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. John

    The fact that these fast food places were there AT ALL is a surprise! While I favor giving the troops ANY DAMN THING THEY WANT (fast food restaurants included!), I find it weird that these CORPORATIONS were in a frigging war-zone to begin with! Wait, its corporate fast-food-anything to make a buck I guess!

    March 25, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  2. AFvet

    As a Vet of 4 straight deployments, those fast food places do make things a little easier if only for the few minutes it takes to eat it. To take that stuff away is completely stupid and that guy needs to be relieved of duty and made to retire. You just gaurnteed that there will be little to no morale among your men. I know when i did convoy duty i looked forward to large bases to get away from the crappy chow hall food. Way to be an idiot of a leader just like most of them are.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  3. SOLDIER IN HAITI

    LISTEN, THE COMMAND IS RIGHT. THESE THINGS AS GREAT AS THEY ARE TOWARD MWR, IT DOES TAKE AWAY FROM WHAT YOUR SUPPOSE TO BE FOCUSING ON: THE MISSION.GET BACK TO THE BASICS; I.E. PT AND MRE'S

    March 25, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tom

    What a wonderful morale booster to the troops who have been stop lossed, forced extenions of the tours, going financially into the toilet as a result.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dano

    Burger King, DQ and Pizza Hut are luxuries? More like bad food. Time to get weaned from that crap and enjoy real food. What better place to do that than far, far away from them.
    How about getting them nice fresh veggies, good cuts of meat, good bread, and other real food instead of that junk?

    March 25, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. What Burger

    Funny thing, the Grunts from Afghanistan that I've talked to have one question. What BurgerKing? Gonna make some REMF's really mad. If we're replacing frozen fries and milk shakes on the cargo runs with Beans, Bullets and Bandages then so be it!

    March 25, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Richard

    The idiot that thought up removing the few descent things from these troops has never been in combat or they would understand how critical small things like this are......MORONS

    March 25, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. DianaG

    This is a bunch of B.S...the poeple who are protecting our country by risking their lives should have the luxury available to them... simple as that!

    March 25, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Los

    America...we've become soft. Shame.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. dp

    I'll bet that those franchises refused to cough up more fees. As for the coffee, the older higher-ups couldn't possibly give up THEIR frills.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Shawn

    This may not be that bad of an idea... if they switch out that junk for stuff the the troops could really us.

    Increased communication back home and less stressful, shorter shifts may be a very good thing for them. Besides, less junk food and more fitness is definately in their best interests.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Robin

    Our military deserves some American food choices to brighten their spirits.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. pissedoffnyer

    Would love to know the consensus opinion of those who are serving over there, if they say this is BS, i'm 100% supportive.

    I just don't see the logic, i guarantee you this has nothing to do with taking up space or transportation or cost, the COST CUTTING SHOULD START AT THE SOURCE, in WASHINGTON DC not on the front line you idiots!! there is so much waste in all the projects, we overpay for everything out there and now are brave soldiers have to suffer.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  14. CJones

    My husband has been in the Air Force over 19 years and spent 6 years in a mobility unit going to the middle east constantly. He was required to sign an extension instead of retiring in order for our son to use the GI Bill. Then he received orders to go to Afghanistan for a year even though he was in a recruiting group in a controlled tour. He is taking no personal clothing with him because he has to be in uniform all the time. He missed our son's first few months of life and now he will miss him becoming a teenager and it makes me angry to read that people begrudge military members a little escape when they are in a hostile zone. We really need to take care of their mental well being while they are deployed. Have we not learned from our past?

    March 25, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  15. MSgt K

    Front line troops need bullets and ammo more than REMFs need a whopper... What's so hard to understand about that?

    March 25, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  16. RobReed

    I wonder how much money Buger King, Dairy Queen, ETC have made off the soldiers serving in Afganistan. I dont know if the solders have to pay or the tax payers, but either way these companies are making alot of money off our boys and girls. If these foods are considered unhealthy in America, why are we providing them to our troops? Also, does the Army still have cooks or has all of this work been outsourced to contractors too?

    March 25, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Sedric

    This is the dumbest thing they could have done. These leaders have no clue on morale because their morale is high because they have it made over there, they are in the day to day fight getting their hands dirty. What a bunch of dummies.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Brett

    They aren't just closing down the Pizza Hut and Burger King, but lot's of other things. on Bagram. There is a frame shop that makes plaques that leaders can buy for their soldiers when they finish their Afghanistan tour. That place is closing along with the others. OBVIOUSLY a detriment to good order and discipline. The whole thought process or lack there of, is just plain stupid.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Brian

