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 (1,604 Responses)
  1. 10MountainMan

    Having served two tours in Afghanistan, one at Bagram and one in Iraq, I can tell you that this is truly shortsighted. In Iraq, there are movie theaters, full restaurants and every imaginable distraction. Not so in Afghanistan. You can see how luxurious the Burger King was-a single wide trailer that you stood outside to order from. I can say it was the highlight of my week to go there and get a whooper and pretend like this didn't all suck so bad. And by the way-the soldiers pay for these things themselves-at a premium for the shipping so don't sit there and tell me that it is because of costs. I would love to see that CSM's Bio-probably some slick sleeve who watched "We were Soldiers" one too many times. Making it suck more doesn't do anything for anyone except giving that A-hole a better NCOER because he is "focused on the mission". I guess he forgot Mission First and People Always-

    March 26, 2010 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |


    March 26, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  3. SGT Prad

    Taking away all the fast food will not have as big an impact as some may think. This is strictly my opinion. I spent 15 months on a COP in northeast Baghdad as a medic for a cavalry unit, the only time I saw Burger King was about every three months when we went to refit. Now I admit I indulged in a burger when I had the chance, but I was just as happy to eat at the DFAC on Taji. A real meal is a real meal, regardless of where it comes from.

    CSM Hall is correct in saying that Afghanistan is not an amusement park. And I fully agree that fast food chains while nice are not a neccessity. If the Fobbits want to get angry because they can't eat fast food anymore, too bad. If the line guys don't get to eat fast food on the rare occasion they are in the area, guess what they will do what they do best, and suck it up.

    A short story from an experience of mine on a large FOB. During a refit, I was left to guard the trucks while my platoon hit up the PX. Three day's prior my truck had been hit by and IED, (no one was injured thankfully) I had not showered in roughly a week because our COB ran out of water. I was rather scruffy, definately out of regs, but was too tired to really care at that point. As I'm sitting next to the turret, a fat kid wearing PT's with his rifle slung over his back staggers up to the T-barrier in front of my vehicle with a TAC box full of Funnions, Cheetoes, cigarettes, dvd's and other assorted goodies from the PX. Breathing heavily he sets down the box on the barrier, looks up at me and says "Sometimes I hate my life." I didn't respond, I really didn't know what to say, I was kind of in shock. I didn't acknowledge him so he just caught his breath and moved on to the bus stop. I am in no way trying to say I had it harder than anyone else, everyone fights their own personal battle over there. The kid just seemed a little audacious to me. I'm curious to know, what would you have done in that situation?

    March 26, 2010 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  4. JaneCitizen

    For any of you who don't know, these "luxuries" are the result of surveys and questionnaires that troops complete when back stateside after a demob. These crusty folks are taking away the only semblance of home for some of these troops and believe morale is going to suck over it. Don't be suprised if there is a spike in "war crimes" committed by the troops after this is done...

    March 26, 2010 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  5. JM

    Tell the politicans and the pentagon leaders that they need to come over and live in a tent city environment for 120 – 365 days.. I can guarantee that if they were treated like us and not give all the luxury jets, and rooms and dinners etc.. they would think twice before they start taking the nicities away for thousands of military personnel.
    Someone stated that the military is volunteers and I absolutely agree we are but it doesn't give anyone the right to think its alright to treat the american and coalition forces that stand guard defending what ever country they are in– that we are beneath the american people.. Do you sleep good at night,, every morning you should thank goodness for all the thousands of mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers and husbands and wives that are protecting the right for you to speak your mind..

    March 26, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  6. OIF Veteran

    Absurd. We pay KBR $30 a meal to feed our Soldiers crap (most of us just ate cereal and that terrible tasting long shelf life milk) and now in order to make budget cuts, they take away some of the few things Soldiers have to look forward to in a warzone. Way to go Commanders – idiotic ideas and moves like that are the reason I left the Service. Noone cares about the Soldiers anymore. Please continue to proceed with your personal agendas and political alliances, don't mind the Soldiers on the ground actually doing the work. GIVE THEM BACK THEIR SMALL, YET VERY APPRECIATED, "LUXURIES" the burgers aren't that great anyway but they sure beat the bs that is being served in the DFAC.

    March 26, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  7. Virginia Frank

    Do you suppose the basis of all this was the advice those Soviet commanders gave us recently on the mistakes Russisans made in Afghanistan? Who knows, they may have blamed their failure to succeed on all those Borscht convoys they had to run while they were in country.

    March 26, 2010 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  8. trnsprtr

    Maybe the movies are not that popular, as DVD's are widely available in the local economy (and the PX) . As to the restaurants, if they are eating space in the logistics train that is needed to keep FORWARD bases supplied, then so be it, close them. These facilities are usually located in the "rear" where sustainment operations are going on, as opposed to direct combat operations. These "sustainment centers" contain the folks taking supplies forward, so they do see combat (and they are the main target of the IED tactic); but they live in relatively protected areas. That is why it was safe to have the fastfood facilities. These facilities are supplied by commercial trucking whenever possible, but perhaps conditions in afghanistan have changed and make that very difficult now. This forces an additional load on the ARMY's logistics train and jeopardizes effectiveness of our troops in forward areas. Yes morale is an issue, but the majority of the folks affected by these closures are not the ones living in the bleeding edge of the theater.

    March 26, 2010 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  9. 0311

    follow up....

    if they really want to win the war.... just start placing McDonalds, KFC, BK on every corner in Afghan and Iraq... if the soldiers and Marines don't kill them the food will

    March 26, 2010 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  10. 0311

    I was hoping that the ARMY and Air Force can start supplying milkshakes and donuts...guess that wont happen now....

    Distraction...yes....I think the Sgt Maj is trying to get the guys to be more like Marines.....
    who are used to getting hand me down equipment, crap food, crap environments... brings out the killer in you, and your pissed off the whole time.

    Looking back maybe the warehouse sergeant can tell his kids how he had to endure a year with no fast food and had it tough in his days in the military...

    makes for some good by the fire conversation years later....hahaha

    Semper Fi

    March 26, 2010 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  11. Jim

    They didn't have dairy queen or Burger King brought with them to Normandy... I don't see any of those vets complaining here...

    March 26, 2010 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  12. Mike

    As a Soldier that has served 3 tours in Astan and 4 in Iraq I would have to say that this has to be one of the biggest and best things that a command could do... Soldiers waste too much time standing in line for a rot guy burger or a pizza.. those soldiers need to be out on the road.. as the CSM says this is a war zone... what are you thinking.. get that PT belt on.. you better Salute outside the wire too... damn.. your in the Army not the cub scouts... What is wrong with you people.. you joined my Army... and this is a fighting force not a play ground.... keep this up and there will be no more KBR chow hall... will bring back the MKTs and serve T-rats... or C-rats cause thats what they ate back in 68... oh and no your still not allowed to drink either... like they did in 68,,, ....

    If you couldnt tell from the above statement was typed in total BS... Yes I have been to Astain 3 times and Iraq 4 times... and what little joy I did have over there came from sittin back having a coffee and a burger... I am waiting for my next set of orders taking me to Astan cause I was looking forward to having a Blizzard there... When its 100 in the shade and you just come back after a hump in the MTNS there is nothing like having something cold to eat or drink...

