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. Tony

    So basically, what he's trying to do is make the soldiers' lives as miserable as possible over there, provide absolutely no escape from the warzone and make them miss home even more. Excellent strategy! I bet that'll raise morale...

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

    If the troops on the frontline aren't getting food and water replinished when needed, how is that the fault of having BK, DQ, etc? If those that are supposed to replenish the food for the frontline aren't do so because their sitting in a DQ or BK, seems to me that's a leadership problem – shouldn't you be holding your "employees" accountable? If they're supposed to leave at 12:00 to replenish food and they're sitting in a restuarant, then leadership needs to discipline the soldier who is disobeying orders/his job responsibilities. You're taking away a "luxury" that everyone can enjoy because of a few bad apples. Typical poor leadership, punish the whole because of the few. Sad.

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

    Kandahar being a NATO base still has other food outlets from Canada, Dutch, and French and movies can be got at the Bazaar, closing down BK and DQ is a mistake, b, so cut out all the USO shows as well., Cut out Green Bean, i don't like coffee. Don't sell cigarettes too see how that goes a vice is a vice food cigs, movies, etc. been to Kandahar, the more the merrier.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Robert

    My wife is a Soldier's Angel who writes letters and sends care packages to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan on a weekly basis. Are the self serving "Brass" who make these decisions going to stop that as well. Being far away from home is one thing but removing small "luxuries" from our soldiers is idiotic. It doesn't take a mental genius to figure out that morale will be impacted. God Bless Our Troops!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Candice

    This is rediculous!! They get to keep the coffee place, but who cares when it's 100 degrees over there! My husband leaves in two months to go to Afghanistan and now he has nothing to look forward to on his "time off" except our care packages. What will they take next??? They better increase the phones and internet with all the troops coming there!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. OEF VET

    Having served in both theaters and being in logistics, I would have to say that someone needs to be fired. If the guys at the front arent getting their supplies due to morale items then you need to look at your supply chiefs. These guys are losing their friends within an arms reach, they are in mentally taxing situations daily. We want to avoid PTS and PTSD but you want to take away the few things that give them a chance to destress. Have you lost your mind? As for the whole we need the space on airplanes thing, most of those morlae places should get there supllies through civilian air transport. As for the military, how about we use the people we have already trained and are paying instead of contracting our transportation of supplies. Go figure. I was in Afghanistan and watched many many civilian contractors doing maintenance, running phone and computer lines, setting up comm centers. In my unit the individuals that where trained to actually do those jobs sat by and watched. I dont think you need to get rid of things, I think you need to better manage the resourses that you have.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Peter

    Never done a Tour, I take my hat of for those serving. Coming from The Netherlands and seeing the tears of joy in the eyes of my dad, who was 18 when we got liberated, 50 years after we got liberated, during Liberation day as the American and Canadian troops paraded through the streets I can only say a big thanks to everybody who served and is serving right now.

    What does it cost to buy a Whopper on the base? Are BK, DQ, Pizza Hut making a profit by serving their "food" on the base? If so where is this profit going, the company or is it used to fund the war? Do these companies pay a license to server their "food" on the base?

    I'm all for keeping moral up but not to make these company a little bit richer.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Major B

    I just returned for a year "over there". The food in the chow hall was just as tasty and much healthier than the fat-pill fast food. Yes, these fast food joints are like home, but we don't need them. They are luxuries. They didn't exist at Valley Forge or in Normandy, yet we did quite well because we were focused on the objective...not getting to BK before they closed. So, good on the leadership for cutting out the waste. The sooner we can focus on the objective, the sooner we can all come home.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Emery

    The words from the Rush song come to mind " Government always hoping for your discontent chages are permanent" As the higher ups injoy power and good food.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jennifer

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

    March 25, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sharon

    So, I hope on cutting back on "luxuries" also includes dismantling the officers' clubs on base. Isn't it funny that a "fitness center" and "yuppie coffee" gets to stay...could it be the same incentive and demands given to all our schools is now going to happen to all our military? When will this nanny state end? Healthcare that will make us broke and make people go underground and not report earnings to the IRS? No salt in NYC? No dogs barking in NJ? No transfats in most major cities? This is how it works...chip chip away at the people until they just give up and retreat and follow the dictates. "Do what we think or know is good for you, not what you want to do."