    OK, I get taking away the food...we have decent chow halls on the bigger bases, but the movies, that doesnt make sense. We have little to no contact with family, friends, or actually anything to help keep us in touch with what is happening back in the states. For the most part you have to wait for an hour or two to place a call home then the time is limited to 15min. Same with computer access at the MWR facilities although the time is usually increased to 30min and that is a "luxury" when you are only there for 24-48 hours before heading back out for 4-6 weeks with no contact. No newspapers other than the base rags that only promote "why we are here" and mail can take up to 4 – 6 weeks to get to the troops. These movies keep us at least somewhat in touch with what is happening in the states, without them it will be harder for the service men and women to carry a conversation when the return. Remember we are out of touch for 6 to 18 months. We for the most part have no clue what cultural changes have occured. It took my wife 3 weeks to help catch me up so I could hold a conversation with my 13 year old son when I returned. The only thing we could talk about, until then, were the movies I saw while deployed. but I guess the General doesn't have to worry about that since his children are probably adults.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  20. nahom

    People get a grip . . . it is just BK an DQ . . . what is wrong with everyone.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  21. David Johnston

    I do not think this will help the moral of our troops. Do they think it will?

    March 25, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  22. wtgirl

    My father fought in WWII on Iwo Jima and didn't have a BK or DQ. He traded supplies with other soldiers in order to get items he wanted or needed. The military use to be a working machine. I think our troops should be accomodated, but don't drop a whopper in front of him.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  23. LT Taylor

    This is all so crazy and disheartening to me. I am a medical provider currently here in Iraq. We have A Burger King on my base, and for real..Its just a small trailer folks with a very small menu. WE PAY for the food, not the taxpayers. It is not free for us.

    I appreciate the peole who are so kind and supportive and I agree with you on so many levels. I disagree with many of the people leaving negative comments because they just have not been HERE. Its 2010 !

    The bases are not what people in the US think they are, they function very well. The US flag is flown here in many areas !

    The chow hall food although abundant still comes with a price to pay in the GI department, if you know what I mean.

    Its nice to have the extras here and I would be torn if I didnt have access. It really does make a difference in the Morale. It gives a break of the same ole same ole.

    Some people out there just make comments and take for granted that they have the freedom to do the simplest things while they are sitting at home. Like, take a nice hot bath, drink real milk, not wear the same outfit for 365 days a year, not having to live or sleep in a 6ft by 8 ft space for a year. I just think that some of you think that we have no heart and we have no feelings and emotion because we are in the ARMY, but thats so wrong!

    WE are someones, mother, daughter, son, father, and grandchild. We are human just like you.

    Your right, we volunteered for this job in a way, or should I say we chose this as our career. We chose it with strength and dignity and heart!

    We chose it, because we can endure what it takes to keep you there safe at home with your families in the US.

    And I do it so I can be here to take care of your husbands, your sons, and your wives and daughters, and the mothers and fathers of our little children! I take care of them all like they were my own, so that you may sleep at night! And that is my job and that is my career.

    Please dont take away the small things the do have.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Another Vet

    To Ray's comment....they are ALL volunteers. They may not have volunteered to go to the desert, but they all volunteered to wear the uniform. Reserve, Guard, or active duty...everybody knows the deal when they sign on the dotted line. Also not sure what you mean by "deprived of good jobs". The military is a great job. It may not be for everyone, but it's a job like no other.

    And yeah, it totally sucks to be them right now. BK was a highlight of the day...especially on days when the chow hall had a less than stellar menu.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Don

    Show me one draft-era service member that would get all soft in the belly and entertain the whining. How good should the fobits have it while the ground pounders go without the basics. If the fobits were working hard enough, then the ground pounders would have a better life too.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  26. BIG SISTER

    PLEASE, SOMEONE TELL ME THIS IS NOT FOR REAL. MY BABY BROTHER IS THERE ON HIS SECOND TOUR. HE IS THERE AND HIS FAMILY IS HERE. THESE SOLDIERS LIVES ARE ON THE LINE EVERYDAY AND YOU ARE TAKING AWAY SOME OF THE SMALLEST REMINDERS OF HOME THAT THEY MAY HAVE. NEXT THEIR WEAPONS WILL BE TAKEN AWAY AND CALLED A "LUXURY". HOW BIZAAR.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  27. jknguyen

    I think it is time to treat our troops and our citizens with the utmost care and respect above any other countries or their citizens. We can't expect our troops to sacrifice their lives and their families while not taking care of them. It is a shame that we treat our veterans this way, and now, we are treating our active duty soldiers just as bad as we previously treated our honorable veterans. No wonder so many citizens so frustrated with the overall direction of this country. We are giving our wealth away to some third world country, while asking our people to sacrifice to the extreme....