    Some of you say well if my son or daughter dont have it then noone should have it.. then there are some of you that say I dont want my tax money spent on it are just not informed on how that stuff is paid for,,,

    to the Commanding Gen and CSM... I am sure that there are reasons for this but as a leader I have to weigh the pros and cons of every action I do... I am sure that you have as well and since I wasnt there to hear what the pros and cons were.. and all I can go by is what you are saying.. making room for the 35k more troops.... I am sure that not all of those troops are going to just 2 bases.. I remember when we had nothing taking showers with bottled water eating MREs for our meals... things got better as those little things came in.. I remember when BK got there.. talk about a boost in moral.... its those little things that get us through a 12-15month deployment... I am sure that as the Command Team as others before you have done you spend your time flying back and forth between DC and Astan.. where most of your time is spent in DC.. so you dont miss those little things as much as that PVT who doesnt see the states as often as you do.... nor do they have a very large living area with all the little things that you have... yes with Rank brings larger living qtrs.. i got that.. but my living qtrs was the same size as my PVTs ... if they didnt have a fridge neither did I...

    as far as a distraction goes.. please.... when i was out on patrol there was all kinds of stuff that I would be thinking of... my wife my kids, my soldiers, as so forth... I would have to say that this is going to be a double edge knife here... only time will tell... I would have to say leave the BKs and Pizza Huts.. they are only a distraction if you let them become one... what is next... tear down the chus and take away the beds... that is a distraction. soldiers living in chus taking hot showers.. sleeping on beds... this is a war zone not their house... and NO TVs either.. please... we have been at war since 2001 and can you tell me of one soldier that was killed cause he/she was thinking of BK and not watching their sector of fire????

    March 26, 2010 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  13. rjp3

    Reading the comments from these "warriors" whining about the loss of Whoppers and Milk Shakes makes me sick.

    How coddled.
    How weak.
    How sad the Bush and Rummy did this to our once great military.

    As for the "warriors" posting - man up.

    March 26, 2010 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  14. former soldier

    I am all for BK and luxuries but not at the expense of fellow soldiers at outpost and forward operating bases. Those soldiers rely on other bases to provide them with ammo, water and food. If taking away a theater and BK frees up space for them to get more supplies then do it. but if its just a croc to save money or to get more troops over then don't. But I do believe the CSM when he says why he is doing this. Think about other troops for a sec and not just about the troops on these particular bases.

    And there is a simple answer to another post from eaerlier. Keep the DFAC open 24/7. Some schools do it, why not the military. It would help those troops out who work shifts and can't make the DFAC hours.

    March 26, 2010 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  15. Active Duty

    As a service member myself who has been deployed overseas on more than 1 occasion, I think that its' a great idea. There are entirely way too many overweight military personnel. It's getting out of hand. How about putting in some gyms?

    March 26, 2010 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  16. David Wood

    OMG! How stupid is this! You can tell whoever voted for this has never seen combat, or (somehow) forgotten!

    Yes, it true that these things are unprecedent when compared to other skirmishes, but we never had the excess euipment or such suport (read: focused motivation) to enter into a battle!

    Vietnam used all available units to bring new soldiers, and thw dead and wounded out!

    Today, public support is declining, mission objectives even more vague, and recruitment is at an all-time low; and you want to remove major moral boosters??? I say no, firmly! How about senators give back their self-appointed pay raises and sweetheart deals?

    BTW, weren't we supposed to start bringing the troops by now? Wasn't that Obama's campaign promise (and an import promise, at that?).

    Singned, David Wood;
    Aka, angry, lied to american tired of corrupt politicians and ineffective leadership!

    March 26, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  17. Mike

    In WWII (and frankly, in every war or campaign), GIs in every theater would have killed for a fresh made hamburger or a milkshake. But now we are told that a few simple pleasures are detracting from fighting. Well, at least they are being given more fitness centers – yup, come in from 24 hours chasing bad guys and go work out.

    That Sergeant Major has, of course, completely forgotten what it was like to be at the "bottom" of the "food chan". Forrest Gump had it right, "Stupid is as stupid does."

    All hail Fredonia and the Grand Duchy of Fenwick.

    March 26, 2010 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  18. D Brooks

    Honestly, they could take a few of those out of my neighborhood if they wanted.

    March 26, 2010 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  19. DYa Bono

    OHH and according to the Post Office it is not a war........ Stupid people........

    March 26, 2010 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  20. DYa Bono

    Hey I have a great idea!!!!!!!!! Take away this guys comfy bed, tv, food, toothpaste, soap.... Hey better yet why not take away water too. It might distract the soldiers cause they have to go to the bathroom. SCREW that!!!! A few little "comforts" being taken away. What next???? A movie or a burger is comfort tho these guys so far away. LET THEM HAVE IT.... AN EVEN BETTER IDEA. Why send more???? BING THEM HOME. then we would not have to worry about DQ or Burger King in Afghanistan. My son was deployed TWICE in a four year period. GIVE them back their little comforts!

    March 26, 2010 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  21. SteveG

    Read the article people. He is taking this stuff away to free up space so that they can get more "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,” I am all for giving troops luxuries, as few as they may be, but not at the expense of cutting off essential supplies to those troops actually on the front lines. Yes I am former military and know what it is like and I would have gladly given up a movie theater and BK if it meant extra ammo and water for someone at a combat outpost and any soldier who says differently needs to experience friendly fire.

    March 26, 2010 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  22. rjp3

    This is a GREAT decision.

    This is a WAR ZONE - we want our fighting force tough and not coddled or slowed down by unhealthy strip mall food.

    They only got in their in the first place so the corporations could profit.

    The Army has cooks. Use them.

    March 26, 2010 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  23. OIF 2006-2007 VET Edward Woodard

    As a Iraqi War Vet, these small luxuries are a morale booster given the fact when you are on duties that cause you to be on for God knows how long; running convoys from border to border and only stop at a FOB for rest and refuel. These small luxuries help since most of the pull in times the dfac is closed or hasn't opened yet so you are then left with having to get a quick bite at one of these fast food spots and load back up to make sure you hit you SP time for the next mission. Yet still Green Beans will remain because it offers coffer around the clock. For one these places do not hinder the amount of food and resources that gets out to the bases, what hinders is the fact that the resources are convoyed out to the out lying bases. Remember how everytime you turn on the TV a resupply convoy is hit and supplies are either destroyed or stolen by the natives. If getting resources to sites is a problem air drop them to the site thats what Riggers are for if im not mistaken.

    March 26, 2010 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  24. Jungle Marine

    I spent my time in the corps in jungles. I can't make a comparison with the environments never haveing been in arid country other then 29 stumps California. But I can relate to fighting and pissing in my pants when shots are fired. I didn't have much time to do anything more then duck and pee and shoot back. I can promise this, when under fire, you damn sure don't think about fast foods or what the movie will be that night. I've had my ass in the grass a few times and I was just happy I still had it when getting back to base camp.

    I was really amazed at all the posts on this issue. To all of you still over there if you get a chance to read this, especially those dear to me, the MARINES, kick ass and take names and send them muzzoes to their allah.

    March 26, 2010 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  25. AP

    There's a lot of people on here saying it's wrong to say "you signed up for this".


    It's a microcosm of our society, a society of greed. These individuals enlisted for a variety of reasons, but enlisted nonetheless, for the better and for the worse. All these people in the guard signed up because it was a "free education". Then we actually went to war and they were required to pay their end of the obligation. So many people were just shocked that they were obligated to go fight for their country. Only in our society could people sign up to be in the national guard, and then literally be floored when they find out it's time to pay the piper.

    All that said, I have nothing but the utmost respect for the men and women overseas and pray they all come home safely...sooner rather than later.

    March 26, 2010 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  26. Michael

    Maybe they should look into getting rid of salsa thursdays and hip hop fridays for all the perssonnel that never leave the wire first before taking away one of the luxuries myself and other combat soldiers have to look forward to after a 12 hour patrol. Don't get me wrong i have been on FOBs that you only have MREs and Water then resupply doesnt come on schedule so you are out of essentuals for days and have to make do.