    March 25, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Go Navy

    As the father of an active duty young man.....I would need to meet the idiots who are tasked with taking care of my boy....and kick them in the nuts! As Jack said "You've F'd with the wrong Marine!!!!!".

    March 25, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jar Head

    WWII did not even come close to these amenities. These are non-essential items. I support more weapons, armor and ammo.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. moak

    It's not just Burger King and Pizza Hut. There's also mini-malls outside the PX's, Harley-Davidson and car dealers, jewelry shops, travel agents, all kinds of silly BS. Let them have the movies and pogey bait and get rid of the stupid stuff that's just there so young soldiers will spend their hard-earned money on things they either don't need or can't take home with them.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Richard

    Sometimes leaders lose sight of the little things they can do that show troops that they care. Of course this is not one of those times.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  16. AFE6

    The guys in Nam didn't have this crap, but at least they got weed, and lets not even pretend that didn't happen.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  17. BeaverBeleiver

    They should take some of that stuff away...there are way too many rear echelon people getting fat on the big bases...The real combat units are the ones getting screwed over. The people who do the real fighting should get a break once in a while; instead of the admin guy or the mail clerk who sits on their ass all day, works 9-5 and then gets to go get a whopper and see a movie every night...screw that

    March 25, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Ryan

    I remember after my rotation was over I couldn't wait to get back in line and go again.

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

    Let’s give all the terrorist good food, warm beds, TV’s etc, but heaven forbid if our SOLDIERS get any kind of humane treatment. This is demeaning treatment of our SOLDIERS, and our current government is trying anyway they can to demoralize them. Are they soon hoping that no one will sign up for the military, and the terrorist can take over without a fight? God help you horrible people in the government, and I am not religious.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Robert from Utah

    This just sucks!! So this is how they plan to boost morale? To give a little pleasure to the people that put their lives on the line for us? What a joke! I agree that suplying the troops on the front lines takes priority but just tell me how that is affected by first run movies? Second run movies take up less room?? Give me a breeak!!!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  21. TCM

    Obama must need more money to fund the healthcare, as planned, he'll reduce the military...

    Sparky – unless you've been there, you wouldn't know how small luxuries can motivate soldiers...they're protecting the likes of you.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Jim Bradshaw

    Unbelievable, we ask them to lay down their lives for us and then begrudge them a hamburger. The only way you could possibly make this allright is to ask the soldiers if they prefer war fighting materials to luxuries. They shouldn't have to choose, with the budget they have. If you are a serviceman, come home safe, I promise I'll buy you a whopper my damn self.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Retired Vet

    It's a wrong move but it's not all CSM Hall, whom I know. It's more periphreal damage by an uninformed administration who apparently believes that warfighting and morale are two completely different things. My message to the administration is: attend a few less social gatherings this year and pay for a little less publicity, then you can easily finance accommodations for the added personnel withoug cutting into troop morale.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  24. OIF2005

    It's not a luxury, just something to help take your mind off of missing your family, or being in a crappy area. It's sad that a taste of home is too distracting to higher ups. I know they can survive their couple weeks away from DC if they had to, but most don't even do that. The taste of sand get's old, chow hall food does as well. A little something different can make a day all better...

    March 25, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Mike

    Have these people ever heard of the word MORALE? I was in Desert Storm and Iraqi freedom and one of the very few pleasures we had was to be able to get something to eat from a back home fast food place like Burger King. That meant a lot to us.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  26. AcidWolf

    Wow... Lets give something and then take it away. They say that they are going to compensate by giving more internet connections and whatnot, but knowing the military it will take years to get approved and longer to get built. That they are (seemingly) implying with their promises that they are ready for a longer war there is realistic and adult for once, but the fact that they also said they were trying to get more room for troops, equipment and general logistics is interesting because I got the impression that they were putting fitness centers in there... Personally, because the equipment is generally made by the lowest bidder; I would rather buy my own (I don't really trust someone else to buy stuff like that for me), the hours that I work are the hours that I am told to, seldom will they really make a schedule that is going to work around a chow hall... Which is serving food bought by the lowest bidder... And the logistics, well, shouldn't the logistics support the need rather than change the needs (not to mention the implied PROMISES that were made by Higher, by putting those places in there to begin with?)... IE more planes? More boats? MORE U.S. presence! All and all, regardless of the fact that I didn't know what they were thinking putting them in there to begin with, I know how this is going to effect the moral in a place where they can't even keep the water cold on patrols.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  27. J.P.

