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. GiJoe1010

    Please what is all the crying about? Look at WWII and the Korean and Vietnam War. God are our soldiers that weak they need to cry for a hot meal. The Defense Dept spent millions on the MRE and it's about time they started using them to feed soldiers. Here's one for you Google Army Wrong! Soldiers are so poorly feed that we have 300 lb national Guard soldiers running around Afghanistan. Soldiers have been eating 4 meals for years. The Senator needs to get a grip and start working on employment for Americans at home. No more Thanks Givings with a million pounds of Turkey being sent either. We have made these FOB's homes for soldiers and they don't want to go out the wire!!! I am a soldier and this should have occurred years ago it would have save the tax payer a mint. Why is it that soldiers need ever soft drink under the sun? Milk,Strawberry milk Chocolate and any other milk!!!
    Please CNN get something important to report!!!

    January 31, 2013 at 1:30 am |
    • Dawne

      I agree. I sure don't want our soldiers to starve...but come on... I think it's more important that they're taken care of when they get home then to make sure they have chocolate milk and hot wings when they watch the super bowl on their 65" TV.

      January 31, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
  2. Daisy blue

    Wow. Hot breakfast while at war. How about sauna privileges too? This is war. Tell the Iowa mom to get with the program!

    January 31, 2013 at 1:18 am |
  3. GA LRRP

    I remember when MREs didn't have the heater and we ate them cold. Might not have liked them, but they always kept us fed. I did have a fondness for the tuna casserole. Troops are always going to complain....start worrying when they quit complaining.

    January 31, 2013 at 1:05 am |
    • SP

      Chicken A La King. Nasty wall paper paste! ;-)

      January 31, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • ARiver

      When did they start making MRE's with heat packs. Ours were always cold and most of the time, we were happy to have them so we could eat when we were actually HUNGRY. Besides, Mom would be disgusted if she saw how dirty my hands were when I was served that piece of white bread to go with my hot meal. Imagine, the germs did not kill me. MRE's were great in the field. Civies just don't understand, can't make them understand. Soldier up kids.

      January 31, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
      • Rob

        Great ARiver, Now you will have all the mom's demanding their children get to wash their hands with the 3 hot meals they want. Way to go!!! : -)

        May 30, 2013 at 11:44 am |
  4. TheAntiChrist

    When I was deployed I never ate a hot breakfast while in camp. Maybe one hot meal. But never hot breakfast. Back then we ate C rations. When MRE's came out I hated them. I liked my C rations better. Of course I also ate local stuff like cooked dog. Yum yum.

    January 31, 2013 at 12:50 am |
  5. Klaark

    You know where you can get a hot breakfast? America. Bring the troops back, problem solved.

    January 31, 2013 at 12:30 am |
  6. Del

    If the President/Congress.Senate are getting paid, our troops on the front line desrve hot meals!!! Especially in the winter!

    January 30, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
  7. SuperSpoon

    Our military marches on it's stomach. Without proper nutrition, we lose the battle, before it begins.

    January 30, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
  8. JCJ

    I'm with Nietodarwin. Sounds like they're just winding down logistics as they're preparing to withdraw – much ado about nothing. According to the story, this all started when momma called the congressman. Nothing about the soldier. He's probably just out there doing his job. And catching hell from his buddies if they know his momma started all this...

    January 30, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
  9. Nietodarwin

    "Food is a tactical weapon" and has been since the days of medieval sieges. I have to believe the Defense Dept. completely on this particular story. Much ado about nothing.

    January 30, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
    • SP

      It is a tactical weapon. And MREs are weapons of mass destruction ... to the colon.

      January 31, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
  10. dmb

    For all those that complain, the every branch of the military defends your rights and privileges as a citizen of the USA, including your right to bellyache on line. Perhaps it is time for you to stop asking what your country can do for you and ask what you can do for your country.

    January 30, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
  11. allen

    theres between 1800 and 3000 calories in an MRE. have you seen some of these soldiers that never leave the fob??? theyre obese!

    my point is that a lot of soldiers dont need all the chow.

