March 25th, 2010
11:18 AM ET

U.S. bases in Afghanistan say goodbye to Whoppers, DQ

Whoppers, Dairy Queen sundaes and the latest movies will soon disappear for U.S. military personnel serving in Afghanistan, according to a blog posting by Sgt. Maj. Michael T. Hall discussing changes to morale, welfare and recreation facilities on U.S. bases there.  

In an effort to put more focus on fighting the Taliban, the military is cutting back on "non-essentials" in Afghanistan, Hall announced on the International Security Assistance Force Afghanistan blog this week. Hall is the command sergeant major for ISAF.

On large U.S. facilities such as the Kandahar and Bagram air bases, that includes closing restaurants such as Burger King, Dairy Queen, Orange Julius and Pizza Hut, dropping first-run movies from base theaters and cutting the amount of canned and bottled goods imported from the States, Hall writes.

“This is a warzone – not an amusement park,” he writes.

“Supplying nonessential luxuries to big bases like Bagram and Kandahar makes it harder to get essential items to combat outposts and forward operating bases, where troops who are in the fight each day need resupplied with ammunition, food and water,” Hall says in the blog posting.

Hall says eliminating the restaurants and other facilities will free up space to accommodate more than 35,000 U.S.  and allied troops who will be arriving in Afghanistan in the coming months.

But troops shouldn’t feel neglected, Hall writes, as the military plans to increase fitness centers and Internet and telephone capabilities.

And they’ll still be able to get a good cup of coffee as the Green Beans Coffee outlets at bases across the country will remain open, Hall writes.

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Filed under: Troops
soundoff (1,607 Responses)
  1. jlbh

    The thing is the only soldiers that actually see these items are the ones who are not truly on the front lines, When I was deployed I was in the field contantly adn never on a base big enough to have these ammenities. They are not a necessity nor are they in any way benifiting all soldiers deployed. There are many other things that can be done in place of them. For instance, what I would have done to have access to phones and internet. 15months and I called home a grand total of 5 times and used the internet for about a week, all of which took place when we had the ability to be in one of the green zones. These are unecessary expenses and am glad to hear they are being taken out, I'd rather have the money and space for soldiers. maybe know they can get some AC units for the soldiers in the field, well see how it works. Sucks for the current soldiers deployed, but enjoy your internet access and talking to your family members, that is much more important than a whopper or sunday, who's to say youll have the chance to talk to them tomorrow. Goodluck and Godspeed to all those soldiers deployed and their family members

    March 25, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Cindy Lee

    Do they really think a fitness center is going to boost morale? Attempts at better internet and phone services are great and all, but I honestly don't see how much more they can improve the five second delay on my phone calls from my husband.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. prince

    This guy needs to go back to school for military history. The side with the highest solder moral wins. Surprised the seasoned guys in the Pentagon did not strike this down. Hope this shoot from the hip tactic has no immediate repurcusions.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. william

    This will kill morale, DUMB move. Don't tell me the hardships you had in the big war II and Vietnam. These kids are a different mold. They volunteered , we can at least grant them something the BRASS get. Or better yet, LETS TAKE all the perks the BRASS get .

    March 25, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Retired Army

    Teresa, the restaurants and other frills are money making operations that are a PX franchise. I also think the comment about not being volunteers was about the people being affected by involuntary extensions of active duty, (stop loss). Hate to tell you this but as a been there done that thing a movie is nothing like real life. Yes the focus is on winning. As to cooks, they still have them but troop moral is very important to success too.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Platoon Leader

    I can not speak for the other branches, But as a leader in the U. S. Army, We need to realize what is more important, a Whopper or Body Armor, A Blizzard Sundae or Camo that "ACTUALLY WORKS." Yes, Coffee is more important than hamburgers, ask any Officer or NCO, the military runs on Caffiene and Nicotine. Don't deprive them of everything but our guys on fire bases who are living on MREs and Water deserve better gear and more troops not unhealthy whoppers that some fat "POG" in the rear who is doing nothing tactically to help the war is gorging himself on. Give our guys tools to win a war not get fat and complacent in a stalemate.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mike

    I only made 6 deployments. I remember that we always had a layover before coming home and I ALWAYS looked forward to hitting the local Baskin and Robbins or getting some real food during those layovers. My first deployment I came home 25 pounds lighter and it wasn't from exercise, it was because I got tired of the food being offered and simply chose to sleep instead of eat. I could support yanking these places for healthier options, but you have to have something to look forward to other than the same old choices, and admittedly, if you eat at these places to often, they also become the same old thing, but don't take them away.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. OIF/OEF/CJTF-HOA

