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
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  1. Antpmpm

    Splendide journée à chacun des contributeurs de cette communauté ,

    Premièrement, donnez-moi l'occasion de vous montrer mon appréciation pour toutes les très "à propos" informations que j'ai lues sur cet beau site web .

    Je ne suis pas sure d'être au bon section mais je n'en ai pas trouvé de meilleure .

    Je vis à Brantford, canada . J'ai 43 ans et j'élève 2 agréables enfants qui sont tous âgés entre 11 et 11 années (1 est adoptée ). J'aime beaucoup les animaux domestiques et je fais de mon mieux de leur offrir les fournitures qui leur rendent l'existance plus agréable.

    Je vous remercie dès maintenant pour toutes les très pertinentes discussions qui viendront et je vous remercie de votre compréhension pour mon français moins qu'idéal : ma langue maternelle est l'espagnol et je fais de mon mieux d'apprendre mais c'est très ardu !

    A bientôt

    Arthru

    June 18, 2011 at 2:58 am | Report abuse |
  2. estiliala4

    What is the best search engine http://google.com or http://yahoo.com?

    June 2, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  3. Marwukc

    Excellente soirée à tous,

    Pour débuter , offrez-moi l'occasion de vous montrer mon appréciation pour chacune des très intéressantes infos que j'ai rencontrées sur cet impressionnant site.

    Je ne suis pas convaincue d'être au bon section mais je n'en ai pas vu de meilleur.

    J'habite à Carmacks, États-Unis. J'ai 41 années et j'éduque cinq super enfants qui sont tous âgés entre 8 et 14 années (1 est adopté). J'aime beaucoup les animaux et j'essaie de leur garantir les produits qui leur rendent la vie plus agréable.

    Merci d'avance pour toutes les palpitantes délibérations à venir et je vous remercie de votre compréhension pour mon français moins qu'idéal : ma langue maternelle est l'arabe et je fais de mon mieux de m'enseigner mais c'est très compliqué !

    A bientôt

    Arthru

    May 18, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Gushqbe

    Salut à tous,

    Premièrement, offrez-moi la possibilité de vous montrer mon appréciation pour toutes les formidables connaissances que j'ai trouvées sur cet beau forum.

    Je ne suis pas certaine d'être au bon endroit mais je n'en ai pas vu de meilleure .

    J'habite à Sackville, ca . J'ai 32 années et j'élève 5 agréables enfants qui sont tous âgés entre huit ou 12 années (1 est adopté). J'aime beaucoup les animaux de compagnie et je tempte de leur garantir les accessoires pour animaux qui leur rendent l'existance plus confortable.

    Je vous remercie dors et déjà pour toutes les superbes délibérations à venir et je vous remercie surtout de votre compassion pour mon français moins que parfait: ma langue maternelle est l'arabe et je tempte de m'enseigner mais c'est très ardu !

    A plus tard

    Arthru

    April 25, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Patlvcf

    Salut à tous les membres de ce site ,

    En premier lieu , donnez-moi la chance de vous démontrer mon appréciation pour toutes les très "à propos" informations que j'ai retrouvées sur cet agréable forum .

    Je ne suis pas assuree d'être au bon section mais je n'en ai pas trouvé de meilleure .

    Je viens de Dalhousie, États-Unis. J'ai 36 années et j'éduque 6 super enfants qui sont tous âgés entre sept et 12 années (1 est adoptée ). J'aime beaucoup les animaux et je fais de mon mieux de leur garantir les fournitures qui leur rendent l'existance plus heureuse .

    Merci dès maintenant pour toutes les palpitantes délibérations à venir et je vous remercie surtout de votre compassion pour mon français moins que parfait: ma langue de naissance est le portuguais et je fais de mon mieux d'apprendre mais c'est très difficile!

    Arrividerchi

    Arthru

    April 18, 2011 at 4:44 am | Report abuse |
  6. Marjenm

    Splendide après-midi à chacun des participants de cette communauté ,

    Pour débuter , offrez-moi la chance de vous démontrer mon appréciation pour toutes les super informations que j'ai lues sur cet beau phorum .

    Je ne suis pas sure d'être au bon endroit mais je n'en ai pas vu de meilleure .

    Je proviens de Yarmouth, usa. J'ai 44 ans et j'élève trois agréables enfants qui sont tous âgés entre 6 et 14 années (1 est adopté). J'aime beaucoup les animaux et je fais de mon mieux de leur donner les accessoires qui leur rendent l'existance plus heureuse .

    Merci à l'avance pour toutes les super débats à venir et je vous remercie de votre compréhension pour mon français moins qu'idéal : ma langue de naissance est l'espagnol et je tempte de m'enseigner mais c'est très ardu !

    A plus tard

    Arthru

    April 16, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. tfBobltm

    Salutations à toutes et tous ,

    Pour débuter , offrez-moi l'occasion de vous démontrer mon appréciation pour toutes les superbes infos que j'ai retrouvées sur cet agréable forum .

    Je ne suis pas assuree d'être au bon section mais je n'en ai pas vu de meilleur.

    J'habite à Brossard, canada . J'ai 41 ans et j'éduque 3 très gentils enfants qui sont tous âgés entre sept et 11 ans (1 est adopté). J'aime beaucoup les animaux de compagnie et je fais de mon mieux de leur garantir les produits qui leur rendent l'existance plus diversifiée .

    Je vous remercie à l'avance pour toutes les super délibérations qui viendront et je vous remercie de votre compréhension pour mon français moins qu'idéal : ma langue maternelle est l'espagnol et je tempte d'apprendre mais c'est très difficile!

    Au plaisir!

    Arthru

    April 12, 2011 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
  8. vimanulh7

    Superbe soirée à toutes et tous ,

    En premier lieu , donnez-moi l'occasion de vous montrer mon appréciation pour toutes les superbes connaissances que j'ai rencontrées sur cet formidable phorum .

    Je ne suis pas sure d'être au bon endroit mais je n'en ai pas vu de meilleure .

    Je demeure à Crofton, ca . J'ai 34 années et j'ai trois très gentils enfants qui sont tous âgés entre 10 ou 11 années (1 est adoptée ). J'aime particulièrement beaucoup les animaux et je fais de mon mieux de leur garantir les accessoires qui leur rendent l'existance plus diversifiée .

    Je vous remercie dès maintenant pour toutes les palpitantes discussions à venir et je vous remercie surtout de votre compassion pour mon français moins qu'idéal : ma langue maternelle est le chinois et je tempte d'apprendre mais c'est très difficile!

    A +

    Arthru

    March 29, 2011 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
  9. Muhibullah

    Damn! what will that whale in the picture do without her big macs?

    October 6, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  10. 'OL sargeant Will

    Looks like to me some "PX Ranger" of a Sergeant Major forgot the basic tennants of Non-Commissioned Officers; TCOYS
    (Take Care Of Your Soldiers). It's called MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation). It's there to help reduce stress in FOB's.
    Give the boys a little release. They can't go to a village or town to eat a meal that don't consist of battle rations. Damn it, it's just a burger! If that keeps that soldier from going into the thousand yard stare from PTSD and doing something stupid or dangerous, then let them have it!

    August 10, 2010 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  11. Richard

    Lets talk about support for the troops and the base. Each one of those businesses paid a tax toward upkeep of the base and to directly support the military population. The annual take was over 4 million just in Kandahar from the vendors such as Burger King and Pizza Hut. The main draw is not gone and revenue way down for the remaining businesses. Guess who will suppliment the loss in revenue to all these bases that have lost their popular fast food places???