    Maybe getting rid of all the wetdocs that every E-9/Field grade officers/ Staff have all to themselves and make them live like everyother soldier on base.

    March 26, 2010 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  27. 454

    This isn’t about day dreaming eating a cheese burger while your unit is being bombed and you are off in la la land. It’s about having something. When you are there you have nothing, you’re alone. You feel like you’re in prison or a death camp. I understand we are there to fight and all our freedoms are taken away so the rest of America can have there rights and freedoms but really taking everything away is only going to cause more issues it’s a way for the people who have a few min to them self to have a little something from home. I was there 6 times and seen BK and DQ maybe 2 time each rotation. I’m not into fast food but I’m not a cruel S.O.B either we teach them to kill they kill we punish. when does the B.S. end hey but there going to upgrade internet for everyone that’s restricted and you cant check home email anyhow… thank god for me retirement is but a few months away. Guess this is one of those things we will look back on after people start killing them selves that wow this might have been a bad idea. But why say that, I mean people are killing them selves after they get home and they have everything here. Just want to say “I told you so”

    March 26, 2010 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  28. SuicidalReasoning?

    WOw!! And Gen. Casey is pissed that his staff cannot firgure out why the Suicide rate in the US Army is an all time high! Lets go and take away moral from the fighting troops while we are at it....Maybe this will cut the suicide rate by half....Arm chair generals needs to get outside in the heat, and start leading from the front...and NOT the REAR...way in the rear! Off course tell your CSM to give the bad news publicly and not an Officer; however if there is a hero's story about a Soldier lets get an Officer in the front page to tell the story. If bullet and beans are not getting to the front line troops in a timely manner, its not due to space of storage; its due to poor or lack of true Leadership and Guidance. I agree on keeping moral high with any means you have; however you can still keep it and regulate it in country. We need to instill that not everyone is an infantry man, however every Army Soldier IS a rifleman first; and their Tech Skill second!

    March 26, 2010 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  29. Susan

    I don't especially understand why the U.S. military was so willing to fill their troops with this crap food and clog their arteries anyway. They should be getting truly health-promoting food. So good riddance to the junk!

    March 26, 2010 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  30. gbesaw

    The PX's aren't going anywhere, that's the only source of basic hygiene items and commercial products other than mail order. They still sell DVDs, soldiers still get mail and can buy whatever will ship from Amazon. The PX on Bagram sold 42" plasma TV's for God's sake, yet would always run out of medium socks and underwear, shaving's about time AAFES got it's neck wrung a bit. They've been making a killing on high-profit items for years while neglecting their responsibility to provide basic items under their charter.

    They're just not going to have first-run movies in a movie theater (gym, really).

    The majority of troops have a laptop or portable DVD player, even at the remote permanent outposts (obviously short-term operations are different). As rough as it gets on some camps, it's not like anyone other than special operations troops are sleeping on the ground for months at a time.

    March 26, 2010 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  31. JustAnotherDocsWife

    They don't call it "Camp Cupcake" for nothing.

    Seriously though, enough is enough. Trying to McAmericanize the natives by using fast food as a shining example of what can be achieved by embracing "peaceful capitalism" is about as effective as a fat guy chasing a Twinkie on a stick to lose weight. How about instead we redirect the focus from 31 flavors of fake freedom into self-sufficency for the populace by teaching them how to read, write, and think for themselves?

    March 26, 2010 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  32. Tyler Durden

    I'm not an American but I'll give my take on this anyway:
    You're at an foreign country fighting a war. Those inhabitants of those country would fight the US by any means, the only thing driving them is the will to kill their enemies (being the US and the allies). They don't care about luxuries. They are even willing to commit suicide actions.

    Now, analyzing the US position, they aren't fighting a real war. Because if you are really serious about this, if you really feel its about your survival, then you won't be thinking about luxuries. The only thing on your mind is the obliteration of your enemy. The only moral boost your need is that the enemy is lurking out there out to get you. Not the DQ, BK and what not. So what next? Massage centers? Pedicures? A Ferris wheel to keep moral up after a hard days work? Free PSP's for everyone? If you are the homesick type, you have no business being a soldier. Like they, this is a war zone, not an amusement park

    March 26, 2010 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  33. Alex

    This is an intelligent move. Those are a logistical burden in an area of operations burdened by a poor road network and an over reliance on air to deliver supplies. If you are whining about not having these, then obviously you haven't really done your job. I've served in both theaters and haven't been stationed on one of those camp luxuries with these amenities. We did just fine. Iraq and Afghanistan are wars, not a chance to visit a foreign country on vacation. Focusing our troops on the task at hand is taking care of them. Providing them this junk isn't; those are distractions and that is what gets them killed.

    March 26, 2010 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  34. Marine1

    Sounds like a good idea, We don't really need that crap anyway. I'm sure the Army won't like it though.

    March 26, 2010 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  35. Mike

    Will it get the mission accomplished quicker? As someone who's deployed several times, I understand "creature comforts" when far from the familiar. However, what's the trade-off? I would gladly cut burgers and the latest Tom Cruise movie if it meant we focus on business and get home faster. I'd rather have DQ with my wife and kids in my hometown. So, if the cutbacks get me home to my family quicker, then I won't complain.

    March 26, 2010 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  36. Russ

    There are pros and cons. The pro is that these things keep up morale and take the soldier's minds off the war, if just for a little while. The con is that they should be engaged at all times and these things may take their minds off their jobs. However, I doubt that. When they go back into combat, they instantly reengage. At the big bases it seems like there would be nothing wrong with a few luxuries, especially for the support personnel. And the people who come back from a week or a month in the field would especially appreciate them. Could this decision be more of a PR thing for the locals? That is my guess.

    March 26, 2010 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  37. Marlene - Vietnam Veteran

    I agree with the new policy. These things were not available to troops in World War II which gave us much of our freedom today; or even Vietnam. Its a war, not a picnic.

    March 26, 2010 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  38. Jim (Afghan Vet)

    Great idea. Why don't we do away with the chow halls and eat MRE's that should free up some space to. Why not even do away with barracks and we could sleep in shelter halves...WHAT A GREAT IDEA!!! Maybe I should be a Sgt Mjr

    March 26, 2010 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  39. Marc from MA

    I understand how this can screw over morale for our people over there. But has anyone taken a look again at the electrocuting showers, and the foul and infested potable water, and the graft and kickback that is effecting the health and welfare and protection of our troops in those combat areas? I hope so.

    March 26, 2010 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  40. Mike A.

    I must respectfully disagree with the Sergeant Major. Having served myself in Iraq, Ican say that just being able to stand in line to get a Whopper wasn't just about taking care of the hunger, but for a moment reminded me of taking my kids to BK. Reminded me of spending time with my family. Then, after I threw my trash away, went right back to duty. It may not sound like alot, but it made being there a little easier. As for the movies, all you have to do is wait two weeks over there and the bootlegs come out of the woodwork. Me and my buds thought it was funny to watch the "Da Vinci Code" with Oreintal voice over and Arabic subtitiles. Most times you got the whole movie, then other times it was two different movies. Hell it only cost $2, so no great loss.

    My father and uncles are Vietnam Vets, and had no where near the ways to contact home the way we did or the 'luxeries'. Yet i know some of those things would have made the being there a little easier to deal with. So, why is that a bad thing?

    March 26, 2010 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  41. Joel

    Are we still waiting on those 35,000 troops? What if going on out there?

    Congress can drop 700 Billion in a weekend but can't get troops accross the world before pulling the softserve out. Are you kidding me?

    I've never been to an amusement park for 12 months, but if I was... I'd hope there would be a BK to stuff my face with.

    Send that CSM to Washington...sound like he'd fit right in.