    In response to Afghan Vet, what they mean by 'freeing up space' is that there are only so many flights and contracted flights that can accomodate the supplies into the AOR. By removing these fast food spots in the AOR it alleviates the space needed to bring in their supplies from the supply vendors. This can be one pallet or multiple pallets which are taking the space of critical items that are necessary for the fight to take place. It's not a matter of just adding more planes or contracts to fill the void because the picture is far greater than just physical support to haul the goods.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Pam

    As a retired Air Force member, I cannot believe they are taking away these simple luxuries. I mean these service men and women are putting their lives on the line every day and now they can't relax with a U.S. made hamburger or pizza or watch a movie to wind down from a very stressful day? These items may not seem like much to the decision makers, but Morale is a very powerful thing and it's the little things that count. When I was stationed at Al Kharj, Saudi Arabia, we were working 6 days a week and the only American Food we had was Baskin Robbins. An the only thing to do besides to to the gym was go to the movie tent. It was nice to get a little bit of home when you are so far way from home and family.

    I am sorry but the internet can't take the place of a hamburger or pizza. Are the troops supposed to pull up a picture and look at all the food they can't have?

    Please reconsider this decision. Our service men and women deserve more for the dedication they are giving to our country.

    What are the decision makers thinking?

    March 25, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  10. michiganguy

    The United States armed forces are a VOLUNTEER force right now and have been for decades. I can't believe the sheer uproar at all these people for removing BURGER KING and DAIRY QUEEN?! Are you kidding me? I'm sorry but I fully support my tax dollars to fund necessary items for my military but I do not consider these things as necessities. I fully understand the morale issue of soliders working long hours in poor conditions but as stated, this is VOLUNTARY, People volunteer. VOLUNTEER...that's the keyword. If you don't like it, don't VOLUNTEER. Wow. Talk about a bunch of people confused about their government and spending...half of this country cries about taxes and spending and then I see things like this and these responses and it makes me angry. I am not supporting your consumption of a stupid freaking whopper or blizzard. Get your priorities straight, America.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mike

    I'm not sure I look on these as a luxury, but as a bit of home to help keep the troops' morale up. I believe it was a mistake to remove these things.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Carrie

    No C, its not taxpayers money that is being wasted. AAFES is a NAF organization that provides these services for th troops.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Victor Joseph Osborne

    Fantastic move! With the savings in real estate and funds not paying for the meals that are not healthy for our warfighters, we should upgrade the food and water that our warfighters receive. A good, filling hot meal goes a lot farther than a BK whopper or PH pizza that sits in your gut. As far as taking away the movies, not a great move unless you have something occupying idle minds, i.e. Distance Education, so that their education stays on par with their civilian counterparts which in the long run keeps them competitive in the job market and benefits the DoD with "smarter, efficient" warfighters.

    Fit to Fight, in and of itself, is a chore because for the past 60 years the AF was not considered a fighting force. Now the climate dictates our Airmen be on par with Army and Marines to run convoy and whatnot. Good move for ramping up fitness. Take care of your health now so when you do retire you are not faced with disabilities. I would suggest tailoring the fitness routine to what it actually being faced on the hot line and not the "run, crunch, situps" we currently perform. The upside is the variety may make our Airmen eager to do something that feels different than being the hamster on the Habitrail run.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  14. vet in TX

    as an OIF vet I see both sides to the argument, but bottom line, they all need to take care of their main focus, complete their mission & stay alert. I hate that they are taking away their luxury but maybe the money military save s by doing this can go to paying out all the PTSD claims these soldiers will have when they return! Essayons America

    March 25, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  15. David

    Why are we in Afghanistan? Are they a big national security threat to invade the US with their Navy anytime soon? LOL I say leave this and Iraq behind and let the savges over there work out their own sh*t. We need an alternative to oil now so we can tell these sh*thole nations to f*ck off forever!!!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Roy

    That's what happens with Democrats cutting funding...life gets more difficult for our troops.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  17. deborah

    I am retired I feel sorry for this move on whoever's part the soldiers need a few luxuries in these times. I know we did not have them when I was over there But never the less it is being done. GOOD LUCK MEN AND WOMEN WHO WEAR WHAT EVER UNIFORM AND BE SAFE AND COME BACK HOME. I LOVE YOU LITTLE BROTHER(STEVEN)YOUR SIS.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Stevo

    Well, if they are going to increase access to phone and internet I think that's good. I think it's nice for troops to have a reminder of home in the form of fast food, but if it's disrupting logistics then the luxuries will be the first to go.