    January 30, 2013 at 10:29 pm |
    • Seth

      Most MREs have far fewer calories than that (in the 1000-1500 calorie range), when you don't drink the powdered milkshakes. I eat 4000 calories a day at home to maintain my weight (180 with low body fat). When away with the Army I need far more. I was losing weight eating 5000+ calories a day (I was 164 when I came home last spring). It's true that the Army has it's share of overweight individuals, especially in some MOSs. America and the Army in particular, needs to deal with that. But as they said in the article, food is a tactical weapon. If I spend 11 months without my family and friends or a cold beer or my car/house/etc. and I'm literally putting my body on the line, shouldn't a get a yummy breakfast when possible.

      February 1, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
  12. AK

    I remember C-rations. Box about 4x4x8 with canned everything, including a mini-pack of 4 cigarettes. Smokers in an advance state of nicotine shakes would gladly trade their dessert for your smokes, or if you felt generous (as I usually did) you just said "" Ham and Lima beans – yes, sounds disgusting – were great. Interesting that the ham and eggs were great in the can; in the MRE it was beyond inedible. Initial offerings in MREs were pretty grim and ones, while not what one would want to make a permanent diet, are varied, nutritious, and reflect a lot of thought and research.

    Also, a side bennie...after almost any MRE meal, a rifle platoon could emulate a 30 piece wind orchestra, if you get my drift.

    January 30, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
  13. Ethan

    I hear of a couple of civies choking to death on a hot breakfast. We need to get them out of civilian and hands and keep them in the military where they belong.

    January 30, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
    • GrandOldPatsy

      You sir, are win. xD

      January 30, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
  14. Beasterdamus

    Thats why we have Ramen and Tabasco sauce...You guys need to get creative over there, parlay some cases of MRE's for some goat and eggs...I mean really this is supposed to be a counter insurgency program...

    January 30, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
    • GiJoe1010

      Here , here!!! Some one gets it!

      January 31, 2013 at 1:33 am |
  15. Jsmith

    When we first invaded Iraq I got one meal/MRE a day. I survived. Just as in this case, it was due to logistical problems - while it's wrong, it does happen.

    January 30, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
  16. Locker

    I ate MREs 3 meals a day all the time in Desert Storm. All you need a canteen cup and some water to heat it up. Sounds like a hot meal to me.

    January 30, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
    • muzets

      Must of been a jarhead since the army had hot food. I have the journal that my husband wrote for me during his time over there. He wrote about how he and a couple of other Marines went out on night patrol one evening to an army encampment and they all came away with their alice packs full of food. My husband actually carried out a plate of spaghetti! They stole the food out from under the army's nose. The story still brings a big smile to my face, whenever I read the journal. Hard to believe that yesterday was 23 years since his friends died over there. They were times when they would get only one MRE a day and sometimes he went without food and enough drinkable water so his men could have it. Crying over the lack of a hot breakfast, please!

      January 30, 2013 at 10:37 pm |

    MRE AKA Meals Rejected by Ethopians

    January 30, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
  18. Mini Wini

    Do the evil-doers in Prison get 3 hot meals per day?! Make their treatment mirror that of our troops. No Better. Our Service Men & Women deserve better trearment than the thugs, thieves, rapists and murderers in prison. Something to look into...

    January 30, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
    • motorfirebox

      Er, actually, many prisons are serving Nutraloaf, which is so awful that prisoners in several states are actually suing to get it barred as cruel and unusual punishment. MREs, while not something pleasant to live on, are way better than that.

      January 30, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
  19. MessaLOVEfoodz

    They dont deserve a hot breakfast.

    Only POG's eat gourmet food at the army.

    Soldiers are there to FIght for FREEDOM not chow down

    January 30, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • mick

      Ha, live a hard day in your life.

      January 30, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
    • Wayne

      Anyone that signs up for the military must anticipate that at any time throughout their enlistment, hell can happen. It could be physical or pschological. It could be torture or possibly dying. If someone signs up to take advantage of health, educational, monetary benefits, etc without taking into account the demand and accountabilty possibly made on them, they are fools. Wise up. This is not a resort to expect hot meals, especially in a war zone. If this is too much beyond a "Happy Meal" or Mommy's dining that they're used to, well, too damn bad. Go out and make your mark in the civilian world.