    June 7, 2010 at 2:45 am | Report abuse |
  12. Renee

    Positive move when looking at this from a health perspective.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jean norris

    Mike, It looks like we are back in the black boots army again. I know an old soldier who would be very proud of a young soldier and good father
    Jean

    April 27, 2010 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Paul

    First of all let me start by saying, I am currently in Kandahar. The problem here is not a shortage of food or anything getting to the FOBS. The problem is that Kandahar is overcrowded already. I have asked a series of soldiers what their job was and a large majority of them have replied that they did not even have a mission. The push of troops was too soon and now there are 24,000 some odd Army soldiers alone that "Move Cargo". They get to Kandahar and they fall into the groove here and then you never see them push out to their designated FOBS in the first place. I am not even saying that them closing down all of the restaurants is necessarily a bad thing. But really when I walked by the alterations booth today and they had up that they would be closing as well? That is a bit much. The other problem is that as America gets rid of their fast food places, people need to realize that this is a NATO base. Ever since the idea was introduced that they might be closing these facilities, other nations have started building up their own restaurants. We have had 3 additional restaurants put up since then. What we are really succeeding in doing is blocking off the return of funds to America. Do you really think that because we closed down Pizza Hut and Burger King that the Soldiers will not just go eat at the Mama Mia's Pizza that was just opened or maybe at the Lebanese Restaurant that they are installing as we speak. Even if you could fit a portion of 35,000 more troops here in Kandahar.......We would still be overcrowded.

    April 17, 2010 at 5:15 am | Report abuse |
  15. Jacque

    I find this decision absolutely cruel and devastating to the American and Military Forces, American and foreign contractors, and the locals who work on Bargam Air Base. These establishments were a taste of home for the Americans and the opportunity to share a small portion of the American cuisine with the many foreigners here.

    If the military found the suicide rate was high before this decision, the suicide rate will climb even higher. This was a way of having a burger or an ice cream sundae with a friend and dicusss family and friends back home. If a battle buddy was in trouble emotionally or financially, sitting outside at one of the local 'hang outs' and just talking things over with a buddy may have helped many of people especiallyour soliders, regardless of their ethnicity or nationality. You cannot believe the enormous amout of stress we are all under and the military bare the brunt of the stress. The deserve a small taste of home when they can break away from the way.

    The Green Bean was left intact, a place that charges you an arm and a leg for a cup of coffee and just as much for an ice tea. That's the establishment they should have closed down.

    For my money, and call me CRAZY, but as a resident here on Bagarm in 2010 and I have been for the past two years and three months, I say this is a very unwise decision and it needs to be re-thought.

    Jacque

    April 15, 2010 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
  16. RJ

    I am currently in bagram right now.. not to say that i frequent all those places on a regular basis, but it is a nice piece of home to fall back on every so often when you dont feel like having the same food from the dining facility that you had the day before. I can say first hand, every time that i did stop by one of those places, the line was practically out the door. So i know that Im not the only one that feels this way. I know that the primary focus here is to win the "hearts and minds" of the Afghani population, but how are we suppose to continue to do this if our "hearts and minds" are being taken away bit by bit.

    April 7, 2010 at 1:41 am | Report abuse |
  17. Deflowered

    OK I absolutely have to comment and help out one of the posters who had tons of questions.
    1. Tell me when was the draft reinstated?
    It wasn't. However, 99% of people don't join the military to go to war. Most people, myself included joined the military because it became a last action due to stupid life mistakes/circumstances/education/or even a chance to start over anew. (There many more reasons) Still we go since it is our duty and we don't complain because we knew what it meant to join. But the commenters comment on whom your commenting (...) was trying to point out that its not like were volunteering to dodge bullets and morters all day...or something along those lines.

    2. How can anyone support Brand restaurants imported to a foreign country at the taxpayer's expense?
    Believe me, you are paying for a lot more stupid things. What these few simple reminders of home do to keep us from going insane is more than worth it in my opinion. But don't take my word for it, go down range yourself for a year and a half...eat the same chicken and rice every meal every day. Have all the random conversations with your buddies about twinkies, favorite fast food items, best pizza places/toppings (these convos are in mouth watering detail) and see if your eyes don't light up like the morter lit sky when you see a pizza hut again.

    3. What happened to cooks in the military?
    Cooks arn't specialized, they cover a wide variety of "services"...like work at the gym, library...lots of things like that. That being said, unless they were all professionally trained chefs, theres only so much that you can do with chicken, rice and eggs...expecially when cooking for thousands of people every single meal. No spices, no seasoning, overcooked...and not to mention that our food...much like most things...the contacts go to the lowest bidder. Lowest bidder=lowest quality.

    4. Why isn't the focus on job to be done and not the amenities?
    We do our jobs everyday anywhere 14-16 hours a day. Its not like we can just walk over to BK anytime we want. Hell, my last deployment I only got to go to BK about 2 times, and Pizza Hut like once. The article doesn't tell you this and kind of gives the impression we actually get to eat there every meal. Most eat out the chow halls every day.

    5. Am I the only one who's seen Saving Private Ryan? Am I the only one who ever watched MASH?
    I dont get what a "MOVIE" and a fictional "COMEDY" have to do with real life...or this article, but I can guarantee that they would have absolutly loved a good pizza every now and then that wasn't made by putting tomato paste on cardboard and sprinkling it with some cheese.

    6. Am I the only one who has been to an actual Military base in the U.S.?
    Am I the only one who's actually been to an actual war zone? Maybe its just me but I didn't know the bases in the US were considered WAR ZONES. To assume one knows everything about how the military works based on a visit to a base is like assuming you can speak French because you saw a picture of the Eiffel Tower once in a magazine. It's two completely different boats. One is sinking, the other is not...if you can grasp what I'm saying.

    7.The questions are many; the answers are few.
    The answers are many, the questions are stupid.

    All that being said, I'd rather have something to eat than nothing to eat. Just please don't take away A/C. Hard to sleep when its 130 degrees out.

    April 6, 2010 at 3:05 am | Report abuse |
  18. Shu

    Great Call, it is a war zone. So, lets get rid of the PT Belts that say HEY SHOOT ME! and the rediculous ROE. Military leadership in Afghanistan are a bunch of overpaid Idiots. Don't forget to show that BS video on suicide, after you make that Heck hole even worse. Oh it's a warzone too. So Gen McCrystal please vacate your Air Conditioned Luxery home with a big screen and private cooks. Also please turn over the keys to your luxary SUV's.

    April 4, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Josh

    After being deployed, it honestly makes since. People would complain more about getting to contact friends and family back home, but couldn't complain about the food (at larger baseds) because the FOBBITS were steadily stuffing their faces with Dairy Queen, BK, etc...I think it's a good decision; point blank, a combat zone is a combat zone, not a paid vacation at a Food Court.

    April 3, 2010 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  20. Paul

    As usual this is all for show. ISAF (the NATO Command structure) has the same facilities, including a full service TGI Fridays. ISAF has already stated they will replace whatever is removed. This is a case of Showmanship, spite politics, or dare I say it some corrupt command staff getting a better kick back from the ISAF structure. Forget what the guy SAYS. AAFES does not take away transport space from critical war fighting equipment. beleive me...the BK has no problem being out of onion rings for months on end because they can not get space on a transport. If a soldier is running out of food at his FOB, it is because someone in his Log chain is incompetent, not because there is a trailer Burger King in Kandahar. This is all just middle management chest puffing.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:05 am | Report abuse |
  21. Lisa

    As the daughter of a soldier who died in Vietnam and the wife of a retired airmen I feel moved to comment on this story. The military give up so much daily, including the chance of losing their lives. Yes, they do volunteer to be in the service and they do not expect fast food and first run movies. But does it deter them in some way from doing their duty having these small amenities? I believe not. Having something to look forward too and feeling a little closer to home is good for morale. Eating a burger and fries does not make you a spoiled military member. I think it is outrageous that the military is taking the time to decide what few extras to take away instead of what is needed or needs to be improved as far as equipment and supplies.

    March 30, 2010 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Jennifer Sanfacon

    This is the most out-of-touch moronic decision ever....and I am a Health Teacher who advocates getting these places out of schools. However, see the research on STRESS. STRESS=Lowered Immune Response=Lowered Mental Capacity. DUMB and cruel...this is not our fathers military, but it is still NO AMUSEMENT PARK. Moronic decision!