    I don't think it's that the restaurants take up lots of space on the ground, but more that they take a lot of space on the transport aircraft. The picture in this article shows a BK truck driving off of a plane... if that's holding up vital supplies then it's areal concern.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Adam M. USAF, E-8

    Having served in Kandahar, Afghanistan I am sickened that once again "leaders" find a way to screw over the troops. Lets not mention that the Army is already destroying their entire infrastructure with 2 wars and poor leadership or mention how many soldiers are getting divorces. Let's not even mention all the suicides; but to equate some semblance of nice living in a warzone to an amuzement park is insulting and downright repugnant. These "perks" are earned by our soldiers. We give 110% every single day and this is what we get? No new moves in our down time? What, are those new movies cutting into the same black market movies being sold at the bazaar on Kandahar? Locals getting angry? I got news for you Command Sgt Maj Hall, the only roller coasters our soldiers keep getting on are the ones "leaders" like you keep throwing them on, with talking out both sides of your mouth and doing what you can to destroy morale, not enhance it. Keep your soldiers in the fight 24/7, with no outlet to decompress, and see what happens. I trust the next time you look in the mirror and start patting yourself on the back the faces of the soldiers you are in favor of screwing do not stare back at you. Then again I am sure the mirror you are looking into is not in Iraq or Afghanistan. Feel free to write me back, as one leader to another.

    Adam

    March 25, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  20. gunny

    I guess the U.S.O will not be allowed ether. I served 25 years and what I see happening to my country and my military makes me sick! I can only imagine what is next!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  21. James

    Let's get them DVD players and TVs so they can still have some entertainment. Send them grills so they can enjoy BBQ. And if contactors will buck up and help with the perishables, lets get them meat, ice cream, so they can make it their way!! They need the R&R stuff to help them have some normalcy in thier lives.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Jeremy B

    Considering our men/women in uniform provide us with the greatest luxury known to humanity–freedom–you think we could provide something as basic as a Whopper. I'm sure there are reasons beyond the scope of this article for why this has happened, but we are talking about the most disenfranchised groups of Americans in the country, who deserve better.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Pat

    My son is presently serving in Afghanistan and is working the 12 hr. per day, 7 day per week schedule with no time off. Where he is located, their exercise room is the ONLY thing they have and it is a very small room with just a couple of pieces of equipment. They are housing 8 people in a small structure that should only have 4 people in it. We try to send items to him as much as possible because he doesn't have anything except the bare food essentials. Our soldiers deserve the best we have to offer – not taking away the few reminders of home they have. They are defending our freedom!!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Mayor McCheese

    We have no Burger Kings in the area. Welcome to my world. FML

    March 25, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Iraq Bee

    Grow up, Man up, and stand your post. If you are on or outside the wire, you have enough to worry about. If you start crying about your two scoops, Whopper with cheese or pepperoni on your pizza, then you are soft; PERIOD! Yes it is nice to have those luxuries, but damn, do you need to cry about it. And you wonder why the enemy is not afraid of us. BTW, don't forget to mention all the care packages with movies, snacks and music family and friends send for you to eat, watch on your dvd players and laptops you brought; or your IPOD.
    Sgt. Maj. Hall, good job. Carry on!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  26. USAF Ret.

    Hey Ray..."Many of them are no volunteers but have been ordered to go there in other words." What a load of crap. There is not one single soldier deployed or at home who did not willingly sign their own name to be in the armed forces. Sure, some thought they would be a weekend warrior and never leave home...that's their own fault for being naive.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Henry Miller

    Bad move, Sergeant Major.

    If all that stuff had never been available, it wouldn't be so bad, but taking it away once people get used it...

    March 25, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  28. john witkowski

    what ever happened to 'a little taste of home'? Is it too much for these service men and women who are sacrificing for our country?

    March 25, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Jenn

    If troops are running out of food and water on the outposts and forwards, then these guys really need to take into consideration their priorities. Pizza Hut seems pretty trivial in comparison.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  30. AirmanOnTheFrontLine

    To C:
    First of all don't knock it until you've been there and done that...I've been to plenty of bases where they have no food and water and we've always got what we wanted...They have water no matter what...trust me! So...again...don't be so ignorant until you're on the front line!!!

    To everyone else:
    Thanks for the support, they'll bring back the BK and what-not whenever they realize that PTSD is on the rise and when moral is low, suicides go up and people start raising heck. What people don't realize is that they have plenty of empty buildings that they could be stocking with water and food, and MRE's and what-not. It's all in a matter of planning and coordinating, which they are short-handed out there so it's not being done...