    March 25, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  28. bob

    Man I can't believe this. I bet we would have never won world war one or two if they had made these kind of decisions. I can't believe these post. When I came in we had no restaurants and only got to make calls home once a week or so if lucky, and email nota chance. maybe this is why our military is going to crap so quick. And for those that wine they never volunteered for this, they collected there checks for the reserve so yes they volunteered for this when they signed there paper just like all of the active duty members. So quit wining and let them get the right supplies to our guys over there.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Cam

    This doesn't make any sense. The wars have drug on long enough at least let the soldiers have a little enjoyment.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  30. dave1

    Well its a morale thing? Can you say rise in sucides which is already a problem morale is gonna go down and to all that say this is a smart thing must have it nice not being overseas so shutup

    March 25, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Jim

    Bad choice.
    Let me explain from my personal experience. The drag, sadness, and emotional toll of separation from your family in the middle of the sandbox (and mine didn't include the greater risk of today's war) is deadening. That your entire life as you knew it is stopped in motion, as if your not on the same world is staggering.

    The days are L-O-N-G but, work & the mission do a fair job of keeping your mind off the family- off the life you had. Daily the work ends but the following exhaustion fails to occupy your mind enough to eliminate the utter helplessness of needing the family mixed witht your inability to do anything about it.

    Small, silly, unthought of things before you deployed become important distractions- day 2 day you never cared about seeing a movie or having a DQ Blizzard but, in this setting it becomes a HUGE distraction that can provide an unimaginable releif.

    Removing these items is a mistake. Shortages in forward locations are unacceptable! The removal of these items is not the fix- doing right by our young men and women is the appropriate answer. We don't rob morale to pay for the fight. These outstanding young men and women deserve much better.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  32. wendy

    so let me get this straight.....we have prisoners in our jail system getting workout centers and cable tv but we can't let our military have dq or first run movies.......

    March 25, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Keith

    For some one who has not served this probably seems trivial but if you ask some one who has served this isn't. We will see though, deployment times are getting cut shorter and shorter, 9 months without a hamburger is a lot different than 20 months without a hamburger.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Grunt86

    Oh No! What will the Air Force do? They may riot. It's about time folks got their priorities straight.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Mike

    I say good riddence to getting rid of Burger King and such on the bases. The people who benefit from these things are the soldiers who work logistics and such. These are NOT the soldiers who actually do the fighting. My brother was on the Afgan/Pakistan border and actually had to delay some of his soldiers leaves because they had holes in their uniforms and shoes. Great give them new gear, but THERE WAS NONE for them. If these restaurants are part of the reason for our soldiers at the front line are not getting needed supplies or having their leave delayed, I say bravo to the General whose idea this was.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Ed

    Dropping one less bomb will more than cover the cost of these treats for our troops! WTF are they thinking? Bad enough that we have to have our brave men and women there, now someone that eats steak every night in a cozy upscale restaraunt, decides that the people allowing them to enjy these freedoms deserve LESS? Get a life!

    March 25, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Marc F.

    They've got it wrong. It is the American civilian who needs to stop eating the likes of Burger King, Dairy Queen, Orange Julius and Pizza Hut, not the underpaid serviceman.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Linda

    one more comment . . . I truly understand budget limitations, it happens in every profession, every company. we cut here and there to make something else affordable or to prevent losing something essential. the troops on the line MUST be supplied first, absolutely! that's a no-brainer. BUT! I'm guessing there might be other creative ways to reduce costs of these nonessentials, and that's the key word - "creative." in addition, the stinging words "this is a warzone, not an amusement park." I doubt that any man or woman serving in Afghanistan thinks an occasional first-run movie qualifies as Disneyland. but unrelenting stress takes a toll on performance, and the Pentagon needs to keep that in mind. The rate of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorders) is skyrocketing for returning vets. A Whopper won't cure everything, but it sure can't hurt to have a little "luxury" now and then. Please rethink this message and this decision!

    March 25, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  39. yadayadayada

    And eating a whopper or dip cone is going to distract from staying focused on what you have been in training do to?

    March 25, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Corey

    I have a hard time believing that one of the worlds finest militaries cannot fight in a forwardly deployed hostile environment without "Burger King, etc." Being a Marine, Soldier, Seaman, or Airman during a time of war means that you sacrifice these "luxuries" for the greater good. The fact that our service-members' morale is affected so 'strongly' by the presence of a BK or DQ seems silly, unless we're training a bunch of pansies in our Military's boot-camps these days. Having served in the Marine Corps, I would have to say that the best thing for troop welfare and morale are letters and things from home, more so than having a BK in a warzone.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Keenan Gingles

    My hope is that this was a necessary decision in order to make sure that our men and women on the front lines are assured of getting all of the supplies and materials they need to carry out their mission. Having said that the "perks" of Burger King and such can go a long way in helping the morale of the troops. Here's hoping that we find a way to provide the material support and the extras that can mean a lot in the daily lives of our troops.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Don Benson

    I have a great idea....stop the wars and bring the troops home. Then they can have all the BK and DQ they want. My father fought in WWII and the phrase "War is Hell" was true then and I'm sure it's true now...but we don't need corporate involvement like this...whoever dreamed up having this stuff in a war zone in the first place had to be a Republican.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  43. DBinVA

    The way Burger King has been going downhill lately, I think they are doing the soldiers a favor. That stuff is nasty!