    March 30, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Roc Deezl

    Ok Marines...that is enough about how you never had these "luxuries" when you spent your little 6 mos in Iraq or Afghanistan. I've done four tours 2 A'stan and 2 Iraq...and all but one were longer than 12 months and I can tell you that everytime I went to a BK or a Green Beans or anywhere...there were Marines there too.

    What everyone needs to understand is that there aren't very many of these places around over there. I spent all of my time out there in the middle-of-nowhere FOBs, but it was great to stop by the "big" FOBs while out on a mission or convoy and get the opportunity to visit a BK or Pizza Hut!! IT WAS LIKE HEAVEN!!! And now, the leadership wants to take that away from the Troops. I'm retired from the Army now (less than a year ago!), but it disgusts me that leaders are so willing to decimate the morale of their warriors for no reason whatsoever. Like I said, there aren't that many establishments like these over there to make an impact or even take away "room for more Troops"...this is point blank uncaring, out-of-touch leadership. Fast Food is one of the best things the Troops have going for them over there (Yes...even the Marines)....DON'T TAKE THAT FROM THEM!!!

    And BOOM....applesauce, I LOVED YOUR POST!!! LOL!!!!

    March 30, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  24. tom from cresco

    i spent 20 years in the sevice. everyone is missing the big picture.
    our servicemen and women who are overseas risking their life each and every day,
    lets ask THEM, what THEY would like. we know gov. is trying to save room for needed supplies for the missions overseas. i say let the gov. take care of the suppies needed. and let "DQ / BURGERQEEN, and any other specialty companys who have vendors over seas make thier own arangements for those suppies.

    again lets ask the "GI" what can we do for you while you are overseas.

    tom

    March 30, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  25. austin from illinois

    These brave men and women are risking their lives to protect our country and how do we repay them...BY TAKING AWAY FAST FOOD! I don't know about you but this really grinds my gears because they're over there protecting us while were sittin over here in the safety and confort of our homes trying to decide whether or not to take fast food away from them. That isn't my idea of respect.....

    March 30, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  26. keith

    I think this is outrageous... these men and women are in war zones... with a fair percentage of them on their 3rd or 4th tours... it's not like their in a peace time army... and can just take off to get a burger over lunch... or go off base to see a movie in their off time... Our government is asking these men and women to sacrifice much... i don't see how removing some burger stands or theaters is going to make our troops any more fighting effective... the initial story I saw said they were removing these "luxuries" to improve moral... sounds more like a way to screw our troops to save some money to me... When Obama campaigning for office... I don't remember hearing him saying he was going to get Dairy Queen out of Iraq & Afghanistan

    March 30, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Jason Delacruz

    I think one of the reasons why they are eliminating these food vendors is to reduce government spending. I just saw yesterday that 2 congressmen introduced the Stop Outsourcing Security Act in order to phase out security contractors from the war zone. Eliminating food vendors is the beginning of the withdrawal of contractors in Iraq & Afghanistan. Expect to see fewer contractors in the warzone over the next few years.

    March 30, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Amy

    These soldiers risk thier lives everyday to protect and serve this country,Why cant they be allowed to enjoy just a FEW of the good things in life with something as simple as Burger King or Dairy Queen.Let them enjoy it!

    March 30, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Sam B.

    My husband just arrived home this week from his deployment. The troops work had if they have time to sit down and watch a movie, let them. It’s a small comfort and remind of home after what they have to go through. They are deployed the only comforts of home they have are in boxes sent from loved ones; if they want a cheeseburger let them get a cheeseburger. They are going to increase the number of gyms but who is going to have time to use them? My husband’s unit was lucky to call home once a month, not because they didn’t have phones available but because they didn’t have the time.

    March 30, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  30. lj

    Why???? why are they taking the little bit of home away from our soldiers????
    My children are overseas!!!!! They look forward to burger king, pizza hut and movies. They don't have movie theaters like in the United States so when there is a movie they look so forward to this "special" time, while they wait for their daddy to come back... and there are fit and healthy...they take gymnastics and participate in all sports and excel in there studies...
    And to hear some of you complain about this!!!!!! They are risking their lives for us.....so that you can get on your computer and complain freely....you all trying living over there is those countries and see if you would get away with the "complaints"...There is the door complainers...we wont stop you...

    March 30, 2010 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  31. JSmithOnCnn

    I say yes to movies and no to junky and unhealthy fast food. We do not want our soldiers to have high bad cholesterol and blood sugar in their later life.

    March 30, 2010 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  32. dismissed

    Its bad enough that BK, and DQ are being taken away but at my base, we have NOOO U.S. funded facilites. We have to pay Euros for a toothbrush or wait for a care package, and do you think "THEY" care? This is why many soldiers choose to get out, because the higher ups lose focus on the true BIG Picture..THE SOLDIERS, something that they use to be. Im sure they didnt join and instantly put on General or CSM....Remember where you came from!

    March 30, 2010 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  33. MSgt, US Air Force , Retired

    After serving months and months TDY in places that I would never want to live in, a little peice of home would of been nice once in a while. the increase of morale would be a big benefit. Yea I know that there is a war going on but we spend millions of dollars for aid to other countries to feed and cloth the poor. The least we can do is give out troops a liitle bit of pleasure which in turn would increase morale. I disagree with the deceision that the higher military leaders have made.

    Msgt, USAF, Retired

    March 30, 2010 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  34. Mike

    Sgt. Maj. Michael T. Hall your my hero! About time the Army went back to having standards. Less BK and more PT will be a great start, your right it is a so called war but if you look around Bagram it looks like your any base in the states. Time we get this crap wrapped up and our troops back home.

    March 30, 2010 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  35. Boom...applesauce

    I like the posts from Marines criticizing Fast Food places in combat. I guess you have all forgotten about Al Assad in Iraq, the base full of US Marines that are all in line at fast food joints on the FOB.
    I'm lovin it, and so were you.

    March 30, 2010 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
  36. Boom...applesauce

    Kandahar's boardwalk is not really that important to US combat warrior troop morale.
    The majority of customers there for BK, DQ, OJ, and Pizza Hut are not US Army Warriors.
    Those establishments are mostly visited by Canadians, Brits, and US Marines.
    Most US Army Soldiers are too busy off the FOB doing their jobs.
    Even if those four establishments were closed, rear-echelon non warriors would just use the Tim Horton's donut shop run by Canada, the Patisserie deli run by the French, or the Four Seasons restaurant run by the Dutch. All three are on or near the boardwalk anyways.

    March 30, 2010 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
  37. jturner

    As a current soldier and a frequent flier to the greater sout west asian territories, I understand what it feels like to be able to unwind and enjoy a good burker or cinnabon from time to time. However, if and only if the supply lines are being bogged down as they say they are. Then it is an issue and this is the correct action to take but that doesn't mean they have to be like this from now on. In OIF 1, the only meal I had was from and Mobile Kitchen Trailer. There are other vices that a solder can use for MWR. This is a combat zone, quit being a baby. No one told all the whiners that they had to join the service, it's for REAL men and women. If you don't like it get out and stay at home with mommy.

    March 30, 2010 at 7:10 am | Report abuse |
  38. Renato Santos

    This is a step in the wrong direction. It is not as if these fastfood chains and recreational activities are getting in the way of their mission. In fact, I would argue the opposite the availability and presence of these so called "non-essentials" provide them a some form of respite from the burning images of conflict and war. This is hardly luxury. It is a slice of what they had back home. The military are the most disciplined, honorable, and patriotic people in the country. They are the most under-compensated career servicemen in the world. When you consider what they put on the line and what they get for in return. No amount of money could bridge the gap. Considering what they do for the country, it is not privilage to have such luxury, it is just a small amount of gratitude from a nation that they keep safe and serve with their very lives.

    March 30, 2010 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
  39. SGT SKI...

