out! Payments are paid every Friday! Here is what I've been doing Big44.ℂOM

    February 1, 2013 at 11:01 pm |
    • Equorial

      Go crawl back under the rock you came from. Trying to make a buck on other's misfortunes. You are the scum of the earth, and a liar to boot.

      February 4, 2013 at 6:42 am |
      • Rob

        Hey Equorial, Chill buddy, You were talking to yourself. That is computer generated like the one about getting an I pod for free. They sent for one and since the company's computer is broken they never got a bill. Suckers order and get their over priced I pod and surprise a bill which they must pay. A computer dropped that here, and many other places. No human being was involved after making the initial e-mail.

        May 31, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
  18. Sully

    It's quite simple really. Now that females are going combat arms, who do you think is left to make the sammiches?

    February 1, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
  19. Dean

    No more little pack of 4 cigarettes in an MRE?

    January 31, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
  20. Eicking

    I was station in korea during the 70's (hawk missile site c-1-44ada) Our 3 meals where nothing compared to what they get now. These guys are in combat. And it send some out laying bases where not getting hot meal. We didn't have MRE's, c-rations.

    January 31, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
  21. Jimmy

    The article stated that the troops 'protect the very freedoms we cherish.' The article should have read that the troops 'to protect the very freedoms the democrats are trying to take away!' The troops will barely get what they need to survive until the idiot ruining the country is removed from office.

    January 31, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • Shirely U Jest

      The Republicans during the Cheny, Shrubs era took away more freedoms, squashed more constitutional liberties and privacy than all the administrations before them ever did. But you were fine with that.

      January 31, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
      • Dean

        Can you name a couple of those freedoms that Bush took away from you?

        January 31, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
        • Christopher Hogan

          How about the right to a trial, Habeus Corpus, freedom from unwarranted searches, etc? Did you know that if the president or one of his friends decides they don't like you, they can put you in jail indefinately for no reason? Think about it. And thanks to George W. Bush, our tax money belongs to Wall Street, not us anymore. They can do whatever they want, regardless of who you vote for. It's been that way for years.

          January 31, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
      • Sheila

        You speak of the patriot act which BTW Obama could have allowed to expire but no he extend those so-called laws, and not only that he added to them. You know. like no due process for American citizens if you are SUSPECTED of being a terrorist not proven guilty. You know he took away the right to an attorney, trial by jury, arraignment, innocent until proven guilty and to top it off you can be held indefinitely-no charges-no chance to prove you are innocent. He even expanded on that and now says he and only he has the right to kill anyone he deems an American terrorist. Not only that but he has made it possible for law enforcement to eaves drop and spy on any Americans email without probable cause-no warrant needed. Maybe you like having your Constitutional laws violated but I don't. It's more important to you to say well Bush did this and Bush did that-well, I've got news for you Obama has done a whole lot more and it isn't anymore right when he's doing it. Grow up for God's sake and stop defending this loser and start defending your country and it's people. They are the one's that are important not Obama or congress.

        February 9, 2013 at 10:19 am |
        • Randy

          You should both go back and read the actual legislation that congress passed. Both times the Congress was supportive in the majority for the initial changes and the modifications and expansions...note that the extension added fewer than it took away. A sitting president has limited power to implement laws and such without the support of Congress and then review of the Supreme Court etc...Both Presidents are to blame but remember who runs the Congress and Who sits on the Supreme Court.

          February 11, 2013 at 3:06 am |
    • Bill

      I believe it was a Republican president who disgraced our military by sending them into two wars without proper armor or any sort of strategy. This lead to over 5,000 of our brave military being sent to their deaths. The Bush Administration is responsible for the deaths of more Americans than Osama Bin Laden and anyone who could support such a despicable group of people as well as the party they represent should be hung for treason, starting with you.

      January 31, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
      • Hi Bill !!

        Bill, after reading your remarks, it seems to me that it's pretty hard to put blame on any one group in Washington. I am Independant and I say it like it is. The whole Wshington situation is a disaster, most of those elected people have one thing in mind and that is to make money. We cannot believe 90% of what they say, either side, it does not matter. Add that to the one sided Press and you will not ever get the real information. Hey, they cant even get togather for the better of America. No blame, they are all bums and need to be voted out, all of them including this great President.

