The first thing I saw when I arrived at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan last year was a drastically out of weight standard U.S. Marine frying himself up some waffles on what looked like a 100-pound steel waffle-frying machine.
I wanted to make him pick it up and run it back and forth from the front to the back of Chow Hall … aaaand repeat.
Now there’s news coming out of NBC that because of the Afghanistan drawdown, certain chow halls have opted to discontinue one or two of their four meal services. (Might I add, many of these forward deployed chow halls are the epitome of excess, featuring all you can eat smorgasbords.)
A Marine from Leatherneck wrote his wife an email (something operating units don’t get to do so often, more on that later), which she agreed to share with NBC:
“This boils my skin. One of my entire shifts will go 6.5 hours without a meal. If we need to cut back on money I could come up with 100 other places,” one Leatherneck-based Marine wrote in an email this week to his wife and shared with NBC News. (The Marine declined to speak on the record.)
“Instead, we will target the biggest contributor to morale. I must be losing my mind. What is our senior leadership thinking? I just got back from flying my arse off and in a few days, I will not have a meal to replenish me after being away for over 9 hours.”
Another service member wrote from Paktika Province in Afghanistan, where they cut meals as well:
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.
How about some cheese with that whine? Matter of fact, you can find plenty of squeeze cheese packets in a Meal Ready to Eat, of which there are plenty out there. Pallets full in fact.
Here’s a website with a pretty good breakdown of what MRE and Heater Meals look like, and there’s certainly enough food there to quell some hunger.
Finally, many operating units will eat nothing but MRE’s for long periods of time. Hot meals are a luxury, not a necessity.
Stop the whining, this is war.
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