    March 25, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Mark Levario

    During the first Gulf War they introduced Wolfburger stands. Troops would line up for hours to get something else besides MRE.s. There were no luxuries like BK or DQ when I was in Afghanistan. I ordered a pizza from Qatar (thnks to an Air Force connection) and it took two days to get it. I was a real treat. Bottom line is troops don't get paid enough for what they do nor do they get the respect they deserve.
    AAFES makes plenty of money they can afford to support the troops morale; which is what they are supposed to do with their profits. I say all profits go to those deployed and enjoy.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Glenn

    BK, DQ, IM-Ing and Emailing nightly, Web Cams, song downloads. We did just fine in the 70s and 80s with Mess-Decks food, Ship's Store gedunk, Whatever movies that showed up, books, and decks of cards. Communications home were usually 2 weeks to get an answer to a question. Families (mine, anyhow) did just fine – my wife was and is an able bill payer/household person/car-repair manager. Doing without BK and Pizza Hut and DQ is just such a tough life. As the General said – It is the military and they ARE at war. Oh, and we didn't have Outback collecting money for our reception party upon returning from deployment. The ship moored, family met us or we hopped the bus at the main gate and went home. It was our job – and we all volunteered then just like the military does today . . . all-volunteer force.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Rodney

    This is not a good sign of how our services are doing. Are we really that broke already? Glad too that I am retired. I am for keeping these small moral boosters in place for our young men and women. Poor, poor idea to remove them.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Eliane

    How incredibly stupid and cruel! Theses poor soldiers have nothing to release their stresses after their umpteen tours of duty; now the big green machine is making sure they remove one of the very few pleasure they have in this God forsaken place, so their moral will remain high and they'll be in their best fighting spirit!!!!!!!!. Fragging sounds inevitable; unfortunately the orders come from Washington/Pentagon.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Teresa

    WOW! What a payback. Such a shame.
    President Obama should insist that these leaders give up restaurant meals and anything but the most basic of food; or, insist that for the duration they eat the same as soldiers based in Afghanistan.

    Great leaders lead by example, and would not ask their soldiers to do anything they are not willing to do themselves.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  49. MNBlack

    Our men and women in the military lost their moral and faith when BUSH lied to them and sent them to war.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Me

    Write a letter to the Chief (Obama) and complain. What he says go, maybe he will listen.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Jon

    Most of the soldiers I see every time I pass by the fast food places are grossly overweight for being in the military. There is nothing healthy about any of these places and to be at the top of your game you must eat healthy and exercise... which is clearly not a priority for anyone saying that opening up more gyms is a bad idea as it will cause a distraction. Really, getting in shape is a bad distraction? This will affect mostly people who sit in offices just like the generals and SGM's you all are bashing. How about having the mission and your health first so you and your battle buddies come back alive before a Whopper causes someone to blow their brains out.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  52. C

    I'm apparently ignorant because I'm concerned about where all of our taxes goes, like in this instance to subsidize corporations like BK providing junk food for our troops. I made no claim or opinion just a statement of concern, nor did I state that this was the only topic we should be concerned with our taxes going to. Thanks for sharing your ignorance with me so we could all go there together.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Mike

    The dumbest thing ever ! These things are luxuries, yes. Honestly, arent't these guys due a little bit of luxury on occassion. I suggest the Brass get off their ass, go out and spend a couple weeks at these forward posts with NO special VIP treatment and sit under the same conditions the troops are and really get an idea on what is making their soldiers tick.

    I bet you that the top dogs are not suffering one little bit. They should be ashamed of themselves for not looking out for the young kids that are putting their lives on the line.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Ramon Cruz

    That should bring moral up. NOT!!! What about the war fighters that don't drink coffee? You keep the coffee joint there but let’s think about the other guys and gals that are non coffee drinkers. Some decisions made by the leaders just don’t make sense. We Americans carry the load when it comes to providing Democracy. Let some of the other countries give more and stop taking away from our folks.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Greg Tanner

    I'm glad to see them go. Of course, have to keep the Green Bean coffee house. having recently returned from Baghdad VBC, we had the Taco Bell and DQ and Burger King. I admit I did go to the Taco Bell a couple of times but I could have cared less about the other stuff. I think it's actually emabarrassing that we as a Fit to Fight military force have to have such luxieries as a fattening whooper or whatever, while the men doing the true fighting on the streets and in the ditches are stuck with MRE's and sleeping in holes in the ground. Let there be luxeries on R&R bases such as Al Udied and such, but in the war zone, let's remain focused on our job to do, and less on what movie is playing in the tent or getting my supersized fries and Big Mac.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  56. TinkerTeller

    None of you posting the usual anti-government dreck seem to have a clue as to where the money for those "luxuries" come from. Hint–it ISN'T taxpayer money. Taking away these has nothing to do with health care reform or a "nanny state". It has to do with a general who didn't get his way elsewhere.