        February 1, 2013 at 9:06 am |
      • Randy

        Bill, I think the responsibility is on the military leadership who currently live in public mansions, are driven around in limos and have extraordinarily high retirement packages along with exclusive clubs and golf courses that failed to use the money they received to actually fight a war. Currently the money is being spent to feed 5 star meals and provide 4 star accommodations to senior military officers in Afghanistan while the guys in the field literally eat some of the least nutritious food that money can buy including being denied milk, eggs, meat, butter, fiber, etc. All the while the LTC and above are feasting like kings on the public dime. Our military is miss- managed and we should fire the lot of them and put real managers in their place. The military leadership cares little about the enlisted guys.

        February 11, 2013 at 3:16 am |
    • Equorial

      Am I wrong or is BHO a Muslim by admission? If so, is not Allah his god? And if so, is it not a muslim's religious duty to "kill the infidels?" Yes it is ...but I am "pre-coffee" this morning. In short, why the heck would a muslim president do anything for a country full of Christians except try to kill them and their country the name of Allah of course. Wake-Up Everyone and if we must, let's all descend on DC and oust everyone that needs ousting. We, as a nation, do not need 80% of the "Federal Government" for anything (except a source of migraines). Each state can work with the others to achieve the same goals. Think about it...long and hard if you must. But not TOO long, or they'll be nothing left of any of the USA. Why cannot anyone see this "most clearly?"

      February 4, 2013 at 6:48 am |
      • seriously.

        Dear Equorial.

        I am hoping desperately that you are a troll. But if you are, you're a pretty convincing one, so I'll say this anyway.

        Leaving to one side your woeful lack of knowledge about the Muslim faith, Barack Obama is not a Muslim. He's a Christian. I'm sure you've seen some blog on the internet - with a url something like - say that he is a Muslim, providing supposedly convincing evidence to support this claim. Please remember that the Internet is full of crazy people making ridiculous claims. Just because someone said that Obama was a Muslim does not make it true.

        Do I sound condescending? Good. I intend to. As a citizen of a democracy, you have a responsibility to seek accurate information about the politics of the nation you live in. You have a further responsibility to vet any news you read or see to make sure it is accurate. You haven't done that. You've accepted a ludicrous notion (essentially, a conspiracy theory, since believing that Obama is a Muslim requires you to also believe that his religion has been elaborately covered up) that could've been disproved with some simple research (Snopes, FactCheck, etc). Five seconds on Google could've prevented you from saying something stupid on the internet.

        Your willingness to believe any story that supports your political point of view harms the foundation of the democratic process; without a well-informed electorate, we're in trouble. I say so as a political moderate. And, I might add, a Jew; there are other people in this country besides Christians, a lot of other people, and you'd better get used to it.

        February 5, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • Joyce

      I couldn't agree with you more. Our big war is with our own government.

      February 5, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • Rob

      Jimmy, You misspelt it, the correct spelling is: Dumbacrats!!!

      May 31, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
  22. Earthseige

    What’s next, a congressional over cappuccino? MREs have heaters, does little Jonnie want us to heat it for him too? How about no weekend wars?

    January 31, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • Earthseige

      For Gods sake leave the Congressman alone so he can work on the budget.

      January 31, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • JoeZ

      Earthseige- you ae an idiot. However, it is these soldiers who assures your ability to think freely and say dumb things. Lets see you eat MREs a couple times a week. Heck, you probably are a fat pig who regularly vist Mickey Dee and Krispy Kream several times a day. You are pathetic!!!!

      February 1, 2013 at 12:50 am |
      • Seth

        Thank you JoeZ. I'm happy to defend the American people's right to badmouth me, and I say that truly without sarcasm. I eat MREs when I have to, and some of them aren't too bad at all. The vegetarian lasagna is pretty darn good with hot sauce. (Don't eat the 'beef" stew.) After the first week or two of regular MRE ingestion you even start pooping again. The soldiers I know don't cry when we are stuck somewhere and have to eat them, but we sure do appreciate real food. We (and more importantly our wives/husbands and kids) really do sacrifice a few things when we're away from home but a hot meal can make a big difference.

        February 1, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
  23. ArmyPilot Mom

    My son is a pilot now, but as an Infantry soldier he ate MREs for more than two weeks at a time while out on patrol and in combat. He also ate them when he returned inside the wire after mess tent hours. These soldiers have been involved in war for about 11 years and have been living in rough conditions. The article seems to imply that they have been on vacation. Please don't jump in about conditions in other wars. Never has so much been asked on an on-going basis from American soldiers. Those with the most difficult jobs come home looking starved and with major digestive issues. They only eat to survive at the most basic level. It is time the general public understands that the military is not a job program, but an ongoing commitment can still involve sacrificial living in terms of food, shelter and safety. For them it is all part of the job. We should be aware but not surprised.