    Food is a moral booster, plain and simple; just look at you own butt and you'll know what I'm talking about.

    March 26, 2010 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  42. Iraq Paramedic

    This is war folks. No other generation that fought a war got these kind of comforts. I have nothing but praise & prayers for our young men & women but they are getting too spoiled. They need bullets in war not burgers. May GOD Bless & keep all the troops in harms way all over this earth, AMEN.

    March 26, 2010 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  43. Smitty

    DQ, BK, and the like are nice comforts for the troops comming out of the Forward operating bases, The Logistical problems of housing more troops is The High Command thinks they know what they are doing, but in all reality they don't. I served 2 tours in Afghanistan and had to sleep in TENTS, with Substandard Dinning Facilities, and with a SGM that was more worried where his next piece of A** was comming from, than soldier comfort. I say keep the Pizza Hut , DQ, and BK

    March 26, 2010 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  44. Canadian Infantry

    Maybe all you people who are crying about losing your burger king and your 12 on / 12 off schedules should get outside the bases once in a while. The guys in the outposts are working 24/7 and eating rations, and you guys are crying about missing your movie for the day... I'm disgusted. And oh yeah, get rid of the wal-mart sized PX in KAF, why the hell are they selling big-screen TVs in a base anyways?? Plus all the KAFers buy all the stuff we need when we get back anyways.

    March 26, 2010 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  45. Texan

    Charles E. Martin I highly agree with you on that. I can still remember days and nights in the grass and there was a lull and I dreamed of a Mac anything and fries piled on a big plate, with a large iced tea or malted. Those were far and few between. I guarantee, the imitation burgers made out of goat, or monkey meat or water buffalo isn’t my idea of a being thousands of miles away from home contact. Been there and done that. Oh, yeah, C rats was food—when we had time to eat them and more often then not—cold.

    March 26, 2010 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  46. Jennifer

    I was in Afghanistan in 2006- it was nice to have a few choices for dinner especially when the chow hall was closed and you needed to eat. FOBs suck and that's a fact and it is up to the Commander's of those FOBs to get supplies from the DIVISION Base but most did not because it was too dangerous. Some FOBs were better than others. Most FOBs lived off of frozen junk food and the soldiers had to have food shipped in from home. BK-DQ and movies are making tons of money and I don't see the cost benifit of them leaving nor do I see it as a positive for the soldiers. Soldiers that were on a 4 day R&R went to Baghram to eat a BK burger or get some ice cream now whats the point. Being stuck in Afghanistan, Iraq, or Kosovo for 12 sucks no matter how you slice it. Commander's always have the pick of the litter when it came to the popular items and when I was with the 10th Mountain Division the General and CSM would cart in a ton of red bull and gatoraid for themselves and then yell at a soldier that had taken two from the mess hall. Total double standard. As for contractors- I was one- don't knock it because it is a career choice and I was once in the army too-now I am government and contractors next to government slots are cheaper in the long run although it does not appear to be when you compare paychecks.

    March 26, 2010 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  47. Texan

    WHOOOA 696 comments? This is awesome. Whoever came up with the removal of the fast food venders and no more movies should be fragged much as we did in Nam. When I was able to return to base camp from a few days on ambush or LRRP I looked forward to the “Luxuries” such as they were. And if time permitted, a few hours out in the ville sucking on suds. Things have changed a lot since my time in the Corps but the fighting and dieing hasn’t. Now they want to deny our troops what few Luxuries they can get? No Movies, Jeeesus H. Christ whoever makes these laws, what are you anyway Muslims?

    March 26, 2010 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  48. Scout

    It's about time, what few people realize is that there are a huge number of over weight people in the Army and half of them occupy the bases at which these facilities are located. The Army has been dragging it's feet to get caught up with the times when it comes to physical fitness and nutrition, all we need now is for them to actually enforce their height and weight policy so we can get with losing our dead weight and becoming a better military.

    March 26, 2010 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  49. Cerpas

    Dont know...I joined the Army in 1979, we had refrigerated beer kegs in the messhalls then, you could still smoke to. I've seen life in a field environment many times, both with and without amenities. My gut reaction is take it all out, reason being is its not equally distributed. But then I know that those who are remote from the bigger support areas, say two to three hours away, always send a long list with whoevers going back for resupply, that list will cover everything from the PX to burger king. That makes them happy, but is it a distraction? Hard one, but I have to say yes, its a distraction. When a truck comes back from resupply and a soldier who ordered his double whopper with cheese and fries is in the watchtower pulling guard duty they will take the food to him. We dont need those types situations, thats no place to be sucking down a cheeseburger while thinking of home.

    While on foot patrol 3 klicks away from support I dont want anyone thinking about Dairy Queens Ice cream what kind they are buying ect ect. If it wasnt there the troops wouldnt have that distraction. Sorry, but I think the CSM is right.

    March 26, 2010 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  50. Bill

    suppose they gave a war & nobody showed. why don"t they take there familys to. All the comforts of home . sounds like an great war,that will never happen.WAKE UP PEOPLE WERE AT WAR NOT PLAYING WAR REAL PEOPLE ARE DYING .

    March 26, 2010 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  51. Mick

    its all about money. take away from the soldiers morale...the things that get their mind OFF of war and feed them more crap about "getting in the fight". thats BS! the government is wasting so much money with this war, i saw it with my own eyes. the leases on certain "up armored" vehicles can reach ridiculous amounts before the month is over. and for what...a bullet proof doesnt stop 1100lb's of explosives in the car next to you. and i love how we are funding out own war...we give afghans 5000lbs of ammunition and somehow the taliban "steals" it. gimme a break. this is the reason i am getting out of the military...possible the united states. im disgusted with my own damn country.

    March 26, 2010 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
  52. rjm

    I sserved in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and for those of you crying about this go eat steak and lobster in the chow hall.

    March 26, 2010 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
  53. former soldier

    ok honestly I have been over to Iraq and Afghanistan both for a total of 4 years in the last 7. You say that these things need to be cut, why....honestly if its because of funding for more supply flights and more room for the supplies there is a simpple answer to that, dont commit troops to an area if you cant afford to send them. I love how congress men and women sit in thier nice cushie office getting paid about ten times what that private out there getting shot at does. honestly let congress take a pay cut for a change because they truely dont need 100,000 dollar cars when we have soldiers over there dying yes dying for thier country. let the congress men and women put on that uniform go over there and get on the front line and see what its really like to work 12 plus hours a day 7 days a week. and i know congress works alot of hours but i dont see people blowing up the vehicle they are riding in on a daily basis or having bullets flying past thier heads every day. not to mention there were many times we would spend 20 plus hours without sleep or food so yeah you come back in from a patrol you have been out there all day and been shot at had an ied blow up your vehicle just to come back in and the dfac isnt open for another 2 hours but your goiung back out in 5 hmmm its was a simple fix you grab a bk burger hit the sack and go back out in 5 hours you call it a convience a luxury i can tell you from experience in many cases its a nessesity. put the boots on go out on the patrols for 2 months straight and then see just how much what you call a luxury becomes a nessesity to you if you wnat to have food or sleep...

    March 26, 2010 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
  54. Charles E. Martin

    Our troops need some relaxation and a taste of home. Our guys put their lives on the line. FOOD IS NOT A LUXURY! And the guys pay for it themselves. The general should be counseled on the importance of morale.

    March 26, 2010 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
  55. golddragon214

    Dont worry folks. The troops have everything in the combat zone that they have at home. Internet, phone, and other things not mentionable here. With the size of some of these soldiers getting even bigger, I think it is one of the best decisions made. Running out of food and water at the forward operating bases is the fault of the NCOs and Officers, not because some REMF gets to eat pizza every day. There has been more career enhancement going on than fighting the enemy.