    BK, DQ, the theaters and the rest are funded and run by AAFES, a non-appropriated funds unit. The people running those activities are not paid by your tax dollars and they really DO volunteer to go over there to support the troops and to make their lives a little brighter.

    Stopping even bottled water? I guess the good general missed out on the lecture about dysentary and all those other fun things one gets from drinking the local water.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Bonesman322

    The fast food industry will claim they're selling their products in Iraq for the sake of troop-morale. Fat chance. Did I say FAT? The fast food industry, as a whole, spends millions if not billions of dollars lobbying local goverments to allow them to serve "food," if you can call it that, to our children through the school systems, for the same reason they want to sell food to soldiers: MONEY. Big, FAT money!

    They're elbowing into the military complex to prey on soldiers. Their food sucks here in America. Why would it taste better in Iraq other than a complete lack of options? And considering the US taxpayers purchased that cargo plane they're off-loading the Burger King truck from, how many millions of tax-payer provided dollars did I spend to ensure Burger King gets their piece of the action (military money)?

    March 25, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Linda Schade

    To me, the sad part of this news is that more troops need to be sent and that "nonessential" items may prevent troops from getting basics. shame on us. I'm not pro-war, not one little bit, but I absolutely support our troops. they deserve to have some "nonessentials" - I saw one post that suggested that DQ, Burger King, et.al. could donate their supplies or provide them at a much reduced cost.

    by the way - "nonessential luxuries" is an oxymoron . . . a luxury is just that - and certainly not an essential . . . but I'm hard pressed to think of a greasy hamburger or a soft ice cream cone as a "luxury," war zone or not. facing life or death every day, being thousands of miles away from loved ones - ice cream, burgers and fries should be the very least we do for our troops.

    this commander should be ashamed for his comments, issue an apology and rescind his order.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Dan

    While Afghanistans leader talk to and communicte with the Taliban, Our soldiers suffer die and the U.S. military will just work to lower moral a littl bit more and more by taking away whoppers and ice cream. Again while Afghanistans leader communicate and make deals with Taliban. Read it. Korazai talks to the Taliban while our soldiers die and are wounded.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Angelcry

    Wow...if everyone wants to talk about the wastefulness of the money being spent overseas in Iraq or Afghanistan...perhaps this would be some food for thought. On my first tour, we all rode in Humvees if we needed to go anywhere & never did you see a civilian vehicle anywhere on the FOB...however, on my my recent tour, we had civilian vehicles, SUV's (BRAND NEW) for the use of the various shops to get around & these would never find their way over to American soil. Apparently, my last unit was too good to ride in Humvees to get around & would rather have brand new vehicles brought in from Baghdad on semi trucks...I don't know why but right before we left, we received some 40+ vehicles (conversion vans, SUV's, etc.) for the incoming unit's use. The vans themselves reminded me of the A-Team vans, 4X4 & loaded with every possible extra they could have requested. I had discussed the new arrivals with someone & they'd commented that they would most likely be auctioned off to the local populace for a mere fraction of the cost. They'd never make it over to the US...they were even metric & we don't USE metric in the US...but they were supposed to be for our use, so why they were ordered metric is beyond me...as far as the removal of 'luxuries' in theater, yes, from a logistical standpoint, it would be better to cut them out if they were preventing the movement of necesssary supplies to the forward troops. I had sent my own 'goodies' to a friend's brother-in-law b/c he wasn't getting resupplied & was going hungry rather than let his joes starve. We'd send it APO to APO so they'd get supplies. That's a Command not taking care of it's troops b/c they were able to receive what WE sent them. But it is nice to have things that give a small reminder of what freedoms you have at home; to make you thankful for the freedom to go wherever you choose when you ARE home. But know this...never once when I was sitting in Iraq drinking coffee or hanging out with people after missions had been completed did I EVER forget that I was deployed. There was a group of friends that held a BBQ once on mission downtime & the next day, they went out, an ENTIRE SQAUD did not come back. They'd had their last good meal surrounded by friends & I KNOW that EVERYONE appreciated what little 'luxuries' we could scrap together in our downtime so we could decompress. It was being able to decompress that would help them go out & stay focused on the mission at hand b/c if you never have the chance to unwind, you WILL go crazy. However you unwind is your business, but to say that not having those things in country will make troops do their job faster is ignorant & foolish. There was never a time that if a job was left undone (which would not happen where I was) you were not rousted out of bed to come back in, regardless of the time you'd gone down to sleep, & still expected to come back in to perform your normal duties.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  61. vet in fla

    maybe the quality of the soldier is going down..........

    March 25, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Rich

    Ask a soldier which he feels is more important, combat supplies or base luxuries? If there is ANY issue regarding stress to the supply chain for mission essentials, well then it just makes sense to cut the luxuries to free up the supply chain.