    I would really like to know who see's first premire movies in Iraq and in Afghanistan? Since we all get and buy Haji copies of the newest films! An if standards are better in Iraq then Afghanistan why is it that everyone has to wait in line for the few computers at KBR while some Nigerian guards/ contractors get priority before many US Soldiers?

    An if thats not crazy enough how about all those soldiers who arive down range with no weapon and need a memo just to eat in the chow hall and if they dont have the memo their denied access to the chow hall? Still if thats not crazy enough for you how about being kicked out of the chow hall after coming in from mission and just wanting a "to go plate" and being denied because your dusty or sweaty! I mean i understand if your really dirty it might be a mess to clean up while you track through the chow hall, but it goes with the job...

    I mean lets be honest here the war is F'ed up and we all know it and the way soldiers in general are given gear is meesed up! I mean for the past 30+ years we've known the M-16/ M-4 is not a good weapon with double feeds and other issues but we still use them even though there is a part that would fix those issues! An if thats not bad enough how is it that we buy our own equipment like Plate Carriers and other stuff because its better then whats given to us by Uncle Sam? While the the top brass runs around in Dragon Scale body Armor? Honestly theres more that needs to be addressed here then the red hering of fast food on FOB's...

    March 30, 2010 at 1:58 am | Report abuse |
  40. Seriously.

    Browsed the comments because I find it mildly humorous. So many people decided that they had an opinion on the situation in Iraq/Afghanistan when really they have no idea what they are talking about. And all their 'facts" were from watching television from their living room.

    A) This is not a war in the general sense of course things are different. This is not Germany, Japan or Vietnam. They were actually allowed to fight and win than, instead of being wrapped up in Politically correct red tape. Either unleash the best fighting force the world has ever seen in a manner that will crush and cripple any opposition or send them home.

    B) Army units on average will spend 12-15 months downrange give them a burger.
    If Marines are better than that and don't want it than great, no one cares that is not a constructive comment towards a discussion on this topic.

    C) All three (military, civi's, contractors) have an equal amount of people who do not contribute anything so its pretty annoying to see everyone blaming everyone else like kids.

    March 30, 2010 at 12:42 am | Report abuse |
  41. THOMAS

    Fast food is not a luxury. It might taste "good" to some but its a poor quaility of food that no one should really be eating. As a previous employee of Burger KIng in my highschool days I hope that our soldiers are getting fed proper food that sustains life not causes heart disease and cholesterol. We all can maybe hold ourselves to a higher standard of the food we eat. Food is not made to be fast and quick but this is the direction that our society is heading, should it be? I can maybe understand about the movies but there are plenty of good films that are not first run out there that I am sure many people have not seen. Besides you can get the DVD nowadays like two months later. Why not wait? Is it such a big deal to Wait.

    March 29, 2010 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  42. in the Stan

    For Phyllis from comment1538.
    Thanks for your wonderful insight. I am assumining you have never been deployed.
    Yes fast food is bad for us . Do we need it here? not really , but the Dining facility where i am based (Supreme) is just about a unhealthy as any fast food place you can name. Mostly everything is deepfired in the same greese. Myself and many of my collegues have gotten sick numerous times eating at this place.
    An alternative once in a while would be a nice break from the garbage they serve us on a daily basis and charge a huge fee for each meal for their own profit. Bbefore anyone says "all the food is free,"
    no . the swipe cards we have are to charge each nation for each meal.
    At least these fast food places put money back into the MWR to supprt the morale of the troops.
    What some of our soldiers consider a luxery , oh and it is. why the hell not?
    I mean officers are now demanding Cable television in their accomidations. Do the FOB's have this luxery?? They must! because McCrystal wants all the big bases to be like the FOBS. If they don't have it niether should we.
    Lets make this war as rough on our troops as we can.

    March 29, 2010 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  43. David

    I'm tired of hearing about the old guys who use to serve in the military and how they didnt have these kind of things. Woopty doo. Things have changed. How we fight a war has changed. These Men and Women are out there risking there lives every day so we can all sleep at night and you want to take away some little things like Burger King, DQ, etc.. I spent 7 months in Iraq and didnt have access to any of this either but that doesnt mean I want others to go with out. They deserve it. Lay off of the younger generation of fighters. Its a new time. Its a new way of fighting. And now this is a new way of keeping the troops remembering home. It may just be a sandwhich or ice cream but it makes all the difference when your out there. Let them have the extras. There are other places where money is being wasted so get the cash from there. Semper Fi whether your a Marine or not.

    March 29, 2010 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Mariposa Rayna

    Hey, if it's good enough to take from our troops, let's just close down all the BKs and DQs across America, since everyone who is against it for our troops, NO ONE in America should have it either.
    My husband may have volunteered but you can think about what he's giving up while he's tdy while you sit in the comfort of your home eating a BK whopper, or licking a DQ cone.
    Remember while you're pointing a finger at someone, three others are pointing at you.
    God Bless our Military.

    March 29, 2010 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
  45. rhett

    I served in Desert Storm as a Marine and then went to Balad with Navy Customs. I stepped off the plane and walked around the base and was amazed. Burger King and Pizza Hut, Green Bean Coffee. I said to myself, "this is a warzone? You have got to be kidding me" Why in the world would you have a Harley store that enables you to buy a motorcycle in Iraq? It was ridiculous. The messhall food at Arifjan was great. Another thing was that I noticed that only a small portion of the troops are doing any actual fighting. For every combat troop there must be 10 support personell in the rear with the gear. Sitting in air conditioned rooms and eating BK while the few are getting shelled and shot at while clearing towns and rooms. I say get rid of the warehouses full of officers sitting at computer desks drinking coffee all day 9-5 along with the fastfood crap. Little airforce girls walking around in sippin on mocha lattes. Complaining about a whole 120 days spent there, with state of the art gyms and swimming pools and big movie theatres. What a raping of the American taxpayer

    March 29, 2010 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  46. phyllis

    When I read that people consider fast food to be a luxury item I am totally shocked!!! No wonder the obesity rate in this country is going through the roof. If people actually believe that it is time to get a new education. These companies are one of the main reasons that other countries do not want our culture infiltrated into their countries. This is very clear. Though people eat this stuff all the time and consider it their 'soul' food, it is far from what a soul should be eating. Look at where you are and consider some of the local foods. See what people from the country you are in are eating. Don't try and call fast food your culture because it contributes to the notion of dumbing down America. I don't think first run movies should be part of this question as the two, fast food and first run movies are two completely different conversations. Learn to eat good food not fast food. It makes us all look bad.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Why?????

    Fast Food is horrible why the **** is the government supporting such lousy garbage!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 29, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Ridiculous

    I work on a military installation and have to agree with the others who think this is a wise decision. First off, lets not attack the civilians and contractors that support our troops. We are not paid nearly as much as some of the non-deserving airmen, soldiers and seamen that I have observed. Yes, there ares still some enlisted folks that have "signed up" to defend our nation but those people are few and far between. Day in and day out I witness both enlisted and officers sit back in a chair with their feet on their desks and do absolutely NOTHING all day and get paid damn well for it while underpaid and overworked civilians do all of the work. There folks won't know how to button a civilian shirt once they "retire" or are discharged from the military let alone know how to run a business, Even more so, you'd be amazed how many of these "heros" whine and cry about their deployments and even plot on how to get out of them (and are even successful at it). Cut the BS people, you signed up for the paycheck because it was easy money, so deal with your job duties which requires you to be deployed, sometimes in harms way. So stop the attacking now folks, if it were not for civilians and even some contractors, YOUR lazy, undeserving ass would not be in that chair with your feet up on the desk because YOU would be doing all the work (most likely inaccurately) OK with that said... there is so much wasteful spending on bases as there is... so lets stop wasting time and money on sending corporate brand crap overseas... there is no place for it on a base here in the states let alone at the desert bases. Wait until you get home from your deployment to eat a crap burger or fries. Much more can be done to send much needed supplies to those military members that are deployed in areas that these items are crucial to their survival. MWR does not stand for McDonald's Wendy's and Rally's people, it stands for Morale Welfare and Recreation... Spend money on shipping over Items that actually contribute to this idea and not a Cheeseburger that will be contributing to lining corporate fast food chains pockets. Our troops would rather have decent sporting equipment and nutritious meals available than a happy meal. This decision should be applauded. Now work on getting this crap off the bases here in the US.