    March 25, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Paul S

    I think that these additional luxuries probably should have never been brought in to begin with. It is a warzone, not a permanent strip mall occupation. The health consquences are there additionally as well. Get in, get the job done, and get out, don't turn it into a long term shopping center with walls and a war outside the front doors.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Brian

    This clown is obviously a fobbit that has never left the base. I dont see a problem with boosting the morale of the troops. Watch suicides will go up. Morale is huge over there. Ive been there and done that and it does help.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  33. A RECENT returning VET

    THIS is the DUMEST thing I've ever read! ALl I read is... buracracy bolony... so what congressman OWNS the coffee places and DOESN'T own the DQ or BK? That's what it boils down too. And the lame excuses this article brings to light hold about enough water for a small child to drown in. LAME LAME LAME!!!! more space for troops... LOL and MORE STRESS for ALL those troops... I just returned and the ONE thing I looked forward to once a week was a Pizza Hut Pizza, why? cause it was american, it WASN'T the stardard Chow hall food, and it made me feel like a little at home... lame maybe but it broke the stress. This decision was totally made by people NOT serving long deployments in ANY zone... Do us all a favor... get out and go get your congressman appointed job.. let someone who knows what good decisions are take your slot. I'd write more but I think this article really just burns my... and giving it anymore attention would be like talking more about the national health plan...a waste of time.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  34. TJ

    I am in the military and I always bring my own entertainment. I take my laptop and lots of reading material. I don't rely on others for entertainment. As far as the food thing goes, I see no reason to take that out. We have the best logistical supply system in the world. I strongly doubt that there is actually a shortage of supply, but can guarantee there is a shortage of convoys carrying that supply due to the risk of being destroyed by IEDs.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Mimi

    SERIOUSLY?!? These men and women have the most stressful jobs out of anyone! They deserve a little luxury of a burger, pizza or sundae every once in a while. It's called morale folks. It may seem small to most folks, but believe me the small things really are huge to the troops out there. Next they will not allow grandma so send chocolate chip cookies to their grandkids who are there fighting for our country. Ridiculous!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Chief Warrant Officer

    Smart move. The war aganist our enemy has to be the focus at all time. If this type of support is geting in the way, than it needs to go. I only wish the everyday American would lose these also, maybe we'd remember more often were at war.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Concerned Vet

    So a $4 cup of coffee is good to relax with, and a high priced alternative to other energy drinks, but why keep those and not the fast food places? When it's 120+ degrees, a little ice cream is a good think to look forward to; whether you are lucky enough to be at the big bases, or even just getting rotated back for a little R&R. When I was deloyed AAFES (BK, DQ, Pizza Hut, etc...) didn't use military airlift much for their resupplies. Those tended to come from charter aircraft. What extra space are we freeing up as Americans by denying these luxury items to tired stressed troops? Maybe congress should spend more time on getting some morale programs reinstated for the troops and less on how to push things through the legistative system that will eventually be looked at as minor. Troops need some ways to enjoy a little American life. It's bad enough when we are so politically correct in the US the only US flag a troop may even see is on their uniforms, since if we fly one in that country it may offend them. Let's be Americans, if we can't show that, then let those countries citizens fight for their own "rights."

    March 25, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  38. adam carlton

    I can agree and disagree with this decision.... I definitely think that we are in a war and the enemy doesn't care about Burger King or DQ. They have one mission and one mission only. I definitely think that the money spent on these "luxury" facilities could be used in the war effort. The more emphasis we place on the effort the quicker the mission is completed and our troops can come home to their loved ones. I can see where it might get difficult to make the adjustments to this decision but whats more important? I think the sacrifice of Burger King and DQ is well worth it for the safety and well being of those troops not having the opportunity to appreciate those luxuries that some in the sand box have. I respect and agree with the decision. The pro's most definitely out weigh the con's.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Bob

    NEWSFLASH MAY 30TH, 2010: Suicides in the Kandahar US military base have sky-rocketed....

    GOOD JOB TOP BRASS: Saved money by not buying toilet paper so you could buy more toilets.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Rascals2006

    Probably could have been a better way to manage this - probably the decision of a U.S. commander who rules by tyranny - just like the commander a few months back who implemented punishment if a soldier in the war zone becomes pregnant or impregnates another. Who knows...lets just get the hell out of Iraq and Afghanistan.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  41. David

    There is a Jack In The Box at the Marine Base in San Diego! I ate there and it was one of the cleanest and best tasting fast food places I have ever visited!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Doobs