    March 26, 2010 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
  56. Larry Markel

    Its about time they do this. Every time I am in BAF I find more people are concerned about getting a bite to eat at DQ then the War going on around them. I think this will finally focus people in the bigger bases like Qandahar and Bagram. I think all the winning is rediculous. We need the space for supplies to the guys in the remote FOBS. I have been on those FOBS too and ran out of water and necessities. Then you have guys who think the world is gonna end when there internet goes out in there rooms on Bagram. I know this sucks to all you FOBITS and will force you to do your job for a full 12 hours but guess what this is what you signed up to do.

    March 26, 2010 at 7:14 am | Report abuse |
  57. Bagramsux

    Afghanistan is a 20 year war. Really in 2002 we started teaching most of them to read. By 2022 they'll be taking positions as teachers, police, civil servants. I emphasize it's a 20 year war. Therefore, the Active Duty will realistically spend 10 years in a war zone. Compared with WWII Dec 41-May 45 – 3 1/2 years, many troops have past total years in combat with their 5th deployment. The Army loves cliques one of them is "it's a marathon no a sprint". McCrystal is sprinting, half way thru the marathon. It'll wear out the troops at a faster rate. Besides the rationale is lame, if they're eating Burger King they could be working. Seriously the line's long, but the troops in line are not away from doing powerpoint slides for THAT long. Besides Burger King is usually out of Fries.

    March 26, 2010 at 7:04 am | Report abuse |
  58. Rick

    If you really want your comments to be heard...send them to your congressman or congresswoman. If there's enough outrage, someone will take up the cause on our behalf. I have a friend stationed at Kabul International Airport...His morale sucks. They have nothing but a gym to entertain them in their off time. It's not about being rough and's about being able to enjoy just a small moment of your free time with a burger or maybe a movie. I understand many guys in the "field" don't have the same "luxury." Do we really think they would not use such facilities, if they had them? Of course they would...and it wouldn't detract from their ability to focus. If anything, it would improve their focus to escape for just a few minutes once in a while!

    March 26, 2010 at 6:39 am | Report abuse |
  59. Amy

    Now I can totally understand the food stands/trucks going, but taking away movies?
    Are the base PX"s going too?
    I totally support better nutrition and more ways to keep in touch with home. The separation with no communication home is hell on those left behind and those serving.
    But seriously, movies are being taken away? Don't our men and women in uniform deserve a little distration on a day off?

    March 26, 2010 at 6:31 am | Report abuse |
  60. Nicholas A

    Well well well what do we have here after reading this artical I would like everyone to see and point out this is how it is. It may suck but it has to be done. When I was in my little part of hell for 15 months my FOB didnt have fast food places but looking at it from a point of veiw for those who did It must be dishearting. The chow hall food was AMAZING I can't stress that enough being an infantryman running missions out of the FOB I was lucky my brothers in A, B, C, were out in COPs they didnt get those nice things that help keep your mind right thinking about it i always had ammo and water it was hot after sitting out in the sun but we still had water I personally do not see the big deal on taking that stuff out then again (does what its told) I do agree Moral is needed but there are TONS of things that raise moral besides fast food places recieving mail making that 15 min phone call once a month picking up an learning how to play a violin or something using internet I know that COPs get those things at least ours did going to the gym there are lots of ways to keep yourself going but no matter what you do after that 9th month you will hit rock bottom I did I watch my battles hit it There is a plus if you get back 30 days of leave yea your going to have restless nights long days and the feelings of crap where is my weapon ( for people that has been over there you know what I mean) eventually things will get back to normal just in time to go back over and do it all again I signed up to do this because there is many that will not as did all service members this war will end it may not be today or tomorrow but it will end soon we are not going to have the money to do it. thank you all service members and I thank the families most of all your unwaviering support is what is needed to help the battle on moral

    March 26, 2010 at 6:24 am | Report abuse |
  61. Another Afghan Vet

    Having served downrange in Afghanistan not too long ago, I personally looked forward to going to Bagram or Cp Phoenix for a meal at BK or DQ on a conop. It was a treat and something different though not healthier from the DFAC.

    Our troops will "suck it up", but it was that little piece of home that lifted morale even for a little while, for me at least.

    March 26, 2010 at 6:05 am | Report abuse |
  62. Shannon

    I am currently in Kandahar and don't see how that little trailer of Burger Kings and Pizza Hut is going to free up enough space to house 35000 troops!

    With all due respect, you look like a jackass saying comments like that.

    I feel these places should stay to help with morale, and to help keep the chow hall lines down that are already extremely long.

    March 26, 2010 at 5:50 am | Report abuse |
  63. USMC74

    Being a Marine I have never seen such things. Must be and airchair deal!!! Semper Fi Marines.

    March 26, 2010 at 5:35 am | Report abuse |
  64. Bobby Joe

    Maybe we could cut out the mail? That takes up valuable space that could be used to transport bullets and water to the FOBs. Let's face it, even the big bases here in Afghanistan are no luxury. They're all dust pits and dung holes and it's actually nice to be able to have a real burger or maybe even a pizza once in a while. The chow halls are great, but after a few months of chicken and rice, it's pretty nice to be able to get some real fried chicken. I don't often get to go to the movie theater (which is a 30×40 room with a few couches and a big screen TV, but it's very nice to know that if I do have an hour or two to escape, I could see a recent movie. Of course, you can buy them from the locals for about $5 and watch them on your laptop (shhh...don't tell the leaders that some of us have laptops!) Let's replace these luxuries with a few more "fun runs" or "amazing race – Bagram style." THAT really helps my morale a whole lot! We're on reason number 8, by my count, as to why we need to remove these evil things from our midst. My favorite is "we can't risk westernizing our Afghan friends with BK or Pizza Hut, they live simple lives." What a TOTAL CROCK! They certainly don't mind taking my $100 a month for internet service. We invite them in to sell their goods, but we can't let AAFES provide a little taste of home. Last I checked, AAFES pays for their shipments just like every other customer in the theater. I feel for those guys out at the FOBs, it sucks! But, I don't see many of them saying "hell no, I don't want Burger King or Pizza" when they get a chance to visit Bagram or Kandahar. Just because they didn't have cars during the Civil War, doesn't mean we shouldn't drive today! It's nice to have a Whopper now and then. Yet another leader out of total touch with what his troops want/need. Want to make sure we have bullets and water at the FOBs...figure out how to quit flying empty airplanes around here!

    March 26, 2010 at 5:30 am | Report abuse |
  65. R. Kienzle, Bagram Afghanistan

    Unfortunately, we can't have a BK at every post in Afghanistan. However, wouldn't it be nice to have a burger after returning from being shot at, or before heading out to be shot at? I'm stationed in Afghanistan right now, and just SEEING the BK puts me in a good mood. To those complaining about their tax money being wasted on these luxeries...we PAY for it...with our own money. You think they're giving us free BK? So don't worry, you're tax dollars are hard at work 🙂

    March 26, 2010 at 5:25 am | Report abuse |
  66. Tcat

    I have been to 3 bases in Iraq and 12 or so here in Afghanistan including FOB's Bagram(7 months) and Kandahar (10 months). These places make big big bucks. Nothing is free as a matter of fact everything is overpriced.