    Remember, we are adding 35k troops. There is going to be a logistical burden. The troops are going to be more engaged now than in the past. That acts as a multiplier.

    I am sure if the military had the resources, the issue would not be one of funding. It is an issue of space/transportation/logistics/supply chain.

    At the end of the day, the one thing every military family wants most is the safety of their loved one. The minute you have stress on the system, the non-essentials have to go. It sucks. The commanders hate to do it, but it would be totally irresponsible to proceed any other way. They truly get it. Most people and even soldiers will struggle to understant how it is we can't make room.

    You would be shocked how detailed and tight the planning is for supplying and resupplying. It had to happen. No one enjoys it but the alternative is much much worse.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  63. JC

    You know what this is a bunch of crap. I am tired of these senior or general officers making decisions that dont affect them because they get what they want even though they will tell you no we dont get this stuff bull crap. This is why the army is the way it is now.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Terry Comfort CWO4/LCDR USN Ret.

    Join the Navy. We have movies and popcorn every night.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  65. RMM2012

    Looks like Michelle has been at it again.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  66. DH Clifton, NJ

    Nonsense. These soldiers sacrifice enough. They work long hours and providing them such " luxuries " as a ggod movie, a whopper and maybe a ice cream cone is something that boosts morale. There is NO EXCUSE for not getting the necessary supplies to the troops. All these idiots that have commented that they didn't have these " luxuries " when they were in a war zone are just jealous. What's best for the soldier and their morale ? Make your decisions on
    that question and you probably will succeed in your unit's mission.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Chris, SGT USMC

    To put into word what it is like to have these amenities is difficult. I do not live near one of the "luxury" bases but instead out on the front lines. Once in a while we get Liberty to go and unwind. Most of the time I am working 12hrs days 7 days a week. Maybe after three or four weeks of this, we are given ONE day at these bases that have the nice "Luxuries" and relax.

    The Command decision is understandable to a point. Make room for troops and this is a war zone. So much for scaling back and reducing the number of troops.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  68. BoB

    Well there goes the moral, now what are you going to do! Wepons of mass distruction
    strikes again.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  69. zax

    For all of you none military types who have no clue who pays for the PX / BX facilities on base. Your tax dollars are not funding them. The Exchange system puts millions of dollars back into base programs around the world every year. Taking away Burger King, and first run movies is not going to build morale. In Vietnam they had beer wagons that traveled with units. They didn't take those away.

    When you stateside couch potatoes join the military and spend a year in a war zone then you can say it is about time they took Burger King away.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  70. RG Hadman

    Well it sucks to lose a luxury here and there...these are businesess in country profiting off of a captive audience (not the movies so much) but DQ/BK and the others yes...The military should not lift one finger to make sure these businesses have an overall monopoly in theatre. Our job is to fight and win here...not spread capitalism. If these companies want to do business there...they can arrange their own transport!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  71. vet in fla

    im a vietnam vet and i never heard of all the luxury in a war zone.what is becoming of our military........why dont you guys ask for room service too.there is no time for luxury on the front line.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  72. Al H.

    All that stuff must be necessary to have people so upset about it being taken away. By all means, put it back to better pamper troops in a war zone, and limit the ability to supply the people actually on the front lines. But don't stop there bringing them back, let's get a Beth, Bath and Beyond so we can supply Ped eggs and Crock Pots, and maybe put in an IMAX. How are our troops able to appreciate Avatar on the small screen?
    It's a war people not a vacation. I didn't get or need that crap in Vietnam, buck up and do the job you're there to do, don't cry about not having a soft enough pillow, just be happy you have what you do.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  73. CIB

    No more "luxuries"? Big deal...BK and DQ are in places where guys at the pointy end of the spear aren't, so the guys who deserve those things the most won't miss them. Besides, being deployed sucks period, a burger or pizza won't change that. Plus, morale is maintained by good discipline, unit cohesion, and positive leadership, NOT a whopper. Instead of complaining about a faceless soldier a thousand miles from home not getting fast food, lets all write an actual letter to one of them, get to know them personally, and let them know that we support them and appreciate what they are doing...THAT will help morale

    March 25, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Stephen

    This SGM is not being realistic. Soldiers need down time. Burger Kings, DQ, and latest movies is the least we can do. WHAT A BAD DECISION!!!!!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Arch Stanton

    Hey, folks.....it looks like ObamaCare is starting to kick-in. Look how many calories won't be consumed any longer with these fast-food chains gone.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  76. Scott

    Right...Next will be letters from home, underwear and bullets. Let them have their burgers and sundaes for crying out loud!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  77. Cody B