    January 31, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • Rob

      As a Combat disabled soldier from Vietnam. I would like to say a few things. We volunteered to go on long range patrol to get to eat MREs. Normally, we had C-rations and that was all we ate. "Can" food, It wasn't great but we ate it and were glad we had something to eat. In 11 months I lost about 60 lbs and when I was wounded weighted 110 lbs.
      Besides three gun shot wounds I had intestinal and blood parasites. I survived, many didn't. I said all that t say this: Thank you for speaking out and supporting our soldiers. They have things worse than most people realize. As a Purple Heart recipient I have many opportunities to talk to the combat wounded ,They don't really complain about the food rather they want to be appreciated. They don't know how much better they have it now a days compared to the 60s. People like you make me proud of my service and constant pain for the last 45 years. God Bless.

      May 29, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
  24. Charles

    ok already the troops are being feed the old 3 hots and a cot never existed for gods sake combat is a reality.

    January 31, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • Rob

      Charles, Yup, Combat is Combat! A civilian can't understand, you said it best.

      May 29, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
  25. Shirley U Jest

    Colonel Joseph Wawro obviously doesn't spend much time outside of his air conditioned office. How was your hot breakfast today Colonel? If this so called officer had any awareness at all of the going ons of a base he'd have realized early that the crews that go over the wire are more often not back until long after the kitchen has closed. For them breakfast is the one hot meal they can get. It's one little stable piece of civilization before they face all the slop that'll be thrown to them during a long unfriendly day. Meanwhile, the fobbits, because of the wind down, are way too busy to stop and get some hot chow.

    Col. Wawro is a bird brain and maybe that's what he thinks those birds he wears means. If a hot meal has to get cut, cut the lunch. Let's see a raise of hands here, how many of you here eat a hot lunch?

    January 31, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
  26. DanDenver

    I realize I'm not getting shot at or burning as many calories. I also realize I don't live by the nutritionists handbook. I and most of the people I know don't eat a hot breakfast. Breakfast seems to be a meal on the run. I also backpack and work my body hard at the times, still if I have a hot breakfast its instant oatmeal fast and easy, only takes hot water, so I can get going. It seems like if you can find ways to get good high calorie food for these guys without worrying about a lot of cooking it should take less logistics. From my backpacking, things like cliff bars, granola bars, fruit (dried usually), drink mixes, and instant oatmeal work. The thing is to get a lot of calories that aren't pure sugar. Some of these items are good because you can pocket them to eat later. The Army could learn a few things from backpacking. I've backpacked with Army guys and they are always enthusiastic about how we can be more efficient and light weight. The Army is based on a lot of logistics that are great when it works, but not so great at times like this.

    January 31, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • Seth

      I'm glad you backpack, my friend. Try it in body armor, a 60-80 pound pack, an ACH and carrying a weapon with 210 rounds (or more). Go out on "backpacking trips" like this regardless of terrain or weather some time. You lose weight eating 5000 calories a day, and I speak from experience.

      February 1, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
      • Equorial

        I second that motion and raise it 150%. Been there, done that – for 21-years (off and on), mostly on. It is "the way of life" for the fighting man, and a necessity. However, for some reason this time I am finding it to be a bit outrageous because those at the top are attempting to "cover it up" with falsified statements to the media, and that just ain't right. Makes me think there is yet another surprise coming from BHO. Who else?

        February 4, 2013 at 6:55 am |
  27. muchloveforme

    My brother is getting ready to deploy on his second tour to Afghanistan with the USMC. While he was on his first tour we knew that he needed us to send him food, so we sent him all the canned goods we could. When he returned, he looked about close to death bc he had lost SO MUCH weight. He said they used to have to steal veggies at night time bc they were starving – think about how hungry you have to be to steal food from people living in a third world country! I understand its hard to reload their MRE stash bc of the logistics of their deployment (not being on a base) but they NEED TO EAT! As civilians and PATRIOTIC AMERICANS we need to support! Donate food to troops every chance you get! There are several orgs that allow you to send boxes to unknown deployed armed services.

    January 31, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
  28. SFC C

    I'll eat 3 MRE's a day while deployed (and at times I have) if we can get more than the less than 1% pay raise we've been getting under this administration. And maybe counting my vote while depoyed would be nice too

    January 31, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • T Bone

      At least you are getting a pay raise, I haven't had one for 4 years

      January 31, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
      • SFC C

        Atleast you're home and not getting shot at.