    March 26, 2010 at 5:14 am | Report abuse |
  67. Afghan Vet

    This is one of the stupid decision ever came of the military leadership in Afghanistan. The stuffs they called luxury is actually a good retreat and morale boost for soldiers. After staying in that country for 3-6 months, the DFAC food is annoying you and the the only alternatives are burger king, pizza hut etc. I guess the big guys over there find it difficult to give up their coffee, as a result, they are allowing greenbeans to stay. Selfish CSM and Generals. What space is the CSM talking about? he claim is not an amusement park , may is time to start withdrawing our troops since we cannot makes them enjoy ordinary little things in life. Shame on the leadership in Afghanistan

    March 26, 2010 at 5:13 am | Report abuse |
  68. Gerald

    I had 7 lobster tails for one meal at Bagram! Thank you Bush/Chaney for your sole source contracts to KBR! Hey, guess where we can got money to pay for healthcare!
    – a US military officer

    March 26, 2010 at 4:45 am | Report abuse |
  69. whatstheproblem

    If you were to see all the fluffyness (overweight personnel) running around Bagram in PT gear you would all agree with the closing of these "luxury" facilities. I have to say that I have been on many deployments in a combat theater and this one is by far the easiest. It is also the only one where personnel have been able to run around in PT gear vice a uniform. The only place that my unit really uses is the Green Beans. The chow halls or dining facilities have great food, and they allow you to get as much as you want for free. They even serve burgers, pizza, fried chicken, and baskin robbins ice cream. For those who want to complain about not having these "luxury" facilities go to a F.O.B. and spend some time with the units there, that have a hard time getting the basic necessities. Razors, shaving cream, toothpaste, ETC. Then tell me if us giving up a few "luxuries" to aid the warfighters isn't worth it. As for asking us to come over here, we all signed the contracts voluntarily. We all know what is asked and demanded of the U.S. Military Personnel. If we didn't want to do it we would not have joined, or in alot of cases, be on a second or third enlistment.

    March 26, 2010 at 4:03 am | Report abuse |
  70. jlj

    Even when I was in the army I couldn't believe some of the idiot things out command would think of. From taking the beret from the special forces to all the dumb uniform changes that make no sense.
    They are worse than politicians sometimes. The soldiers already have enough to deal with but just have to "suck it up" as they say. We didn't have all this nice services during the Gulf War, no KBR to wash our clothes then but why make more stress where there is already enough?
    Just DUMB decision making...

    March 26, 2010 at 3:58 am | Report abuse |
  71. Roger Hopkins

    I am an Army SSG who just retired after 21 years of service, six of which were spent working for the Community Based Warrior Transition Unit, where we took care of soldiers who were wounded in theater or training for deployment to theater. We would In-process approximately 5 to 10 wounded soldiers a week on average. I would repeatedly hear them state the importance and the difference of having things that remind them of home help get them through the endless missions our brave military men and women had to endure daily. I am confident that the so called “leadership”, have not concerned themselves to ask any of the soldiers who are presently in theater how they feel regarding this matter. This is just another example of how the Military has carried on business, showing they are not in touch with soldiers who actually fight the war. Just ask any Ranger how they feel about the “leadership” taking their black beret from them. Nice move again


    March 26, 2010 at 3:41 am | Report abuse |
  72. Ratchet7

    I am actually here in Afghanistan and I can say I have never ate at one of those places. The dining facility are amazing and I wouldn't want to eat anywhere else. I can basically get all I can eat for free ( for me since it's already paid for). I was really surprised that they even had a Burger King on the base. I have to admit that I have had food there and it is not the same.

    March 26, 2010 at 3:24 am | Report abuse |
  73. matt

    to the general that came up with this STUPID idea: are you smoking crystal meth, general McCrystal? you are sir, without doubt, the dumbest general that ever lived – and i am a retired service member, and you can quote me on that, SIR! I had a tour of Afghanistan – at Kandahar – and trust me pal, NO ONE there forgot they were in a war zone!! i can only imagine how this is going to sink morale even more! these little tastes of home help them cope with where they are, and helps bring a little more 'home' to them. but no one named obama is going to argue with a 4-star! obama can't command his dog, let alone a military force. this was a DUMB, DUMB idea and should be reversed. but since general McStupid believes the fighting soldiers are forgetting they are in a war zone, i propose cutting the following 'non-essentials' (since they too distract from the fact they ARE in a war zone): 1) morale calls home. don't need them. why depress the soldier to hear his kid's voice on the phone. that certainly takes his mind off the war. 2) close down the 'haji marts' on weekends. seems to me we support our OWN programs first (i.e. the BX, Burger King, etc) and keep the money on our own pocket. why support the local community? all they know is poverty anyhow. 3) all email and internet browsing in internet cafes and at work. you are at war after all! wouldn't want a picture of your child in an email distracting you! 4) air conditioning in tents on bases and in buildings. by golly, your grandfather didn't have AC in WWII, and he came out just fine. 5) turn off AFN and all radio and television broadcasts. any news you need, the army will tell you! would haste to have you distracted by knowing what is going on in the world back home.

    let's hope the general's perks are the FIRST to go. if it is good enough for the men, then it is good enough for him too. never thought i could disrespect a general – but this guy is no general and thinks nothing of the men. he is an idiot – and you can quote me on that!

    March 26, 2010 at 3:12 am | Report abuse |
  74. big R

    Gyms, internet and a good DFAC. The other stuff is unecessary, wasteful and enjoyed only by a fortunate few stationed at these bases.

    March 26, 2010 at 3:10 am | Report abuse |
  75. jmac

    Seems a lot of folks are offended that the military doesn't want corporate junk food giants on the bases. Not having movies is a little extreme, but I served on the ground in a war zone for 5.5 years, and Burger King is not what comforted us. GROW UP! "My son won't get DQ?" Seriously! It isn't college, and do you really think KFC and DQ are the moral boosters for our troops? The military needs fit and focused young men and women. Fitness Centers keep'em fit (weight lifting, racquetball, squash, basketball, etc., Internet keeps them in touch with family back home and world events which keeps them informed and focused. If you have served, then you know fast food is a minor luxury you can live without. If you have not served, get a clue! This is war, and the important thing is to get them in and GET THEM OUT. Instead of second guessing a command decision to take away cheeseburgers, why don't you get a care package together and send to a troop. These items we received from home (Even toothpaste) were accepted with respect and gratitude. May God Bless each of them and bring them home safely.

    March 26, 2010 at 3:07 am | Report abuse |
  76. Deployed Now in AFG

    Deployed bases in Afghanistan don’t have those luxuries and the comment about using the space to move stuff around better does not hold water. If these luxuries are not at the remote bases how does not having them help move stuff around? Most bases in Afghanistan don’t have a PX or any recreation facilities at all. It sounds like they are trying to make all the bases equally bad. I have deployed 3 times and 2 of those times were at remote locations. My last deployment we were in tents for living, working and eating. We had no civilian phone center or internet at all. Soldiers had to purchase their own satellite system for internet as a group. I know that people are going to say that internet is not a necessity but in this day and age it’s the best way to keep up with families, friends and loved ones. I don’t understand how removing these luxuries from the bases help with the phone and internet as they don’t require any cargo space. Afghanistan has been neglected from the start and we don’t have the infrastructure that is in Iraq even thought we have almost as many troops. Everything in Afghanistan is worse than Iraq including meals, recreation, phone, internet, living conditions and working conditions. In Iraq the mess facilities were huge and had everything (desert bar, salad bar, and sandwich bar). I was at 3 different bases in Afghanistan including Kandahar and the mess facilities were in a tent with not much variety.

    March 26, 2010 at 3:01 am | Report abuse |
  77. Haskett

    This reminds me of the time I was telling a friend how miserable my flight from Baghdad to Kuwait was and how spending that time in a C130 was the worst part of the trip. At first my friend seemed to relate with what I was saying, then he asked how long the flight was. When I told him he almost slapped me.

    You see my friend was a WWII vet that was use to spending real time in an old plane. He was caught off guard hearing me complain about something so trivial as a short flight inconvienent flight.