    March 29, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  49. VET NRA LIFER

    Finish the mission, then come home and get a whopper!

    March 29, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Amy

    I agree with what they are doing, though the soldiers may not be excited with losing the fast foods from home, They're all excited about getting internet. For the last 6 months my boyfriends been in Afghan, hes gone on the internet only a handful of times. I think communication is more important then a few taste buds.

    March 29, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  51. greg

    Surely the soldiers have enough to put up with fighting the taliban, without having to tackle a muckdonalds as well.

    March 29, 2010 at 6:26 am | Report abuse |
  52. Paul Ward

    This is GOOFY! All this macho America demanding the right to carry arms, invading half the world and then getting into a tizz about their soldiers not being able to eat junk food!! No wonder they keep on losing. Get out, go home, feed your soldiers fat food 'till they die from cardiac arrest, instead of in some foreign feild. JC!

    March 29, 2010 at 3:07 am | Report abuse |
  53. nagubar

    Our troops need all of these Things to keep them going...This is not a 9 to 5 Job, They are on duty more or less 12 to 24 hours. Lets not be selfish!!!

    March 29, 2010 at 3:06 am | Report abuse |
  54. USMC OFFICER

    If we can't beat the Taliban because of Burger King and Pizza Hut then we are in trouble. The reason we don't get gear, troops, and other essentials to combat troops is because the political leaders(Repub and Dems) , military leadership, and the American people don't want to spend or properly manage the resources to properly arm ,equip and enable the military to do the tough things that need to be done around the world. Getting rid of Burger King is just a way for someone to politically cover their butts. It is mean spirited and ridiculous. We have lost our American can do spirit that they had in WW2, and other past conflicts. We need to do the right thing and commit the the resources to accomplishing the mission. Making ridiculous policies just pisses people off and makes the leadership look like MORONS! Stop financing criminals who destroy our financial systems and give the 19 year old kid who may never see home again a Whopper or Pizza! Well, how about it America! Semper Fi!

    March 29, 2010 at 3:04 am | Report abuse |
  55. SGT SKI...

    I find it funny how when my father served in Viet Nam he and other soldiers could have beer and other goods when they were back on the FOB and these days thats a no no. And yet 30+ years later on with another messed up war! I cant get a damn pizza or a cheese burger after slugging it out days on end in some 3rd world country when i go from a COP to a FOB! Maybe i should of joined the Marines with those hard 6 month tours instead of the 15 month tours with the Army! Still time in hell and in a war zone is still hell no matter if its 6 months or 15 at the end of it all. What i dont get is if all this is taking up space and supplys for troops in Afgahnistan then why did we had nothing to eat but OTIS SPUNKMIR muffins and frozen pizza's with no way to cook them while out in a COP in Sadir City Iraq from OIF 7-9 ? Still when we knew we were going back to a FOB for refit or to get more tires and what not, people ran to get hoggie bait and all the things of back home just to enjoy and to feel human just even for a moment. Of course care packages made a big diffrence too and helped out alot with moral when times were bad! An just so you know if you happen to be one of those who sent care packages out to any and every joe including the one you know and love, thank you greatly because you made a diffrence to all of us!

    Concerning the Hard Core guys if you have a Joe who's getting fat off of all this stuff then do your damn job and be a NCO or a Leader and help that soldier out to get within the standards!

    Lastly though dont take our last bit of home away from us and our little moment to laugh, smile and brag about how we got the last case of Monsters or what ever; before we have to leave to return to our Hell...

    March 29, 2010 at 2:33 am | Report abuse |
  56. David

    What is up with the stack of 2×6 wood planks unloading that air plane? I know we can do better than that.

    March 29, 2010 at 2:18 am | Report abuse |
  57. Military Man

    For a minute there I thought about not even adding a comment about this situation but as an active duty member I feel that I must. First off all service members of the United States Military joined because they wanted to do something. This reasons have varied from college to serving old glory but there is one thing we are aware of. We all knew when we joined up that many simple life pleasures will not be readily available to us at times and that we were making the greatest sacrifice known to all Americans both young and old and that was at any moment we might give our life to our country without any hesitation or remorse. Many veterans have proven this from the beginning of our country till now. I for one have seen many changes in the military from when I first entered before the first gulf war till now. Some of those I do not agree with and some I do but one thing is for certain. I will always perform my mission to my fullest capacity and will always obey the orders of those appointed over me. I myself have suffered many deployments without a lot of comforts of home and still performed my duties. I have also did some deployments with comforts but the fact still remained and that is that we are not home and no matter what we have available it will still not be home. I truthfully do not approve of this decision and yes it does add damage to morale of a war beaten soldier, but as I stated earlier, it boils down to one simple phrase. "I will obey the orders of those appointed over me" and that is a line that must be said at our initial enlistment and others that follow.

    God Bless you all for you support

    March 29, 2010 at 1:40 am | Report abuse |
  58. Dan

    This is just Obama's way of pissing off the troops. His muslim buddies dont like seeing our boys eating good ..... so he pulled the plug. Of course he will keep sucking down his hundred dollar steaks everyday and Michele will keep spendiing that three or four hundred for those fancy lobster lunches...... She said someone had to give up their piece of the pie so mexicans could have health care ....didht think her and Oprah were giving up anythiing did ya ?

    March 29, 2010 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
  59. Rob

    This is just one example of so much of the crap I've experienced in the military. Clueless leaders and their idiotic decisions.

    And my friends and family back home wonder why I'm getting the hell out...

    March 29, 2010 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
  60. Nam-Vet

    Great Idea! The troops have the highest suicide rate, they face death and maming from every quarter – so lets reward them by taking away the little things. Wonderful thats the new military way of thinking – Do what is politically correct and screw the troops. Now I know why I retired after 20 + years

    March 28, 2010 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
  61. EL Boogie 2000

    You know if you're a civilian and you dont like us(US MILITARY) with these commodeties, just give the ones who have served and are currently serving the common courtesy and stay out of it. For the civilians that support it thank you, for my military personell past and present come on guys you know how it goes anything fun or boost moralle goes against whatever regulation thats in the book that goes against fun. Sometimes these things are good but essential supplies should be brought in first then the lickies and chewies but come on you have been there some things are nice to have around.

    March 28, 2010 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Sally

    If they have internet access then they will have plenty of entertainment. They can live without a whopper for a year or two.

    March 28, 2010 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Tim

    This is retarded, I was in Iraq from sept 06 to march 07, while I didnt eat at the BK and Pizza huts all the time. It was nice to have something good and fatty after a while of eating the same stuff at the chow hall. Now the Chow hall is better in Iraq then stateside but that doesnt matter after ewating the smae stuff for 6 months. And I bet that Sgt. Maj. and all the other officers and and senior enlisted fit the coffee shop in for their soldiers, yea right, they wanted their coffee so they kept it. A whopper and a movie doesn't get a soldier's focus off the war, it lets him relax a little when he has some down time. I guarantee morale will drop after this

    March 28, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Brandon

    I did two tours in Iraq, at relatively cushy Al Asad. We had a Subway, BK, and a Pizza Hut and a coffee bar. I personally didn't use them much, as the KBR chow hall was pretty outstanding. But the guys who weren't FOB-bits really seemed to enjoy the opportunity to hit the big PX and the fast food joints. A break from the war, so to speak. Sex, porn and alcohol are all banned, a large pizza, BK milkshake and a few pirated DVDs were all the stress relief those guys would get. Is this going to save the gov't and the troops some money? Certainly. Is this going hurt morale. Also a certainty. Will this improve the supply chain at the distant FOB's? Probably not.