      January 30, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
      • dmb

        Why don't you join? I am sure you appreciate all the rights and privileges that the people who serve in the military defend for you. Perhaps it is time for you ask what you can do for your country and not what your country can do for you.

        January 30, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
        • S1N

          As someone who has served in the Army and been deployed multiple times, I can definitely agree with Wayne. Although the intro is a bit grandiose, the point is correct. Those nice benefits come at a cost. Stop whining and heat up your MRE already. Logistics can suck at times during deployment. Get over it. Besides, the newer MREs aren't that bad.... except for the bean and rice burrito.

          January 30, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
    • Hemlock

      Should have joined the Air Force. We fight in style and comfort.

      January 30, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
      • allen

        hey jerk off youre in the air dont fight.

        January 30, 2013 at 10:31 pm |
      • allen

        hey mr chair force, the last time I checked you people dont fight.

        January 30, 2013 at 10:31 pm |
        • SP

          um, I served in the air force. Went through basic training, tech school, M60 Machine gunner school, Advanced Infantry Training at Ft. Dix, NJ, spent many months deployed carrying an M16 or M203 – many wear Ranger tabs. SO, yes, the AF DOES fight. The officers, on the other hand .. well, different story.

          January 31, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
        • ARiver

          The AF – aren't those the guys who have carpeted hotels, hot meals, bus boys, and full-service gyms to stay fit? Those guys who gain so much weight that their class B slacks are always 1 inch too high above the shoe? Those guys? Pleeeeez.

          January 31, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
      • S1N

        Air Force? Fight? Did you really use those two in the same sentence. About the only combat you guys see, except for a few pilots who have actually had someone shoot back in the early days of the wars, is in Call of Duty and Halo 4. Even your security forces personnel rarely get to due more than babysit a gate or perimeter.

        January 31, 2013 at 12:01 am |
  20. cpc65

    I've seen on a number of shows, including Modern Marvels, that today's MREs are actually quite good and get the overall approval of most troops. It may not be Mom's home cooking, but it sure beats the rations from wars past. Many civies stocked up on these in 2012, you know, just in case.

    January 30, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
    • Jason

      Try eating them three meals a day for a couple months. The novelty wears off very fast.

      January 30, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
      • SuperSpoon

        You got that right!

        January 30, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
    • S1N

      They're not that bad, but you definitely don't want them day in and day out. That being said, that's just a part of life for some personnel. They either get over it or whine about it. Either way, life goes on.

      January 31, 2013 at 12:02 am |
  21. Tommm365

    Listen...they put ther lives on the line every day.while the rest of us sit here and play armchair quarterback.
    Would it really be a problem to feed them well? Or are we to commited to giving all our money as handouts to other country's?

    January 30, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
  22. bikermiker

    Reading these comments is amazing. There are so many people who have so many 'expert' opinions and really have no idea waht they are talking about. The only things that anyone knows for sure are 1) some soldier wrote his mommy a letter stating that he wasn't getting a hot breakfast, 2) the US presence in Afghanistan is being reduced which presents huge logistics problems and 3) most soldiers aren't crazy about MRE even though they contain enough 'nutrition'. Seems to me that this is not a crisis!! Nor is it a permanent change in policy (no hot breakfasts for any soldier anywhere anytime!!) So, why doesn't the nice Congressman continue to demonstrate 'effective policy making and governing' in DC like all of his other Congressional buddies who have been so effective for the country – and leave running the military to the people who actually do that for a living. If this is the largest problem the US faces, we're in great shape!!!

    January 30, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
  23. Steve- Illinois

    These clowns must think the cooks, and supply trucks are the last to leave. And to think this guys a Congressman.

    January 30, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
  24. hipdaddy

    Read the source of this "article"...FROM JAN 10th!

    January 30, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
  25. Gunga Din

    In the Foreign Legion we only have food every other day
    REAL men !!