        January 31, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
        • KevinMc

          Were you drafted?

          January 31, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
        • SP

          Correct – need to go to an Elementary School to get shot at.

          January 31, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • DoubleX

      Blame Congress, they hold the purse strings. Yes the Republican majority House is all that stands between you and a decent pay raise.

      January 31, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
  29. ColC

    MREs are fine. Its not about nutrition but about getting enough calories in your body. A soldier in combat will burn three times the calories as when they are not. 5 to 6 thousand calories per day. When your ramping down the force level the support has to ramp down as well. It takes time to clean and reload all the logistic support equipment for redeployment.

    January 31, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • SP

      Frag it! ("packin's done, man!")

      January 31, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • Seth

      You're absolutely correct. As I mentioned elsewhere, I lost weight eating 5000+ calories a day (and I don't have a whole lot of extra weight to lose).

      February 1, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
  30. aubrie

    Noticed on the content list of the MRE at the bottom of this article, there is not ONE vegetable mentioned. And a nutritionist has developed these "nutritious" meals? Are you serious???

    January 31, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • Michael

      Maybe you didn't read it very well. I think the vegetables fall into the Side dish option; corn, rice, potatoes, etc.,. Sometimes they're also incorporated into the main entree i.e. BEEF STEW.

      January 31, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • danita

      What is corn?

      January 31, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
      • SP

        a starch. I believe aubrey meant greens for fiber in the diet. What she doesn't know, as MRE eaters do, is that MRE cheese or peanut butter will counteract all fiber on the planet and explains that three sheet wad of TP in the MRE pack ... you're not going it need it.

        January 31, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
  31. Dawne

    I'd be curious to know what our WWII and Vietnam Vets have to say about this. I know my dad did not get 3 meals, let alone hot ones. Not that I'm saying they shouldn't, but you know....there's lots of other problems out there. Like...protecting our troops with proper equipment?

    January 31, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • JD

      I agree – served in Korea and we went days without hot meals but were grateful for whatever we had – todays kids are very unprepared to serve in a war zone – that is solely a military responsibility, not an administrations of either party – we need to go back to tougher standards -we didn't get to call home, or text, or skype so we could complain – we just did our job knowing it would be difficult – I had a son who served in navy on submarines often deployed for 6 months with no contact to his family (as is still the case today)

      January 31, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • Equorial

      I am a 21yr Vietnam Era veteran. Sure, we went for long periods without food simply because nobody knew where in the world we were half the time. For the Army troops, there is NO reason the Air Force "fly boys" or Marines or even The USNavy can't be "air-dropping" Logistical Support in the form of FOOD. I am sure everyone in DC will get breakfast this morning. Why don't we take away their electricity until they correct this situation, and close THEIR "chow-halls" (which are incredibly "lush" eateries), and again ...tell me why we need, as a nation, a federal government when the states can do precisely the same functions for far less money. The Federal Government is "big business" now, and NOT in favor for any of our interests, except they still expect us to pay out the nose so that they get oodles of money for working 2-day weeks while "kissing hiney" to climb their ladders. Think about it. Impeach BHO isn't enough. We need to clean out DC now and forever. Writing letters is the last thing that needs doing. Strong-arm, full-frontal force is what we need to do ...or we won't have a country when BHO completes his agenda. (I am his biggest 'hater' if you can't tell). I hate anyone who claims they can't feed our men due to "logistics" ...which just shows that nobody did any planning. Just deploy troops and "make it up as we go" is how it is done in the real world" (imho)

      February 4, 2013 at 7:09 am |
  32. scarf

    I suspect the soldier whose letter to his mother started all this mentioned the lack of a hot breakfast just to have something to tell her about other than the other details of his life in the field.

    January 31, 2013 at 11:58 am |
  33. PeteInOhio

    I agree with fellow vets that this is a non-story. It was pretty much ordinary to get 2 C-Rats or MREs a day with one hot (if we were lucky) back when I served. I did 20 years and that was the norm. So if the norm today is 3 hots and a cot, I'd say things are pretty good. I don't see a problem with one MRE a day.