    The is a reason why so many bases in the middle east are referred to as 'Camp CupCake" and why the biggest threat to most soliders is obesity. Don't get me wrong. My father spent 3 years in Vietnam. As a kid I could only imagine what that would have been like. I first came to Iraq in 2004 to do my part and to try to understand what my father went through. I have now been here for over 5 years and while I have endure rockets, mortars and dead friends, there is no way I can compare my time here to what either my father did in Vietnam or my friend in WWII.

    While these things may seem so important, they are distractions that in all reality are a waste of time. Yeah sure they are nice to have and it is nice to hang out at the local fastfood shack from time to time. The world will not end when we get rid of them and the soldiers will not die from the lack of fast food. In fact they are more prone from dying from the long term side effects of eating that crap on a regular basis. When did we sell out to the idea that we needed all this crap to live?

    It took my dad about two years to understand that he didn't need me to mail me junk food and chips. Sure the selection may not be the best, but we can buy all that we NEED from the PX. Most bases offer steak, lobster and crab two or more times a week....

    March 26, 2010 at 2:52 am | Report abuse |
  78. Edward Hutton

    Thanks a bunch Sargent Major....Yeah, it's a war zone all right....and our folks risking their lives there deserve the civilian "perks" that not only add funding the the Morale and Welfare fund, but a reminder of home. Uncle Sugar can always come up with the cash for additional airlifts and real estate.

    Another regular Army clown...glad I got out.

    March 26, 2010 at 2:39 am | Report abuse |
  79. Anthony Diorio

    And just who is it in this terms leadership has stock in that coffee company?

    If your going to take this away from our troops overseas "in country" then remove the ones from the state side bases. Our soldiers and sailors here can go off base and grab the Big Mac or Ice Cream.

    When are you going to do what should have been done a long time ago and get rid of the fu**n contractors on base. Is it that we cant keep our own bases clean, secure, and looking sharp. When was the last time you were on Base, Post or whatever you want to call it and saw the Marine, Sailor, Airman, or Soilder taking care of the way it looks.
    In the crunch of numbers our goverment has combined jobs, contracted out maintenance, and bent over our men and women in uniform.
    I would feel a lot safer with a Marine checking my ID then some fat slovenly dressed Civilian.

    At least there was one thing done right this fieasco over seas was labled a war not a police action. So when our Men and Women get back the will get the care they need.

    At the VA someone put it this way to me. Would you rather have a bureaucrat or someone answering to board of directors dealing with your health.

    March 26, 2010 at 2:33 am | Report abuse |
  80. another Soldier

    CSM Hall needs to do his damn job instead of focusing on BK and Pizza hut, this is the same guy who also wants to remove chewing tobacco from the PX as well. It doesn't matter if you take away BK to keep Soldiers from getting fat, they get all kinds of crap in the mail, when it comes, sometimes 20 days for mail. Don't think for a minute that SGM Hall is going without though, he gets free internet and all the anemities. Maybe he should be focused on doing his real job- accomplishing the mission and taking care of Soldiers. We should also be focusing on things that matter like capturing\killing taliban and arresting all the corrupted officials over there and making this govornment stand on it's own feet. All these years we've been there and very little has been accomplished becuase someone over there is never focused on priorities, not only is it wrong, it should be criminal.

    March 26, 2010 at 2:05 am | Report abuse |
  81. Krozar

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

    Yeah they are over there eating Whoppers for every meal day in and day out while sitting on their duff watching TV. No, they are working constantly over there and hardly getting fat and unhealthy. Will take fast food over what they put in MREs any day.

    March 26, 2010 at 1:57 am | Report abuse |

    I'm glad this is happening. I live in one of the most remote areas in AFG currently. I applaud the CSM for his decision. We are not getting the luxuries that the others are, and they are the ones supposed to be supporting us. While we work 20 hour days, 7 days a week, those REMFs work 9-5 and stop off at DQ on the way home and grab a burger. They cannot relate to the struggles of the Infantrymen so why should they be paid the same "combat pay" and be able to pick up a burger??? Its true, this Army needs focus, and not just wait our time out, too many POGs will "hide Out" in BAF or KAF and wait their time out. GET RID OF IT ALL, AND LETS WIN THIS DAMN THING NOW, NOT NEXT DEPLOYMENT

    March 26, 2010 at 1:52 am | Report abuse |
  83. SGT Creech

    This is a kind of catch 22 situation. I served in Afghanistan but not in Iraq. The stories I have hear from Iraq seems like these establishments are much more prevalent. The only ones in Afghanistan are at Bagram, Kandahar...i think, and one little pizza hut at Jalalabad AF. I was in Bagram three time for a couple days each time...coming in going on r&r and coming out. It was nice to have the option to eat at these places but the chow halls at BAF are run by KBR and are wonderful...great food. The rest of the time I ate MREs and the like. I never thought about BK while I was on my COP in the Konar province. I would rather have enough bullets than burgers. So if it really is a logostical problem, which we had many of, I will choose bullets!

    March 26, 2010 at 1:18 am | Report abuse |
  84. Kyle

    Stop your belly aching. This is a good policy. To many times have I seen soldiers who have a slack job sitting in these big bases and getting fat from all this unnecassay food. They eat cause they are bored, so installing more gyms and having them focus on the real reason why we are there is good. I am on my third rotation, and have been to an outsite everytime. We do run out of water and necessary supplies and to know the PX or BK has what it needs to run a business makes me sick. Granted don't get me wrong, I love a fat pill just as much as the next guy or girl, but hey we helping countries turn from opression and get on their feet and defeat terrorism. I think I can wait 6 months to a year to get a burger. You signed up to do this, stop crying, do your job and look for other things you can do to help the cause, belly aching that they took my Burger King away isn't one of them...

    March 26, 2010 at 1:05 am | Report abuse |
  85. John

    What this needs is for the truth to be told. First off the supply line for the troops is not impacted bt the food or other activities being closed down. All goods and merchandise are moved using commercial freight; true security must clear the cargo as it passes thru the base fence line. Does the military supply water and power for their operation...of course they do, there's no alternative. Can a soldier at BAF or KAF get a greasy burger from the D-Fac, sure can lunch or dinner Monday – Sun so for those of you who think this will make the troops healthier guess again. The CSM has no clue how these goods and services are provided and is now behind the perverbial 8 ball trying to justify his claim for freeing up ramp space and convoy movements for cmmercial supplies that don't exist in Afghanistan. What a shame to treat our troops this way; when the General and CSM are in hell perhaps they'll wish for a little tast of DQ....

    March 26, 2010 at 1:03 am | Report abuse |
  86. James

    Wow, what an impact closing these facilities will have on storage, security, logistics and other war fighting resources. Not to mention the amount of real estate it will free up for the surge of bodies. If focusing the troops on the mission at hand is the true purpose of this action the "leadership" missed the boat. Supplying Burger King or the other outlets doesn't drain away resupply efforts to the FOB's – the Taliban does. Almost all of the resupply to the outlaying FOB's has to be done using "jingle truck" convoys or rotary wing assets. Everything from fuel to food and essential equipment and parts. Unfortunately almost all of that either comes through Pakistan or from the northern border countries. And for the most part are not guarded or fully protected and get blown up – thus the cause of shortages at the FOB's for the essentials. I have spent many years in country, traveled to every province both as military and private citizen and I have used every transportation means available and not once have I seen a box of burger buns displacing a crate of ammo. Oh and by the way...those concessions generate revenue for AAFES that is applied back into the MWR system. So, in a small part Burger King sales help pay for those "fitness centers" the tools of leadership want to put up in its place.