    How is it we can't get meals & water to the warfighter but we can get supplies to the franchises? If it means better support to the warfighter by freeing up space on military aircraft then do it. I don't recall having these luxuries when I was active duty during Desert Storm and deployed. I may be old and retired from active duty but I am still in the fight as a DoD civilian now. Let's get the basics to all our troops first – both at forward locations and those farther back in the chain. Then we can work on the extras.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Prudence

    What a wonderful idea! Take away the few morale boosters that military members have available to them in a difficult, dangerous, and generally unpleasant posting. The genius who thought this move up ought to be court martialed.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Marine

    We didn't have anything when I was in Iraq. Not a thing. They promised us a cook out one day, like some burgers and maybe hot dogs, but they couldn't even do that. I wasn't complaining though. When we left Iraq, we stayed in Kuwait for a week to unwind before our flight home. They had Burger King and Pizza Hut and all these terrific things. They also had a USO tent that probably had the softest chairs I've ever sat in. That week in Kuwait was such a weird experience because there was nothing to do but relax. To bad there taking that all away.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Jim Cunningham

    Great! Now even the military brass is swallowing Mr. Obama's Koolaid. Check and see if he has given up his Whoppers and Dairy Queen that he denies to our troops! Shameful!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Jimmy G.

    I recently served 8 months at Bagram, and I can assure you that these few "luxuries" had no detrimental effect on my ability to perform my duties. My unit worked 12 hours per day, 6-7 days per week, and we did an outstanding job moving tons of people and cargo in and out of the base. While we did work some civilian aircraft in addition to the many Air Force cargo planes, these civilian planes were government contracted, carrying military supplies and equipment. Our duty never entailed unloading burgers and pizzas (these items were either trucked in or flown in and processed by civilian contractors). If the area these restaurants were taking up (the Burger King was a trailer like you would see on the interstate being hauled by a semi) is needed for housing new troops, then so be it. But to get rid of them just to make it a little tougher on the troops is BS.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  32. BZ

    ...this is what happens when you elect a Commander-in-Chief with no active duty military experience...

    March 25, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  33. WilliB

    I served nearly 24 years in the Army. During that time we never had BK, DQ or McD.. We had LRP's, C-Rats, and MRE's. When we got out of the field, all we wanted to do was sleep and have the luxury of a porcelan toilet. I can't tell you how good it was to sleep inside a hooch, out of the rain.. or the aggrivation of your buddy snoring in the middle of the night...when you are trying to get some rest. We hated the HQ's pukes, the REMFS, who sat in the rear, eating 3-hots and sleeping in cots.. The same one's who bitched because they had to go get their boots dirty guarding the Ammo point...never seeing a real firefight. I have no sympathy for the loss of BK, DQ, McD. Feed the guys on the line and at the fire bases some real food, and let the REMFS deal with MRE's for a while. While you're at it... take away the General's goodies .. and Get AFEES out of there as well. Make the services issue soap, socks, etc.. so our troops don't have to buy it from a "vendor"

    March 25, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Adam

    To OIF/OEF/CJTF-HOA, are you telling us that now, after 8+ years at war, that the space used for morale pallets is no longer available? That these pallets are infringing upon critical items? Really? C'mon. I just left Kandahar, for the second time, and I must say I disagree. But I do agree with you that getting rid of this stuff will free up spots in the AOR. However, what is the true cost? The truth is there is and continues to be ample space for both critical items and morale pallets. And in what instance or instances can you tell us that critical, war-fighting equipment or supplies were taken off of a plane to make room for non-essential things? Because if this did happen, the problem is not with the non-essential goods. That would fall under a failure in leadership.