    March 28, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Jay

    No wonder you guys are having a hard time beating The Taliban, and you'll never beat them. Your life of little luxuries have made you soft. Your enemy on the other hand are hardened, by hard living and they don't give a sh*t. They don't have BK or PH or DVD or PS3 to look forward to. Sure you guys have the best technology, the best gear, great gadgets, but you are no warriors. Almost nine years in Afghanistan. What's taking you so long? These guys are primitive, uneducated, but they kick *ss. How about Somalia, a couple of skinny, lightly armed dudes humiliated the most powerful military that has ever existed. Warrior spirit is what it's about and you don't buy that at the mall.

    March 28, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Spc. LeMaistre

    I'm currently deployed, and I can live without the horsemeat they serve at what passes for burger king if it means a buddy of mine gets the ammo he needs. Luxeries are nice, surviving is even better.

    March 28, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Tom

    These everyday places for all americans are a luxury for our troops and are at the bigger bases. Weather you agree or disagree with the war you must support our troops.
    These fast food plaves and current movies boost the morale of our troops. After eating MRE's day after day they need a break. Instead of complaining about the fast food places how about thanking each and every service member that you see for protecting us. And for those of you who have the bumper sticker on your car : we support our troops" what have you done to support them? A sticker means nothing.

    March 28, 2010 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  68. Andy

    I have completed 4 OIF deployments as a logisitican. While I like BQ and KFC, etc., the same trucks and planes that is required to transport those goods we need to transport MRAPs, ammunitions, parts, food, people, medical supplies, etc. Afghanistan is not Iraq. It is more like the moon.

    March 28, 2010 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  69. CAV CDR

    I see a few understand the underlying cause of this issue. Afghanistan is a land-locked country with little ground access across secure supply lines. The upcoming Troop surge difficulties don't focus simply on the additional 35,000 personnel, they also bring with them supplies, weapons, vehicles, and a number of other items required to complete their given tasks. In a country where logistical capacity is already stretched thin, reducing even a small portion of cargo space for critical items, like oil for vehicles, is unacceptable. For those of you unfamiliar to the military, providing a soldier the materials he/she needs to do the job increases morale much more than a large pepperoni pizza. I would rather have access to more training ammunition to keep my men trained than worry about ice cream.

    Those of us fighting on FOBs away from the now infamous "luxuries" seldom see the benefit and generally get frustrated watching those who have ready access to them complain. While morale is indeed important, my focus is completing my mission and bringing my guys home. I prefer a case of bullets and water to a stack of pizzas anyday.

    March 28, 2010 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
  70. in the Know

    Hello there. Everyone has made a good points but I respect the points made from people who have actually served past or present.
    I currently work where the above mentioned decison maker is and have been here for a while. i have one of the few jobs that have me working long hours to provide what i consider "luxeries" for the command and his minions to enjoy, while he continues to supress morale.
    Hell I risked my life to drive to another camp a few times just for a taste of home and to get awy from the food being preppared ad served by the lowest bidder. It is a treat indeed and wel deserved.

    I am still waiting for increased fintness facilities, Instead more trops mean more crowded gyms and more broken equiptment and less reliabe intenet to speak to family member back home.
    The morale here has been the worst ever. The cuts in spending should be made here at the top , and for the parent about their concerned children who do not have food or water.. the problem coould be solved frm the morale crusher here.

    Whe the sale of alcohol was abolished ( 2 beer per person while off duty between certin hours), so did funds for our morale. Morale was basically taken care of without cost to the taxpayers.
    So all this money that is mentioned that is missing to supposrt the troops. Maybe the top people over here could suffer a bit more instead punishing those working hard and risking their lives.

    March 27, 2010 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Serving in Afghan

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

    Have you ever eaten Military Dining Facility Food? High Calorie, greasy, overcooked, mass produced garbage. We eat this day in and day out. I don’t eat the fast food but a few times in the 11 months I have been here but it is nice to have something different once in a while.

    I am assigned to Bagram Airfield and as of now we still have all these "Luxuries" and yes they are always lines around the corners to relax and have a burger or pizza. The Air based act as waypoints for soldiers coming in and going out so why not keep the stuff in place. Give them/us a break after 8 years of deployments and time away from our families. Yes I volunteered but damn things are getting better for everyone else besides the soldiers who do all the dirty work and defend others rights to the "Luxuries" back at home.

    Moral is pretty low and it has a trickledown effect. The seniors get stress and release it on the juniors who have no release except the few "Luxuries" here.

    If you want to complain about something or help us (soldiers) out, then demand better dining facilities. Don’t cook everything with a pound of butter or grease. Bake the chicken instead of frying it. Don’t over cook the veggies until they are mush. Make the dining facility food better and then the soldiers will not waste their money on BK and other fast food joints.

    Really! The worst thing about this deployment (besides being away from my wife) for me is the crappy food. I have been to the Dr many times and they give me drugs to combat the effect of raunchy food.

    March 27, 2010 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
  72. who cares

    if you get rid of one, get rid of them all....GREEN BEANS INCLUDED...sounds to me, that by keeping a coffee place, the nice general is saying "i don't go to the other places so get rid of them, but i do enjoy a cup-o-joe from green beans." bs...

    March 27, 2010 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Riley Johnson

    I thought I was reading about Viet Nam again! Then I saw it was Afghanistan. We have were told "expert war planners" and I of course, am a nobody. However, it seems if a Country goes bankrupt trying to fight wars they may not be winning. Tens of thousands of lives lost, Trillions of Dollars lost and where are we at this moment in the "Forest" of this world? Good luck to all...................

    March 27, 2010 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  74. mal

    What a stupid decision. In the field during Desert Storm with the 1st Armored Division we did not have Burger King but some logistician named Wolf conujured up Wolf Burgers. Great and instant morale builder. American soldiers have always had a piece of home brought to them in the field. Why there was even cold Ice Cream in the jungles of Viet Nam. This is a stupid, stupid command decision.

    March 27, 2010 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Alisha

    Why does the military have to pay anything for these businesses to be on their bases? Military members provide a lot of money to these businesses and the businesses should be fronting all costs for their location/employees. In fact, isn't the military getting rent money from these businesses to have a spot on our base?
    I've been to Iraq and Afghanistan and morale was definitely much improved by Burger King and Pizza Hut. It stinks being over there and it's incredibly stressful. We had a "pizza party" at work and it really brought people together.

    March 27, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  76. JR

    "Remember remember the 8th of November, Obama's Treasonous Plot. I see no reason why his Coup D'etat Treason should ever be forgot."

    March 27, 2010 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  77. JR

    There are people around the world who never see a Mickey D's or a Dairy Queen. Sometimes they never see a sandwich or milkshake their entire lives, but they survive. Times are tough. War is tough. I did 8 years and never once the entire time see a restaurant there. Life's a bitch. Get over it. No matter how bad you think things in your life are, in War or Peace somebody else has it tougher. What's next? Stress cards for time outs? Oops! Too late. Grow a pair and buck up little troppers. They never promised you a rose garden OR a Whopper with Extra cheese. This is one of the reasons the rest of the world say that Americans are Soft. And they're probably right.

    March 27, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Parent of a soldier

    Has anybody considered the fact that having a few hundred people in one place watching a first-run movie is a wonderful target for an incoming mortar round. I agree with the person who said to send them a bunch of DVD players. That way they can watch movies without bunching up.

    My father was in World War II and once saw an artillery round land right next to a group of people waiting to be fed. (He was a few hundred feet away.) Fortunately, the round was a dud and nobody was seriously hurt.

    March 27, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  79. MarkE

    I was Army infantry in Desert Storm, in all honesty;
    I wouldn't wish those deprived living conditions on a dog.

    My opinion will always be to give the troops what we realistically can.