    January 30, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
  26. Barry

    I've seen so many B%$#S&%$ reports about this. So here are the facts:
    1. Soldiers overseas STILL (and always have) get 4 meals a day.
    2. Breakfast is no longer a hot meal, its an MRE. But cereal, juice, milk and all sorts of other foods can be picked up in addition to the MRE.
    3. Lunch and Dinner are Hot meals. "Two hots and a cot" sound familiar?

    January 30, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
  27. Gunga Din

    In the Foreign Legion we only eat every other day.
    But then we are REAL men !!!

    January 30, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
    • harrygman

      The French have the best weapons in the world. Never fired and only dropped once. Real Men HAHAHAHAHAHA

      January 30, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
      • Jason

        Never fired and only dropped once? Oh. I get it. Its a joke. Just about every country that was in the way got steam rolled by the German blitz. Why is it that the French the only ones called cowards? England survived because of the channel and Russia had more people than the Germans had bullets. The French underground were a major reason the Allies did as well as they did. I don't think I have read many stories about the Jews putting up a huge fight. The were murdered by the thousands and acted like sheep going to the slaughter. Do yourself a favor and get a library card.

        January 30, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
    • jsaf

      Tell me again why you speak French instead of German....

      January 30, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
    • blackbeard79

      I'm surprised the French military still had enough energy left to raise the white flag in WW2.

      January 30, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
    • groo

      The French Foreign Legion is not made up of predominantly French people, they're from all over the world.

      January 30, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
    • SP

      I trained with some of you clowns. I'll never drink that mud you all call coffee, again. My hands are still shaking from that sh#$!

      January 31, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
  28. Charles

    I served with Colonel Wawro and if he says it is not a budget issue then it is NOT a Budget issue. He is a great officer who puts his troops first. Keep your head down and your powder dry Joe.

    January 30, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
    • Robert

      I cannot agree with you more Charles. I was in the battalion HQ when he served, then a Major, as the Battalion operations officer, then as Executive Officer. He was the single most humble and knowledgeable office I ever dealt with. If breakfast had to go, it's because it had to go. MREs aren't nearly as bad as some people make them out to be.

      January 31, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
  29. Joe

    Stop sending money to Towelstan and other countries Jeeez!

    January 30, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
  30. Daniel

    Has anybody blamed Bush? Can we still place blame on him? If so.... I think it's his fault somehow.

    January 30, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
    • Hemlock

      When he comes out of hiding maybe we will.

      January 30, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
  31. RR5150

    Our cooks were detailed to the mess hall when we were home and came with us when we deployed. These Marines preformed with distinction and we were so thankful to have them. This is not that hard. The field mess operation should be handled by the military and not contractors. Food is important to mission accomplishment. The youngest of leaders know that.

    January 30, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
  32. Pete

    MREs for breakfast? Yuk. The terrorists have won.

    January 30, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
    • Baa Weet

      bah! I used to have them for lunch almost every day when i worked in the QM,because the mess was a 2 click walk.since i worked in the qm i could chose the good stuff every day like spaghetti,ravioli,and lasagna

      January 30, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
  33. The Marine

    Heat up your MRE Soilder.

    January 30, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
    • Alphajonny

      LOL! That's what I thought. As long as there is water just heat up that entree and coffee. Not bad.

      January 30, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
  34. Jez

    MRE's = YUCK!! What if you're Vegan??

    January 30, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
    • bergus

      yes, even the vegan d-bags have their own veggie MRE's. awesome to see how much the army is bending over backwards for special interests and wondering why we can't impose our will on an enemy.

      January 30, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
      • peta-peopleeatingtastyanimals

        I bet all that sausage and pasta you cram down your throat has givin you a dickie doo! You know? When your stomach hang further than your dickie doo?

        January 30, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
      • SP

        no, no ... for vegans they bend the other way.

        January 31, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
  35. bergus

    if we can't get our troops overseas a hot meal in the morning (the only meal that they probably get if they're running missions all day), then the whole army, INCLUDING THE PENTAGON POGS should have to eat MRE's too!