    I'm sure the lesson will be brought home to the troops when they see the empty space that was once a Burger King trailer – replaced with a couple of wooden pull up bars. Next lesson...NO air conditioning, electricity and showers. No need to have dining facilities – just issue out MRE's, except for you SIR. You'll still get yours.

    March 26, 2010 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
  87. Valurio

    I understand some of the reasoning behind this, but I have to say that I don't agree with. Soldiers in the more remote areas look forward coming to places like Bagram and Kandahar, because to them that's the rear. Whenever you eliminate four day passes, MWR events, movies, and whatever else, you'll see an increase in incidents. Bagram has over 20,000 people cramped in a small area with poor amenities. As far as increasing internet and phone, I doubt that. Currently soldiers pay $100 a month for dial up speeds. With the influx of soldiers getting deployed, someone needs to look at building more bathrooms, showers, and housing.

    March 26, 2010 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
  88. Marty

    My son is in one of the FOB's up north, he doesn't get pizza, movies or whoppers. He has had to go barter ammo from the marines. No luxuries for all sounds about rightand that includes the generals. Get the job done and get home.

    March 26, 2010 at 12:45 am | Report abuse |
  89. Slick Rick

    Mickey D's Wins Again ... don't think I saw any Big Mac's hitt'in the road. Burger Kings policy is open up across from McDonald's .. so you know they are there ... must of been an Obama decision during one of his fits of rage becuase BK forgot the onion rings in the bag.

    March 26, 2010 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |
  90. Moogy

    What the hell is the brass thinking? Taking the movies! So now we want the troops to dwell on the crap 24/7? You can bet the NCO's didn't have a hand in this even though they got a CSM to be the mouthpiece. Jesus.

    March 26, 2010 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
  91. Glen P

    I can't tell you how many times I've stood on the tarmac at the Movement Control Team's cargo reception area waiting on 1 of only 5 scheduled flights for the day in hopes of receiving a mission critical part for a piece of equipment. Taking half an hour out of my work schedule to go meet the flight just to watch pallets of food (not for the chow hall) come rolling off the aircraft. I've served 5 years deployed of the last 8 years of my life and though I believe you gotta keep the morale up. Making the Soldier fat and EXPECTING every luxury keeps them focused on the wrong things. The hardest hit Soldiers will be the FOBBITs (those who spend all their time on a FOB and seldom go outside of the wire). You generally won't hear the combat arms guy bitchin too often about it. He wants his bullets, a reliable weapon, MAIL, water, and a chance to spin down in the shade every once in a while. Take em, good riddance! Maybe we won't see so many FATASS, out of shape "soldiers" running around on the FOB with a bowl of ice cream in their hand. Yes Soldiers will bitch as they leave the FOBs, but ironically it'll be the civilian contractors who will do the most bitchin. Wish I could upload the picture I took the other day of the line at Pizza Hut. Of the 30 people standing in line half were civilians and of the total number of Soldiers and Civilians obviously overweight ran about the same. Half the folks standing there would have benefited from standing in the line at the Gym not the Pizza Hut.
    For the record, I'm a recently retired Army 1SG, served 23 years. I'm now one of these despicable contractors and I agree get rid of the fat pill joints..

    March 26, 2010 at 12:17 am | Report abuse |
  92. Tom, 4 tours Afghanistan, 1 Tour Iraq, 1 Tour Bosnia

    Easy to make this decision when you have a Spec Ops background (McChrystal) and have never deployed for more than four months somewhere before getting to go home. Tell that to the 20 year old who is on month 15 away from friends and family.

    March 26, 2010 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
  93. Pat Collier fmr Sgt USMC

    i'm all for cutting out non-essentials if it adds to mission effectiveness. i remember working 20+ hrs catching a couple of hours sleep and starting over again for weeks on end with only mre's or the occaisional hot chow. when you take the oath to serve your country, nowhere does it state you will be pampered. if your environment is too relaxed, you too may become less focused on your combat mission. our enemy is determined and rest assured not eating a dq blizzard in their cave.

    March 26, 2010 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
  94. Jerry sinex

    I spent some time in Afghanistan before the fast food places were there and i have to say that would have been real nice. I think if you want to keep morale up , They should stay. Green beans could take a hike! you can get a good cup of coffee for free in the chow halls.

    March 26, 2010 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
  95. Trent

    To keep it simple I would just like to say:

    Good luck men (and women), god bless, kick some *** and come home.

    Our hearts and minds are with you.

    March 26, 2010 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
  96. been there done that

    Man is this all for real!! People talking about how fat our Soldiers are, well guess what, they were fat before they got there, that means they were eating all that Artery clogging s@@$ before they got there. Unfortunatly most of the fat Soldiers come from the Reserves and NG, unfortunte but true (seen it from being on both sides of the fence)
    As for Green Beans being there, awsome, it is not just the NCO (as i am) or the officer, it is ther regular joe who is out there working his or her but off that drinks, enjoys and needs the kick to keep them going. I just did a 15 monther and let me tell you, even if i did not go to a BK or Green Bean, it was nice to just see it.
    I understand Logistic exceptionally well and understand that there is a need to find funding for the troop surge, hell, the Military is already getting a lower pay increase than people on unemployment, so there is a piece of the pie. I understand that we also need showers and internet or cell services out at the remote site (just 10 min to talk to mom or wife means a hell of a lot), so how about letting our Soldiers do more jobs that we used to do in the past that Civillians are now doing and earning Stupid amounts of money, there is another big piece of the pie. Stop bitch slapping the Soldier and go back to the way it used to be with just a touch of home, could save live!

    March 26, 2010 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
  97. Felicia

    I have a son in the service and he love his job and he dose it with pride, the least we can do is show a little apreciation to all man and woman,I hope they replace this for something that make them feel at home and apreciated, the decition is already make to have them overseas forget the taxes and support our throops they will do anything for us without you asking for it

    March 26, 2010 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
  98. Living the dream

    Interesting. The facts however are even more interesting. Approx. 175 people will be leaving the Afghanistan Theater in order to free up space for the 35,000. troops that are coming in. OH but wait…for the hundreds of meals that are being served in these restaurants these people will need to eat somewhere. OK…. additional employees will need to be hired at KBR or Flour to cover the increasing lines at the D-FAC. They also forget the mention the Subways that are closing which is a healthy option. These closures involves more than Fast food. It also involves the Alteration/ Embroidery/Press shops where the military buy patches, name tapes, have alterations and repairs to their uniforms. I guess appearance doesn’t matter any more. They are also closing Jewelry stores where military members can purchase a gift for loved ones to send home for special occasions. Photo/print and engraving shops are also on the way out, so much for presenting an award or certificate for a job well done. But here is something that everyone needs to know.. …all shops that are run by local Afghani’s are exempt, because Gen. McChrystal want to practice “nation building” That’s nice. Did you also know that 80% of the revenue generated by all of these restaurants and other businesses (which are run by AAFES ) goes back to the military community through a program called MWR. MWR funds programs and recreation for our Military member and their families around the world. Our budget for running these programs is about to take a serious hit. Closing these businesses will in the long run affect more than just the morale of the Military members who cant get a burger in a war zone. Lets call this what it is…Operation Kill Morale.

    March 25, 2010 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
  99. Barry77

    Who got too much sand in his shorts this morning?

    March 25, 2010 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
  100. rachelroust

    I've got a better idea, why not save a whole lot of money by getting out of Afghanistan and Iraq? What exactly are we accomplishing there? And what HAVE we accomplished in all the years we've been fighting there? I'm sure our soliders aren't too worried about their arteries given they could die on the front lines any day – why are we begrudging them these "luxuries"? Get real and focus on ENDING THE WAR(s)!

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