    March 27, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Buddy

    It is my guess that the General or whoever made this ridiculous decision eats Steaks, Prime Rib or whatever he or she desires whenever he or she desires.. Its absolutely outrageous that they are taking away one of the few luxuries that our fighting young men and women can enjoy over there fighting a war that is accomplishing absolutely nothing anyway. If the transporting of Burger King or Pizza Hut or whatever supplies is getting in the way of water and supplies getting to our troops by all means, something needs to be done.. but its called logistics. Water and needed supplies should supersede anything that would be considered a luxury but you do not have to remove the luxury from the country.. this in my opinion is just an excuse for some hard nose general to make a big decision.. If it was he who would loose something we would not be having this conversation.. absolutely disgusting!! If you want to make a big decision, make a decision on how to logistically make sure the life needed supplies get where they are needed without luxury supplies interfering. This can be done!!

    March 27, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Maritta

    I think it's ridiculous not to have these accommodations for our service men and women so far away from home. It gives them a sense of still being attached to their homes. It is terrible that we can support other nations, giving a way billions in foreign aid, as well as giving away billions in welfare, and taking from the troops. I guess people that have not been in the service cannot understand this and never will. The cost of running Pelosi's "private" jet back and forth from California to D.C. would more than pay for this. Oops, so much for political correctness.

    March 27, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  82. C Ray Powell

    This is BULL...What ever happened to taking care of our troops that are deployed. I am so glad that I am retired from the Army and don't have to deal with the stupid decisions our Leaders make like this that concern the welfare and moral of our troops. I am going to write and express my attitude to my congressmen. I apologize to our soldiers that have to put up with decisions like this. God Bless them and all.

    March 27, 2010 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  83. a citizen

    Obama promised change. Sometimes what you ask for turns out differently than you thought it would. I think the shops should stay. It looks like we will be there for a long time yet and morale is important. Or find Bin Laden, kill him and everyone can come home. Take care of our troops-they are defending our way of life, which includes Whoppers and DQ. What other changes does the Obamanation have in store that weren't expected?

    March 27, 2010 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  84. Amanda Army Wife/Sister

    Burger King and movies are a "luxury" for the soldiers who defend our freedoms- what a disgrace to say they no longer deserve these "luxuries"! Small and seemingly insignificant pieces of home can do wonders to lift the morale of these folks in harm's way. These soldiers don't deserve whoppers anyway- they deserve steak. For all of the social welfare that my taxes go toward and our troops get an occassional cheeseburger or watch a movie that we refer to as "luxuries"- I am truly without words to describe this. Soon, internet and the occassional hot shower will be deemed too luxurious for our troops. War isn't a party, but remember that in our country we have decided that even your foulest, incarcerated criminal deserves 3 hots and a cot. Our troops don't even always get that. Let them have their cheeseburgers and 2 hours of mind numbing entertainment every now and then! God Bless the Troops...and if you are a troop and have internet to read this- thank you for your service and know you are not fogotten.

    March 27, 2010 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  85. Vapor09

    his article begs the question, "who allowed him to write this"? It could have been paired down to "mission essential requirements dictate the reassignment of assets". I do believe we need to be fit to fight (and DQ and BK do not fit that mindset), but this hugs and kisses statement...blahhhh! If they do not follow up with the other facilities upgrades, you know this was hogwash.

    March 27, 2010 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  86. Joseph Scott

    I served 4 tours in Afghanistan and when I went to the BX the line for DQ, BK and Pizza Hut was always long, but that is what the troops wanted. IN the four tours that I did I visited these places about 5 times. To me they were non-essential but they were good for the morale of the troops. The food in Afghanistan was horrible at best at some of the DFAC's and the quality should be much better. As far as making more room for the additional troops that is nonsence as they did not take up much room. To fly in these supplies all the U.S.A.F has to do is put on one additional C-130 or C-17 and all the issues would be resolved.

    March 27, 2010 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  87. Who ever came up with decision probably had burger king for lunch and wend DQ for desert.

    why? why? why?
    if they need to save money, they need to fire all civilains draining all the war budgets. They work 3 or 4 hours a day get 10 to 20 times for money that a private in the army.
    With that money being saved to actual military. I sure Army can actually build a High end Mall or Walmart for every FOBs in IRAQ or Afghanistan. T

    March 27, 2010 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  88. cory

    For the people saying that we should keep these "luxuries" and that the people over here need these things are straight idiots! The only people who get to enjoy these little pieces from home are the people who work the regular jobs just like they would in the United States. Sure they extend their hours by a few hours, but they still have time to themselves they have somewhere to live and a nice place to eat, these combat outposts that can not be resupplied are the places where the real parts of the war are going on. They work 24hours a day no questions asked don't get showers for weeks at a time have the worst hot chow of anyone, and thats even if they are afforded the chance to get hot chow, they mainly eat MREs. They are the ones fighting the war the people that are eating burger king and pizza are the people suppose to be supporting the combat guys. If they want luxury let them dwell in the fact that they make the same money that the men and women busting their ass with NO luxuries and hardly any contact with their families for weeks at a time make! From a person who has been there and seen the complete disregard for the fighting soldier, opposed from the support soldier it sucks for them that they lose a luxury, but if they or people back home want to complain, let them spend a week at a forward position and never have hot food, shower, contact with family and even sleep. On top of that face let them see what it feels like not to get resupplied with essential supplies like ammo,batteries,medical supplies because there are not enough convoys or helicopters to supply them because they have to resupply these "little America bases"! I guarantee you they would come back humbled,broken and extremely happy to be where they are and being paid the same of these forward deployed soldiers and marines! Shame on any person who disagrees with leaving are FIGHTING SOLDIERS AND MARINES with no resupply because some big base needs there burger king. Shows you this country has lost its mind with political correctness!

    March 27, 2010 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
  89. Mick

    I've served in both Iraq and Afghanistan as an Infantryman. We didn't even have a chow hall for the first 7 months, so it was mainly MRE's that we lived off of. Movies? Yeah, maybe the bootleg ones we bought off of the local economy.
    In Afghanistan it was MUCH different, (this is due to the fact that Iraq was still new at the time, but now it's the same there). Subway, Green Beans, an online college office, massage parlor, etc. There was so much to do that it really took away from the real reason we're even there. I'm sorry, but it may be a bit better for everyone if they spent more time training and focusing on the mission. For the parents and loved ones of the soldiers that are deployed, "wouldn't you rather have them focused on the job at hand? For the deployed Soldiers, Marines, and Airmen, shame on you for thinking this is a place for those kinds of luxuries. Packages from home and emails should be good enough, but if it takes a Whopper to unwind, then you have to re-examine your life. Remember why you're there and try to stay focused... your loved ones want you back home, and by losing focus, you run the risk of not making it back.

    March 27, 2010 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
  90. GMR

    This is one of the most appropriate decisions that I have read about concerning morale, welfare, and recreation for our US Service Members. I have been in the Army for over 10 years, and have served 4 tours of duty on 3 different continents (including Iraq and Afgahnistan). The issue with having these "luxuries" is that they present additional problem sets for military leaders to address . First, there is absolutely no nutritional value in these establishments, so we continue to contribute to the epidemic that plagues our American society – obesity. Yes, we have fat people in the military. They are in Iraq. They are in Afghanistan. And, they can be seen anywhere around the world where we serve. The second problem is, these establishments become the "hubs" of social activity, especially on our big bases. I spent 10 days in a transient status on VBC in Iraq before moving to an outlying JSS, and I literally watched young soldiers whose sole existence was to wake up, leave the barracks, and hang out at Green Beans, Pizza Hut, and Burger King for hours. Maybe they were underutilized. Maybe it was a leadership issue within their unit. The point is, they did absolutely nothing, and went absolutely nowhere. And, when I went back to that same base 2 months later, I recognized some of the same people doing the same thing.