    January 30, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
    • Steve- Illinois

      You've never served, have ya?

      January 30, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
  36. D

    I can't remember the last time I could afford 3 meals a day. On a really good day I get 2, on a bad day I get a snack. And yes before u ask I have a job it just doesn't leave much after rent and heat.

    January 30, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
  37. Rational Soldier

    As someone who served in a rough spot in Afghanistan and not one of the comfy giant FOBs, we got 2 hot meals a day and one of those was breakfast. There were times in which we didn't get supplies flown to us and we would go on just drinking water and not have any milk or juice. Big deal. We are Soldiers. We can manage on no hot meals a day. I am sick of civilians getting into military matters and it wasn't long ago that I just said the same thing when it concerned women serving in primary combat roles. I'm glad to be getting medically retired next month. I begin leave next friday and I am sick of the interference the military is beginning to experience from outside forces.

    January 30, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
    • Maya

      You have no idea what you're talking about. The decision to lift the combat ban was made ultimately by the Pentagon. It was military policy, not law. You're just mad because if women start serving in combat roles, you won't be able to feel superior anymore. Give me a break.

      January 30, 2013 at 7:46 pm |
      • Finn

        Maya, with all due respect you're making a lot of assumptions here.

        January 30, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
      • allen

        bwa ha ha women in combat thats so funny!!!

        January 30, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
    • Finn

      I agree. I am a female veteran and there is a difference between what civilians want for troops and what is realistic for troops. There is no one starving to death on the front lines- far from it. And for the love of God stop sending soldiers Girl Scout Cookies. They can pave a road from the World Trade Center to Kabul with the Girl Scout Cookies that are sent to troops.

      January 30, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
    • SP

      Clam down – you're about to join those outside forces. Do yourself a favor, when you get a civilian job and see people slacking off – don't let it upset you. Focus on your work and move on. If you let it get to you, it will affect your friends and family and, before you know it, they will no longer be around – because they were to uncomfortable being around someone that was too wound up for their own good. So, relax. The forces on the outside medling into military affairs are called the taxpayers flipping the bill. Congress reports to them.

      January 31, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
  38. clem kadiddle

    Even the illegal mexicans want to join the military for the three squares of hot food. the us army gravy train

    January 30, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • Moony

      The U S Military IS the biggest "employer" of illegals in the United States

      January 30, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
  39. Tom Lesperance

    Yet people in prison get rest, medical attention and air conditioning... oh and three good meals a day that some free people never see. Thank our troops, they and families suffer enough. Eat up

    January 30, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
    • Tex

      I agree Hoorah for the troops but what do you want to do.If you want to stop giving people in prison "rest" medical care air conditioning.Seems kind of cruel.At least if we are going to just put people somewhere with no escape and no rest somehow no medical care lets at least quit putting people in prison that did not harm anyone and are not a danger to society they just either smoked or sold weed or some other drug.
      Or we could go your way but put people that drink and sell alcohol cigarettes and other tobacco in there with the Rapist Child killers and other maniacs and what why they are so angry when they make it out alive.

      January 30, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
  40. empresstrudy

    For most CNN readers their notion of privation is a day without HD cable.

    January 30, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
    • plantDoctor

      While it is true that today many of our soldiers are not to the things that are going for them. Many write the mothers and congressmen. A true story was a Naval officer who was called to the Captain's conference room. Here he met a Congressman from the home state of one of the enlisted men under his command. The son had complained that the officer was being too hard on him. Of course the Officer was concerned that he was about to get his ass chewed out. Instead the Congressman thanked the Officer for trying to discipline the enlisted man out . He had been trying for years trying to do it. While it would be nice to give our men and women a hot meal when possible. IF IS NOT POSSIBLE SO BE IT MER'S. BUT if its if the convenience of the Army, then that is bullshxt.

      January 30, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
  41. clem kadiddle

    The real reason for keeping these USELESS, UNJUST WARS going is to keep the American unemployment from being 30%. and to keep tax payer dollars flowing into the war machine, Military Industrial Complex. Yes I guess it is a rude awakening when you realize your service does'nt warrant a hot breakfast. Welcome to the new reality austerity.