    I agree with the decision to remove these luxuries that the REMF's (Rear Echelon Mutha F***ers) get to enjoy everday when the REAL heros are getting shot at and dodging I.E.D's. I'm going to hear so much whining and moaning over this by the weak cry babies I serve in the Air Force with. I can hear them in Bagram already, "Boo boo bee boo...this is so hard, this is hell." They nor I have any clue what the Marines, Soldiers, and Spec Ops guys go through outside of the wire. However, they bitch and cry more than anybody I've ever met. It pisses me off! Good move on getting this stuff out of the 'Stan, maybe it'll toughen the Air Force up. LOL...YEAH RIGHT!!!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Vicki

    My son is currently serving in Afghanistan, and I am disgraced by this decision. These are just a few things our soldiers who are serving our country to protect our freedom are allowed to enjoy and look forward to. Bring our soldiers home so we can at least make them a home cooked meal. It's amazing to me that someone can decide that they don't deserve alittle bit of enjoyment so they can get through their tours alittle easier.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  79. PT

    These "luxuries" remind the Joes what they're fighting for. I'm sure they're confused enough by their mission in Afghanistan – why not give them every reminder of what democracy/freedom means, no matter how trivial.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Mike Spencer

    Its a little scarey that we cant supply both hamburgers and body armor at the same time to the troops. Oh where or where did the money go?

    March 25, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  81. CSM

    As a 3 tour veteran and an Army Command Sergeant Major, this has got to be the worst decision since that stupid beret. God forbid Joe Snuffy gets to watch a first run movie after patrolling all day. Does anyone think Michelle Obama's war on obesity have anything to do with this?

    March 25, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  82. Scott

    These things are not for amusement, they're for Morale. Listen up, Major. You remove things that keep Troops happy and your morale declines severely. I did a 3 year tour overseas and it was the little things that kept us going, such as an American Cheeseburger. It gave you something to look forward to. If it gets in the way of the mission, then I understand the removal or just give it a lower priority, but try not to remove it completely. This commander is not has no "connection" with his Troops and that's an absolute shame considering he is totally dependent on their ability to do their jobs. If they fail in the mission, he fails as a Commander and we fail as a team and then he'll never see "full bird" because deep down, that's all he cares about anyway!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  83. j smith

    as someone who just recently got out the Army, this is a joke...I think whoever made this decision should be forced to retire. The last thing you need is the moral to keep going lower and lower.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  84. loneranger26

    morale for our troops does not come from fast food and espresso coffee, it comes from knowing that the citizens of our country, back them up %100. and reality is, out country doesnt. These soldiers are going to end up like the vietnam veterans, forgotten. I still cant believe that even after serving in a $%#^ hole like Vietnam ( which in my opinion is worse than the mideast) when those boys got home, the american public scrutinized them! the soldiers! ..and those boys were drafted. I dont want that to happen to our troops today. but my bottom line is, support comes from the spirit of the american people, not from movies, and fast food, it comes from letters from home, letters from random strangers, care packages, SUPPORT rallies, instead of PROTEST rallies. Posters, fliers, propaganda, its what defeated the axis and its what can defeat terrorism. think about it.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  85. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Those military men and women in man to man combat don't enjoy the luxury of eating burgers, watching movies, etc. and they die in combat. Doing things across the board for all our brave troops and this is the right thing to do.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  86. Nathaniel

    To those who are upset..... stop your whining and grow up!

    You joined the military to serve your country... not to eat fast food overseas. The fact that such food is even available to our troops in a war zone is reprehensible. I will be the first to say that I enjoy the junk food, but I would never consider serving it at halftime to the Superbowl teams nor would I ever consider serving it to our fighting troops. Troops need HEALTHY food to eat. They should want to do their jobs to the best of their ability and come home safely. Burger King and Dairy Queen does not help in this matter. What a waste of US taxpayer money to be shipping this junk overseas in the first place.

    You wanted to fight in far off lands.... then learn to eat the food provided by our military or eat the food the inhabitants you are fighting to protect eat. And GROW A PAIR. You signed up for this, so deal with it like a man or woman and quit your bitching. This is your job not a vacation. Represent the best of America, not the worst. I am just sick to hear military complaining about such things... you should be complaining about healthcare, your military pay and other more important things than a Whopper from Burger King and getting to watch Avatar! Disgusting.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  87. Mike

    way to boost morale !!!!! IDIOTS... I'd rather see congress take a pay cut and give the troops more recreation !!!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  88. Jayro

    Real Soldiers eat MRE'S. Fake Soldier's need to be pampered.
    My former Battalion moto is "Death and Destruction" Who am I ?
    Hooah to Binky, Smurf, Jenkjenk, Wrongway, Cheesehead and Chessnuts.
    I miss my former squad :(.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  89. Dlg

    is our military not voluntary?
    its the choice that was made.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  90. Scott

    What an amazing sense of entitlement I see here. This is the military, people, not the freaking cub scouts. If any single one of you could read, you'd realize that by supplying all these luxuries, they're clogging the supply lines and keeping essentials from the people who are out doing the fighting while the guys on base get fat on Burger King.