    So, I say, way to go CSM. Kudos to you for forcing our soldiers back into the chow hall (which is healthy as well as tasty). Kudos for to you for trimming the fat off our soldiers. Kudos to you for forcing our soldiers to keep that money in their pocket.

    March 27, 2010 at 7:08 am | Report abuse |
  91. Contractor

    I have been deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan and I can tell you that hardly any money is being put towards Afghanistan. Living conditions are a lot better in Iraq than Afghanistan. How could SGM Hall call Kandahar an amusement park? Kandahar is a dirty FOB surrounded by a poop pond. Everyone there has to breathe in the consistent feces floating around the air 24/7. I’m sorry, but the least we can do for our troops is to supply them with some restaurants to eat, so they don’t have to eat the same DFAC food every day. So why is SGM Hall trying to make Kandahar and Bagram a PRISON?

    March 27, 2010 at 6:54 am | Report abuse |
  92. At BAF

    Sixth, nobody shouold be worrying about their taxes going towards it, they charge us for the food, not the taxpayers.

    March 27, 2010 at 6:16 am | Report abuse |
  93. At BAF

    I am currently stationed at Bagram Air Base and here is my take on it:

    First, this is an absolute disgrace to the soldiers doing the hard work. If they are talking about replacing thses small trailors with living qaurters for incoming soldiers and adding more gyms and recreational facilities, it makes me wonder how they are going to do both. On Bagram there is 1 Burger King and 1 Dairy Queen, each are in a 20ft trailor. There is also a Pizza Hut and Popeye's which share a hardened building with Green Beans (which is staying). So how are they going to put any type of facilities in these location? A B-Hut (a plywood building that houses 8 people) is about 20ft x 30ft, won't fit where the trailors were. If they are going to put a gym in that area, I doubt anyone will want to go get that crowded.

    Secoind, there are way too many people at these locations with nothing better to do. Taking away these places means that those same soldiers and conractors are going to crowd the PX even more than it is so when those of us who do work for a living have to take a 2 hour break to buy a razor or soap (or a can of coffe because we brew it in our office instead of going to Green Beans). The real fix should be sending all the people that get 8 hour shifts and spend 4 hours a day at the PX, to the smaller FOBs. Every smaller unit I have been to would love to have more people down there to help out.

    Third, there are no chow halls open 24 hours here. So again those of us who work for a living and get too involved with something to get chow, just have to wait until the next meal. Of course we could always go get a muffin at Green Beans, I'm sure the line will be real short.

    Fourth, as people have mentioned, there are soldiers from other FOBs who don;t even have all of the necessities, who really enjoy being able to get a Burger when they come through here and they deserve it.

    Fifth, For those of you who are sitting at home reading this blog and have no clue what it is like to work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week for an entire year, the only reason you have any say in this is because WE keep this country free so you can be an idiot. When your arguement is that we shouldn't be eating FAKE FOOD, think of how easy it is to say that when you are enjoying your weekend and eating at a restaurant and drinking a beer and driving your car and having some personal space and you have a decent internet connection and you can sit outside in fresh air and not have to wonder if a rocket is going to hit your plywood living space at night and not having to worry about if your wife and kids are OK because you only get to talk to them once a day at best.

    Since that was my lunch break, I am going to get back to work.

    March 27, 2010 at 6:15 am | Report abuse |
  94. PLS

    It's a mistake to remove morale boosting services that are in already in place. Service members risk their lives on a daily basis to serve and protect our country. Making fast food, movies, internet and telephones available is really the LEAST we can do for the men and women of our military.

    March 27, 2010 at 4:52 am | Report abuse |
  95. A dude in a Fob

    The last time I saw a fast food join was in Manas AFB (where the Air Force is getting paid the same as the guys who are in Combat if I might add.) Leatherneck, a big joke. I heard from a high ranking Marine once before that they have all these "comfort" on bases like Leatherneck so that troops that get injured can get back on their feet and fight once again. suuure. If DFAS is there on big bases then why would you even need to invest money on fast food? I never understood that. Somebody is getting a piece of that pie right there...

    And for POG units who complains about every little thing while they sit and play WOW in their tent with their WiFi's and don't let get me started with their m4's. The guys who hump mountains and carry ridiculous amount of gear with them uses m16's while POG's carry m4 where it collects dust in a corner. How ridiculous.

    yes, get rid of the fast food. Why? Because there's already money allotted for Decent, well-balanced and seconds, thirds etc... on facilities that the government pays at bases. invest on programs for Morale or for Recreation that keeps Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen occupied and not getting fat. We already have a big problem on that in the Military and so far I can't believe that we still keep on feeding the same problem.

    In the end, these fat bastards will come back and sue the military millions of dollars because they had an heart attack or some crazy stuff like that because they had fast food in their bases... Watch, its going to happen.

    While the American People feel outrage about this change I will sit back and relax out here in the middle of nowhere contented of what I have and making the best out of anything I have here.

    We're here for a purpose. The mission is always the priority. You'll never understand that until you've been there or if you're here already and still feel outraged by these... you should have joined the Air Force. If you're Airforce, You should have joined the Coast Guard.

    Semper fi everyone.

    March 27, 2010 at 4:30 am | Report abuse |
  96. Candy

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

    So is an IED, or bullet, grenade or your fellow solider who frags his or her peers. They are risking their lives, minds and are separated from their families. Least the military could do is give them a few comforts of home.

    Let the BK and Dairy Queen stay. Who ever decided this apparently had too much time on their hands and wants a early retirement.

    Hopefully, for the all volunteer force he will soon get his wish.

    March 27, 2010 at 4:18 am | Report abuse |
  97. OEFI, OIFI, II, III Vet.

    And the military wonders why junior NCO's keep on getting out... They are tired of senior leaders asking us what should be done to bring the morale up but then turning around and doing the complete opposite.
    This are some of the facts that I know. All this restaurants are run by AFFES. AFFES has sole control of its own logistics funded by AFFES money not the DOD. AFFES uses private carriers, trucks and planes, correct me if I'm wrong but I can't recall when was the las time when any of this restaurants supply trucks were part of any of the convoys I was in. Are this Luxuries, like everyone else is calling them, a necesity? No, but it does sure gives you something to look forward when you get a chance to go to a big base.
    I been in both sides of this so called luxuries, when we first got in to both operations there was nothing like this and it didn't reter us from getting the job done, and when the restaurants started coming in, they also didn't deter us from getting the job done either, belive me I was never thinking of what kind of pizza I was gonna get when I was getting shot at, how about anybody else out there? Do we need this restaurants? Not really, just as like we don't need no Green Beans wich is always full with POGs that don't know coffe dehydrates you,(but I guess there is no way you can pass out from dehydration inside an office) but it sures makes a difference to get another choice, when ever you get a chnace of eating something else besides MREs or mystery meats.

    March 27, 2010 at 2:30 am | Report abuse |
  98. Anonymous Soldier

    Greetings from Afghanistan,
    All these retired soldiers need to shut their mouths unless they've been through 4 or 5 deployments like my soldiers. I am currently stationed in Eastern Afghanistan. This is a different Army where the majority of marriages end in divorce and deploying once is not an option. This nearly decade long war has put strains on military personnel and their families, Sometimes the only relief they get from the war outside and the legal wars of divorce back home is that ice cream cone. I realize this seems silly but it's true. By the way I've never purchased anything from these buisnesses.

    March 27, 2010 at 2:06 am | Report abuse |
  99. In Baghdad AGAIN...

    If it is cutbacks they want, how about placing VIPs on a C-130 or C-17 like and with the rest of us instead of flying them in one by one on C-12s!! How about BK, Popeyes, DQ and movies are a Godsend for us that are over here. This is my 5th time to Iraq and have pulled 3 to Afghanistan and the opportunity to enjoy something as simple as a movie or a Whopper helps up get through the tough times. There are a large number of things that can be done without and MWR items should NOT be removed.

    March 27, 2010 at 1:21 am | Report abuse |
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