    How about we just leave there, period

    March 25, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Melissa

    Can we try to remember that these men and women are there to to a job no matter how they feel about the sitiuation they are in. They are not there personally to take away your tax money or to ruin your day. They are there to do their job, right or wrong. Why don't we give them a tiny reminder of home. The smells of home. The taste of home. I thnk whoever decided to eliminate this should actually have to eat real military food for the rest of their life. Maybe then they will be begging for just one piece of pizza and we will have to tell them, sorry, that is a "non essential" piece of your life now. Let's get back to reality folks, this is a war, we are all well aware of that. Non essential or not, they deserve any little reminder we can give them.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  44. CaptainCat

    I am currently in Afghanistan, and I see this as a petty, knee-jerk reaction. For those of us actually AT those forward bases and outposts, getting to eat a Pizza Hut pizza on the larger bases is a true luxury and something to look forward to on our RARE trips in. The armchair warriors at the top have their own personal chefs while we haven't had proper vegetables in 5 days on our base way out here in the blue. Ridiculous.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  45. V.H.

    As someone that has worked for Gen McChrystal, all I have to say is "We all saw this coming." His unofficial motto is that if you have time to do anything more than work, workout, eat and sleep, then you're clearly not working hard enough. And honestly, it was getting out of control over there. It's a warzone... not a mall, not a food court, and certainly not a place for nightclubs like at Bagram. Suck it up Private Snuffy, maybe you'll work harder to end the campaign faster to get home back to your luxuries.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  46. doofus

    Yeah, they signed up for the job. Sorry it's a sucky one. Though I think it would be nice to ensure they have some kind of "taste" from home, something to remind them of why they are there, they are fighting a war.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Shocktroop

    This is usually just a tightening of the belt by military superiors. It happens when troops lose focus of why they are there in the first place and more than likely, will probably save a life or two. As a Marine Corps vet, this is just common practice, usually after some sort of inspection of the troops. Don't forget, the military is a dictatorship and beatings will continue until morale improves!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  48. VietNam Vet

    Now you whiney people be quiet. Go take your bullet and know that somewhere, big daddy knows what is best for you! As you get ready for your 2nd, third or fourth rotation, be calm and know that Big Daddy really has your best interests at heart. Besides, who wants you smiling and happy with a stomach full of cheese burger when your unit is hit the next day. Makes no sense to me! Based on my experience, the Army is never wrong. The Arny takes care of its own. They sure did for me. I couldnt be happier.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  49. CB

    My husband is in a FOB over there and I must say this is terrible! The one that pulled everything out should have to suffer to but I'll bet they don't! Give the troops a little something. For God's sake...Look at what they are doing for ALL of us! They look forward to getting to the bigger bases just so they can have a little taste of home and we should see that they get it! Are any of our OTHER leaders going to do without their comforts? NO!!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Geoff

    I don't get it. They need to remove these things to remind the people who signed up to fight wars, that they are, in fact. in a war zone? It's done so after they get shot at and risk their lives outside the line, when they go back for a few hours they have someone telling them they removed the DQ because they want to enforce an overall 'war decor' for everyone? What?

    Is this the same idocracy that decades ago, came up with the idea that military vehicles shouldn't move past 40 mph because then they aren't military vehicles? Oh my God. I hate these obviously cover reasons masking the real ones.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  51. NYCindy

    I guess I don't understand why it comes down to a choice between sufficient food, water and other essentials on the front lines or a few paltry "luxuries" for the fighting men and women not currently in theheat of battle. Let's devote more assets to their physical and emotional support and their safety. Food, water, effective defensive equipment and ammunition, the latest films, Burger King, Dairy Queen, Pizza Hut and Orange Julius? ALL OF THE ABOVE FOR ALL OF THEM.

    Even better, let's bring them all home right now.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Carl

    As a 20 year enlisted vet I think this shows the type of thinking some senior officers have. Perhaps it should be a requirement for being promoted to the general ranks to have former enlisted experience. Maybe instead of returning from a combat and unwinding with his buds over a coke and burger they wiill have a few rum and cokes instead. What a dumb idea by simpilton who has floated to the top of the officer ranks. The President should have fired him for insubordation a long time ago..

    March 25, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  53. rob

    Seriously, are you kidding me!!!! You think a burger and a sundae make them forget they are in Afganistan??? This Commander has been in his boots for too long. I think he's forgotten who he is there to punish. Hopefully a higher ranking official will intervene on our soldiers behalf, and the officer in charge may be relieved of duty for a psychiatric exam. SHAME ON YOU; YOU IDIOT!!!!!!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Patrick

    By the way, America has the most advanced fighting force in the world, if we can't get ammo and supplies to the frontlines, someone needs to be fired.....MyCrystal anyone?