    January 30, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
    • Andrea

      You Sir are Crazy!

      January 30, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
  42. Napkin

    When you've eat' n food cooked in an ammo can in the middle east in the 80's and thought it was the best meal you ever had, let me know. When you actually missed sitting at a red light and people watching, let me know. When you call your mommy from halfway around the world and have nothing better to say except, "Breakfast is cold" you fit right into today's combat arms. She and you will get along just fine, Skippy!

    January 30, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
  43. Jeff

    My grandfather on my fathers side was Navy off the coast of Korea during the Korean War...grandfather on mothers side was Army – Communications Specialist – WWII Battle of the Bulge... and father was Army – M.P./Infintry – Vietnam......if they ever heard me complain any shape way or form, they kicked my ass straight, ecspecially over food!!! Yes, today's soilders are slightly more pampered compared to wars gone by... ...if they were to complain to any of my relatives about a lack of a hot meal....they would get their asses handed to them in a quick second...believe that!!! ;-}

    January 30, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
  44. Been there

    An American Service Man/Woman looks forward to the meals and tracks time by them. MRE's are suitable nutrition-wise, but also cause constipation by design over time. Hot meals at an established base in Afghanistan or Iraq were contracted out and served by third-country nationals and occasionally local hires (who certainly showed their disdain but clearly liked the pay). Those hot meals make a difference in morale, and if you have ever served our country on either just a rotational deployment OR war deployment, you would understand exactly how important the meals become. Each of those service members deserve hot meals , but also know that there are times logistically it can't be possible. What is key here is Leadership getting the message, passing what is happening to the NCO's and Petty Officers, and let the small unit leadership sort it out. Provide the troops with their requirements, make them happy when you can, and ensure the have the beans, bullets, and bandages to successfully complete their mission. That is what they really want and need.

    January 30, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
    • Gimme a hot meal or gimme death

      Amen. I served in the Persian Gulf war in what was then the 24th ID, and just one hot meal a day is a real morale booster. It aint always possible when you're on the move, but they need to try and be as regular with that as possible.

      January 30, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
  45. USMC

    The response to Congressman Braley should read,

    "Dear Congressman,

    Leave the logistics of fighting wars up to those who do it everyday.



    January 30, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
    • SP

      Dear Secretary of the Army,

      You're fired by order of those of us that outrank you.


      The People of the United States

      January 31, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
  46. clem kadiddle

    Now we know why the military suicides are so high.

    January 30, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
  47. clem kadiddle

    It's a good thing we did'nt have to fight the Japs and Germans with this lot of GI joes now. We for sure would have lost

    January 30, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
  48. fajwoeoawef

    “These men and women put their lives on the line every day to protect the very freedoms we cherish."

    Whatever. They do it for themselves just like every other human on the planet.

    January 30, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
    • Sgt. Lowrey

      Not all of us do it for "ourselves". Some Americans (as I'm sure others in many cultures world wide as well) still feel a sense of pride and an urge to serve our great nation. To enlist and raise one's right hand is a selfless act. We do it knowing that we could be deployed and shot at anytime, at home or abroad.

      Sgt. Lowrey

      January 30, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
    • Maya

      You're not serving the nation. You're serving the executive branch. Big difference. If the president commanded you to deploy within the U.S. to control a civilian rebellion and kill civilians, you'd be legally required to do it.

      January 30, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
      • Michael

        Actually Maya per the Law of Armed Conflict and the Uniform Code of Military Justice as a service member I am obligated to disobey illegal orders such as the one you point out. If something else is the case I really would like to stop doing the LOAC computer based training annually...

        January 30, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
        • Michael

          It would also depend on if it is a rebellion or demonstration. You sure are vague Maya.

          January 30, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
      • Jack

        Yes, but you are automatically assuming that putting down a civilian rebellion is not "serving the nation." If a small group of crazies rise up and have an armed rebellion, I would appreciate the army coming in and putting it down.

        January 30, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
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