    January 31, 2013 at 11:17 am |
  34. Chris

    1. How can logistics provide other meals and not breakfast?
    2. How can logistics provide so much to Afghans and yet can't provide breakfast to our troops? Let the Afghans suffer.
    3. How can we, as a nation, increase food stamps 7 times what they were, to feed people who provide zero to the US and yet can't provide breakfast to our troops? Let's cut food stamps back, put limits on how much food stamps can be provided, and take care of those who take care of our safety - the troops!
    4. This nation is too hung up on providing for indigents, illegals, welfare groups, etc and not enough providing back to the American taxpayers and to the soldiers hired to protect us!
    5. BTW – Let's cut out breakfast for Congress, the President, and his little family too so more emphasis can be put on the "logistics" of providing for our troops FIRST!

    January 31, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • Former Troop

      Obviously, you've never served at a forwrad location. It is common for forward locations to either live off of or supplement with MREs. This is part of the drawdown of troops–less support troops means less ability to cook hot meals and bring in supplies. They still get two hot meals, have takeaway items available, and get MRES (which are actually higher in calorie content than most cooked meals). This is part of military life–it's not always glamorous. I'm sorry the young troop who just arrived doesn't feel pampered enought, but this isn't vacation.

      January 31, 2013 at 10:33 am |
      • Clarence

        I agree with you. I spent a week eating nothing but Mre's 3 times a day. Besides you can heat them up using the heating pack that comes with them or on the exhaust grill of an M1 tank. Been there done that.

        January 31, 2013 at 11:54 am |
      • Airman

        To be completely honest, MREs aren't all that bad. Yeah they get bland after a while, but thats true of anything. Also, they make MREs specifically for breakfast, and they are pretty good. I look at it this way: if my options are a hot meal or an MRE (which technically is also a "hot" meal), then i would go with whatever is readily available. If i can get a hot meal, then yes, i would be happier than if i got an MRE. But regardless of what one i get, its food, and it will keep me alive and fighting.

        January 31, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
      • Disappointed in Afghanistan

        People. This FOB isn't closing until Oct 2013 and the military isn't even providing the troops a cup of hot coffee in the morning...but you will be able to gorge yourself with multiple entrees at lunch and dinner. Oh, and the MREs out "for the taking" at lunch and dinner...the only ones taking those are locals and contractors–NOT Soldiers–which is why no one is accounting for them, I suspect. Yes, someone made a terrible decision here and are trying to cover it up. Omeletes aren't necessary. But a cup of hot coffee is not too much to ask. It ain't about logistics!

        February 6, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
    • SP

      logistics is movement of materials. Supply is the stuff logistics moves. In this case, most of the logistical flow is out and not in. So, they cut supply of hot breakfast to provide a time slot and flow for movement of supply out instead of in. Can't do both guys.

      January 31, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
  35. Atreya Rivera

    This is just my opinion, okay? I know this is war and you arent going to get all of the goodies you do at home. BUT if somebody is willing to give their lives to keep you safe and free, I believe they should at least get a hot breakfast for their trouble! It wouldnt hurt to give them something nicer than that once in a while as well. If you knew what they truly went through, you would have alot more love and respect for them. Also since they are under such a physical and mental strain over there fighting, it would do them good to have a hot meal on their stomachs before going out to do their job in the morning!

    January 31, 2013 at 8:51 am |
    • Jules

      The problem is the logistics. Hot (implying fresher than MRE) meals require more frequent convoys to deliver food, and in some cases, keeping more refrigeration and cooking equipment on the base (and fuel, and food service personnel, etc). As the base is turned over, and some of that equipment is moved out for redeployment, MREs are used instead, as they are in boxes that can be moved in much larger quantities/smaller sizes/less frequent convoys, and can be stored anywhere (except under water, but even then they would probably survive).
      The flip-side would mean that the Army had to continue with more frequent resupply convoys, and keep more troops and equipment at the base longer. The headline is totally misleading, and should really read: "Army begins transitioning forward operating base to local nationals, draws back services accordingly". But, that would mean less add clicks for CNN.

      January 31, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
  36. Bobby G.

    Nothings too good for the troops – and nothing is what they'll get. Quit your bitchin' Mr. Congressman and fix the budget.

    January 31, 2013 at 7:30 am |
  37. Mitch

    So we can afford to build carriers and jets and afford to fuel those jets. Anyone who argues against a soldier or sailor getting a hot meal made available to them, and even if they are offered sometimes they are still missed, that person is a moron. They should focus there time on realizing how many millions of dollars the US Gov't is going to waste on cutting up a naval ship and fixing up a reef.

    January 31, 2013 at 2:13 am |
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