    March 25, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  55. diana

    Way over due. Nobody asked you to sign up for this and like it said in the article it is a war zone. I feel for these men and aplaud them with pride. But we need to get the hell out of there. In contrast, we had to go without at work too and if that means keeping my job so be it!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Joe Bradley

    Having been deployed around the world, these "luxuries" are the only connection with home sometimes. How it affects food and water to forward deployed troops is beyond me. To those who think this is taxpayer funded think again. These are portable restaurants that sell their food just like at home. We used to call them the "pier DQ" etc in Jebel Ali.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  57. vet21

    There is a way to save money so that our well-deservng troops can have access to these luxuries: don't send them to unnecessary wars. Afghanistan made sense but think of all the wasted funds used in Iraq.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  58. been there

    Nice work, Hall. Way to send the wrong message. What's next? The beatings will continue until morale improves. I was in Afghanistan very early when we had nothing – not even tents to sleep in. I, for one, am grateful that after almost a decade in the country the troops have just a few of the niceties of home. Well, I guess I should say "had." Not sure a battle has ever been lost because the troops lucky enough to pass through a support base in the rear had a whoppper or ice cream cone.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Robert

    Military has to blame somebody for their ineptitude. Why not Burger King, etc.?

    March 25, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Dalton

    This is sad. These men and women are putting their lives on the line and you mean to tell me they can not go and have a burger or ice cream and try and relax for a given minute? sad.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  61. SFC Everyone, INF PLT SGT

    All I can say, from having served in the "War Zone" is, bad move. Very bad move. Kiss what little moral you had goodbye. Our Grand Fathers had women brought to them, my father and uncles had beer sent to them, we get burgers and pizza. Now you want to take that away? Come on, they can't be teaching that at West Point? Can they? How to de-moralize your troops 101.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Ashley

    Wow, it's really humbling to read that burgers and ice cream are considered luxuries to the men and women over there fighting for their country. I take for granted my access to those things but I shouldn't. Even simple things like that come at a great price to someone. My thanks to all those who serve in the armed forces.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  63. mike ETT 07-08

    either all of us have it, or none of us do. The Soldiers on these big bases have KBR supported food, phones etc. without B.K etc they will still eat well. As for people who think the Soldiers (FOBBITS) deserve all that fast food- what about guys on ETT's? Taking away those fast food joints is the first step to showing ALL soldiers that we are in this together. a famous quote from Full metal Jacket. its a giant Poo sandwich and everyone has to take a bite.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Retired Army

    This is just the start of other governement cuts we will be seeing as a way to pay for health reform. Remember the commander in chief is also the president. It's always been easy to short the troops to pay for other programs. On the other hand if we can afford to supply the troops in a war zone with first run movies and other things we should. our politicians should support our troops with moral building things and all the material things needed to be successful in our current wars.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Healthguy

    Fast food is really unhealthy. Why not give our troops something good to eat?

    March 25, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Patrick

    So glad I got out of the Army. Since 2006 everything has gone down hill. I don't know if it's the leadership or fighting wars on all fronts, but it has really been over taken by bumbling idiots. If they get rid of BK and DQ, they should get rid of those showers from KBR that are electrocuting my brothers and sisters to death. FIRE MCRYSTAL!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  67. OIF vet

    Good riddance to those unneccessary luxuries. The grunts never really saw any of these luxuries, but we sure enjoyed overfilled port-a-johns and MREs for weeks because of slow supply lines. The rear echelon personnel need to concentrate on the job and make sure the grunts get what they need to win the war.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  68. alimarea

    Unreal. As if morale weren't low enough. I think this sucks. Although from what I understand, it's not as if they were stocked all that well to begin with. When your BK never has the meat to make Whoppers, your Popeye's never has chicken, and the only thing you can get a DQ is a coffee, it seems kind of pointless to have them there anyway.

    What in the hell is the point of taking away movies, though? And I'm with Afghan Vet. PTSD is on the rise, along with suicides and violent murders from those deployed. Taking away the things that help ground them in real life is certainly not going to help.

    Talk about taking 5 steps backward.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  69. WoodinVirginia

    Perhaps this move will end the Wars faster, people can concentrate on what they are there for. MRE was good enough for me when I served. Didn't get any luxuries in the Nam... perhaps you will appreciate getting out of the theater and back here stateside. JUst make sure you have them earplugs for that AR-15 otherwise when you get back you won't hear a danged thing..

    March 25, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  70. Ron Scott

    Morale is down, suicides are prevelant and this guy wants to cut down on what little they have...doesn't make sense to me as an Army veteran.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Teresa

    You've got to be kidding me. One comments was that the troops weren't volunteers. Tell me when was the draft reinstated? Troops are volunteers hence the majority of the people who are completely unaffected by the war. How can anyone support Brand restaurants imported to a foreign country at the taxpayer's expense? What happened to cooks in the military? Why isn't the focus on job to be done and not the amenities? Am I the only one who's seen Saving Private Ryan? Am I the only one who ever watched MASH? Am I the only one who has been to an actual Military base in the U.S.? The questions are many; the answers are few.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  72. Burton Ernie

    When did Burger King a 'luxury"?