    Get a grip. These guys are supposed to be professionals. I can guarantee our enemies are a lot more focused and require a lot less babying to get into the spirit of their jobs.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  91. Matt

    Seems like 90% of these posts are from people who have never served in a war zone before.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  92. KAYLA BELL

    THIS IS REDICULOUS. These things are just a LITTLE bit of HOME they have there. I know they are to fight and focus, but if you take these little things away that help them breathe, they will go CRAZY! Hope you feel good about yourself! These people who are over there fighting NEED this kind of 'REST' if you can call it that! They die over there everyday... And you want to take MORE from them! Taking family away isn't enough, you have to take their liberty too. What next, they aren't allowed to sleep? REDICULOUS!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  93. Retired 1SG

    I support you CSM Hall, the focus is the WAR. We are Soldiers first and there is no need to have all those distracters. We need them to go in, kick butt and come home. The Armed Services provides them with 3 hot meals, bunk and a roof over their heads and that is all they need. I do believe they should have computer, phone and internet capabilities. That is no longer a luxury but a need to for them keep in touch with friends and love ones. I hate to be the bad guy but when the Soldiers are relaxing too much then there is opportunity for them to get in trouble, I believe for them to work hard, get compensated and stay focus on the mission.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  94. Doug

    I am sorry but where are you going to put the food that these sevices are no longer going to provide? Something just doesn't add up.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  95. Mary

    Sure, lets take what little comfort our soldiers have while they are fighting a war away from them. It's not enough they work 7 days a week, are away from their families for more than a year, and could be killed at any moment. I'm sure a blizzard is what's wrong with this war or the fact that maybe once every couple of months, they can see a movie and feel a little more like home. GREAT IDEA!! And oh yeah, lets not forget they aren't closing any afghan owned stores....

    March 25, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  96. civ in Iraq

    I spent quite a bit of time working in Iraq and I don't see this as a bad thing. I didn't
    eat at these places very much. DFACs were really good. I never went to a movie.
    They sell bootleg copies of movies for a couple dollars. AFFES sells movies. Internet
    and gym kept me occupied. I ran my first half marathon there. I doubt taxpayers are
    paying for these as they charge high prices and are probably self sufficient. They are run
    by AFFES. I suspect they need the real estate for new troops. A little hardship is not a
    bad thing. I never saw a fat Marine in Iraq, but Army, Navy and Air Force was a different
    story. Marines would be exercising at noon in heat with their rucksacks on. I talked to a
    Marine from a small base who said they didn't have internet, communications, DFAC or
    showers, but added it wasn't too bad. He had come to the base I was on for some medical
    issues. Less fast food isn't a bad thing. I think it is a good call to focus on why we are
    there. Troops will save money and have less empty calories. Lest we forget it is a warzone we are in.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  97. TexasVet

    First of all any of you ra ra ex military guys need to go sit down and suck your thumbs, the Bush administration lead by a Rumsfeld backed DoD allowed for all this mess to go down in the first place. This goes to show how yellow bellied military leadership at the time was, they spoiled the troops with force reduction and an increase of contractors. Mess hall cooks don't even cook anymore, supply specialists barely perform inventory duties. The great Dwight Eisenhower warned against the manipulation of the war industrial complex capabilities and now we are seeing a manifestion of his warning. It is kind of like giving your kids everything they want to keep them happy and one day realizing that you have created a spoiled monster. See what the issue is here at hand is the delination of class and comfort. Officers are usuallly afforded the "luxury" of better messing options than enlisted personnel. Now you take away officer dining amenities and give them an MRE and a C- ration and see how they respond. I bet you Mc Christal and his soft ass CSM are both getting their meals catered to their exact liking right before hoping on their military transport to get back to DC for more " meetings". This is a joke and a direct shot at the hard working enlisted individual. Do your jobs, band together, and get home safe all!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  98. Proud Army Wife

    To all of you... my dh is at one of those outposts! It is a shame you want to complain these bases are going to lose their junk food restaurants, when there are soldiers fighting the real battle going without basic needs. I know that every soldier out there would gladly forgo the DQ and the BK in order to ensure their brothers on the outside are getting the supplies they need to keep going. There has to be priorities.. and I'm sorry but I'd rather see my dh get the ammo, water and rations he needs than to see others slurping on a frosty just for fun. Each US Soldier knows the sacrifices and the duties when they sign up for the job, as do their families, and I know most would rather be able to talk to their families here at home more frequently than eat a whopper every day. Don't belittle the sacrifices they are all making by arguing such a ridiculous topic.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  99. Richard

    This reminds me of the beret that 99% of soldiers have always detested. We were ordered to like it and the SGM of the Army at the time said he hadn't heard ANY negative input about it. Ask any soldier and they will tell you they would much rather wear a field cap instead of a beret.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  100. curr

    Bad move!

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