    March 25, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Bob

    But without their mini-malls won't these soldiers forget what their fighing for?

    March 25, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  74. debbie Greene

    What! These guys are forced to go to AFGANASTAN and FIGHT for something ( what I am not sure of) and then they take away THE FES THINGS that are of value to these guys and make them fee better about being awayfrom home! INSANE!

    March 25, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  75. b

    Did you people actually read the article? They are not taking away BK "just to be mean" they are having logistical problems at forward operations, leaving fighting soldiers without supplies. If the folks back at home base can't deal, maybe the army wasn't a good choice.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  76. Lisa

    Those men and women are already cut off from family and freedom and now you want to take away hamburgers and movies??? To make room for 35,000 NEW troops. When will this ever end? When can we pull out of that sand trap forever? Leave the Afghans and Iraqis to their own designs and bring my countrymen home. Enough is enough.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  77. Doctor Doom

    I see some REMF getting fragged. Soon!

    March 25, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Jennifer

    Thankfully the artery clogging food is being taken away – Their under enough stress as it is, they don't need the added risk of heart attacks and strokes on top of it too!

    March 25, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      You need your air supply to be cut out and see how you do with that. Your head seems to be swelling up with that much air.

      July 14, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  79. lthrneck

    I'm sure the Marines at Camp Leatherneck and in and around Marjah are very concerned about the demise of Pizza hut, BK and the rest....oh no they're not because they have never had this crap.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Donald Brazeal

    Wow, BK, DQ, PIZZA!!! Never seen any of that crap on both of my IZ tours, guess us Marines on outpost dudty really lucked out. Grunts never get a break. I remember coming out of country and going to AlAsad airbase to to catch a bird to leave and they had a coffee shop that sold those ice cold coffee's, my company and I still in our dirty torn cammies saddeled up and drank ice cold coffee for hours, this was the first time we had anything like that for months on end.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Lisa

    Seems like we should treat our military better. They are sacrificing a lot to serve this country. A whopper is really the least we can do to say thanks. Why make them even more miserable there? Give them some comforts of home.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  82. Tinman

    Come on! Support your troops. Your a CSM in the greatest army in the world. Make this happen.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  83. JMB

    I note that the removal of these companies is in Afghanistan but not Iraq. I have served three tours in Iraq and those companies are very prevalent. I would caution however, that in Iraq I believe they get their supplies via commercial airlines or contract aircraft. I do not think they have that option in Afghanistan and it may very well be the space they are using on our military transports is needed for more essential items.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  84. Maggie

    Do you ever notice the warmongers are always the ones worried about the price tag? War isn't cheap– it has bankrupted many governments. This was a fact you would know, had you gone to a history class or two. You know, old boring, useless history classes?

    March 25, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  85. ransacker

    This is a joke. After putting these folks proverbial cojones in a sling, the military puts the few small joys and tastes of home off limits. Sad. Shame on you Pentagon.....

    March 25, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  86. Maggie

    If we can't afford to do both, come home. We can't expect our troops to fight a war in a hell-hole with no relief and support. If we can't get our kids a drink of water and a hamburger, then get the h out of there!

    March 25, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  87. Lili Willard

    My son is currently serving in Afghanistan on an FOB. He works long, hot hours. His base is not known for having decent food as it is. He often goes hungry because he cannot eat it. But he does not complain. So when he gets to go to one of the bigger bases, it is a real treat to have a DQ or Whopper, and he loves Pizza Hut. This refreshes him and he goes back to the FOB in good spirits and ready to do his work. So..is this really a 'luxury'? Or is it giving needed support to our men and women who are putting their lives on the line to make sure we can continue to have DQ, Whoppers and Pizza Hut here as well????
    Ohiolili

    March 25, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  88. Jay Bee

    Whoever made this decision needs to retire/be retired, post haste!

    March 25, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  89. t

    thats not good

    March 25, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  90. SPC Rogers, Robert W.

    What the hell is this, need the space for 35,000 more troops. Sorry but this is a bunch of "BS". I have done two tours in Iraq, on bases that have these little taste of home. Unless Afganitan is different then Iraq that do not take up that much room. I also do not see it as a distraction for the soldier.
    You go out do your mission come back to the FOB and it is a welcome treat to go to one of the fast food places.
    I for one was not all that impressed with them and can honestly say out of two tours I maybe stopped at one of them a handfull of times. But they do a big business, just because I was not that impressed with them, does not mean that a lot of other soldiers felt the same way. The places were always packed.
    I am surprised that AFFES is not up in arms over this considering the cut they make off this shops.
    I do find it interesting though that "Green Beans" is staying. I guess the higher ups still need that cup of specialty coffee.
    “This is a warzone – not an amusement park,”
    Well if that is the thinking are not the increase in fitness centers and Internet and telephone capabilities also a distraction. By his onw words, "This is a warzone – not an amusement park."
    I bet they are even concidering canceling the USO tours. That is another big distraction.
    And please don't tell me are they also taking out the roller coasters?

    March 25, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  91. Afghan Vet

    More BS from leadership that is out of touch with or chooses to ignore troop morale. We're stretched thin, on multiple deployments, and away from our families....now they want to remove a luxury that many look forward to when they come in from the Forward bases. In reference to the "freeing up space" for troop accommodations, the Burger King, DQ, Popeyes, and Pizza hut were all in the BX complex at Bagram and took up minimal space. Are you going to billet troops at the BX now????? At a time when PTSD is on the rise and there is no end in sight to this conflict we do this.....BRILLIANT

    March 25, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • R

      Well stated!!!

      March 26, 2010 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  92. C

    I wonder how much tax-payers are subsidizing this mini-mall commercialized reality. I probably don't want to know.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  93. DownRange

    We'll see how long this lasts. When morale goes in the pooper, and the guys that are on the front lines say the only thing they wanted on their one or maybe two trips a rotation to BAF or KAF is a pizza or whopper. This will also have an impact on our coalition partners, when they can't get some of the "nice to have" things because the US wants to have a "No Smile Zone", you will find more and more coalition partners not living on US controlled bases, where a US commander can't control what they do. I understand this is a war, we are fighting, but you have to walk the line when it comes to the morale of the people who make sure this war can be won!

    March 25, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  94. David

    Its nice to see that the senior leaders are in tune wiht the little things that keep up moral. I am not sure how having a little taste from home degrades our ability to fight the enemy but I am sure that this choice will degrade the moral of the war fighter.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  95. davonskevort

    let me guess a DVD movie takes more space than coffee grounds.... ya right... you know who is drinking coffee... the general! Lets cut out the bright yellow PT belts at night too after all it is a war zone. O and what about the ethnic dances and music at MWR... O and what about all those contractors... why dont we bring back the draft and get some 18 year old to do a job for 20k that we pay some fat lazy 50 year old to do for 200k.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  96. T

    About time. It really makes me mad to know that my son who is stationed at a forward operating base tells me that they run out of food and water. If all of the soldiers across Afghanistan aren't receiving enough basic supplies there shouldn't even be a DQ, BK or anything else.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • R

      If they are running out of food and water, the doesn't it seem logical to have access to these amenities that would provide the very thing they are running out of?

      March 26, 2010 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  97. W.H. Koon

    Our troops need all of the support and "luxuries" that we can provide. The biggest luxury to them and to us as taxpayers would be to bring them home right now.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  98. ray clark

    This is one of the goofiest command decisions that has been made in recent years. The guys serving in these places have no choice but to be there. Many of them are no volunteers but have been ordered to go there in other words. They are already deprived of spending time with family, pursuing a good jobs and many other things we in stateside locations take for granted. For some general or chairborne ranger who has probably viewed this war from the comfort of his air-conditioned tent's recliner, this shows total disdain for the experiences mostly bad that his troops have to endure daily.

    March 25, 2010 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  99. Iraq Paramedic

    We never had those kind of things when I was in the Army, I got my honorable 5 April 1979 from the 1/52 Infantry. Heck I remember sleeping in a bag out in the open not in a CHU. When I went thru BCT & 11B20 school the DI's could still kick your but if they wanted. I still have praise & prayers for all our young men & women in all the services.

    March 25, 2010 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  100. Jay

    As a veteran who has served overseas, all I can say is... sucks to be them.

    Servicemen work long days... sometimes very long days, and often 7 days a week.

    My old unit was a fan of the "12 on, 12 off" schedule. meaning that you worrk 12 hours, then are off 12 hours... 7 days a week... no exceptions.

    After getting back from duty, after a meal... basically the whole day is shot.

    The movies at the theater were one of the few to look forward to in the off hours. I understand its probably just a money/infrastructure thing, but there has to be a way to keep this stuff.

    These guys are risking thier lives every day. taking away the few luxuries (and I use that word VERY loosely) that they have is a crime

    March 25, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
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