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

    If the choice really is the DQ/movies/Burger King or getting basic supplies to the front-line troops, then I would agree with the choice. However, is there not other ways of saving money that would allow for providing the basic supplies AND keeping the small reminders of home? I have to believe there are- but this is just an easier way to do it. I think our servicepeople deserve both; the supplies and the small treats.
    Oh- and I don't think this decision has anything to do with the health care reform bill that was just passed. It's amazing the lengths some republicans will go to. Next think you know they'll claim the earthquake in the Phillipines today was a result of health care reform. Stupid.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  36. fergodsake

    Maybe DQ, Burger King, Pizza Hut and the movie guys should be stepping up and offering these services at cost. My bet is that they are making mega profits off of the sacrifice these men and women are making.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Paulo Jacinto

    Because that is exactly what Soldiers and Marines want to do after a 20 mile patrol. Not go relax at a movie and eat something but go to a gym after walking 20 miles. We are just the luckiest!!!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Thomas

    while the troops will adapt it is very short sighted on the part of the Pentagon. some of these troops are on 3+ tours. These restaurants are great for moral and well worth the extra logistical support they require. I hope they change their minds on this.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  39. SquareHead

    Way to Go SgtMajor. You tell em. No need for anyone to have even a little bit of comfort in Hell. Matter of fact you should look into taking away their cots too. Sleeping in the dirt will do them good. So easy to make command decisions sitting in the rear with the gear. What a freaking bone head.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  40. TPAUL

    I'm sure the main reason why they did this was to make it fair for other branches of the service. Would you be irritated if you were a Marine at a FOB and you were risking your rear every day, and when you were back at the main base, you were able to see how everyone else ate BK and DQ all the time? Probably.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Anthony R. Ravenell

    MWR is just as important to the soldier as engaging the enemy. Everyone wants some down time and for these soldiers to get a Whooper or a scoop of ice cream when you are sitting in the bowels of hell should not be to much to ask for.

    So if you are thinking that things are bad now when soldiers come back after a 12-18 month tour get ready?

    March 25, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Lee Workman

    Speaking as a veteran. What a jack ass.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Robert

    This is the worst thing anyone can do. The military was smart to invest in quality of life programs. MWR (Moral, Welfare, and Recreation) being one of them. Our service men and women deserve these amenities from home. I don't think we give them enough for their sacrifices. A happy soldier is a motivated soldier.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Amazed

    Next to be taken away...toiletries! God Bless America.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Hassell

    Obviously old school thinking. If becoming better means fighting like we used to then get rid of all modern conveniences. This is narrow thinking.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Chris

    What genius thought of this idea??? As a veteran who has served overseas, I know our troops can get homesick in the best of conditions, but especially so in a war zone. This action sends our troops the message that they're not doing "good enough" in Afghanistan and that they are being punished. I want to know how giving our troops a few comforts from home is jeoparding their mission in any way. Just the familiar taste of foods you grew up with can be a real morale booster. "Way to go!" to whatever mid-level bureaucrat (who's probably never even served in the military) thought of this idea. I'm sorry, did that sound bitter?

    March 25, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Fataboy

    Hey OIF/OEF/CJTF-HOA... You STILL have to ship in meals..........both for the existing and new troops...... your argument does not fly any better than you .....

    March 25, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  48. sparky

    Prime example of Corporate influence capitalizing on war and misery

    March 25, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Richard

    I spent a year in Afghanistan and really looked forward to getting to Bagram for a semi-real Whopper. Sure, the Fobbits who live on the bases got to chow down a lot and puffed up, but for those of us in the field it was a nice respite from MREs or local bazaar food. They are throwing the baby out with the bathwater . Making room for housing?? The BK was only a trailer!!! How the heck is that going to make that much of a difference. This was a nice taste of home and made a little bit of our time pleasant. Bottom line – typical Army knee jerk OVER reaction to a problem. Just like the suicide prevention program. Now we have to attend so many suicide prevention programs that it is becoming a joke.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Linda

    OK, I'll say I understand the decision as in the long run it will help our troops-my daughter-presently there and included BUT you think they could possibly rethink the reason to have KABOOBS Cafe in a US Military base? Hello...

    March 25, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Go Navy


    Point well taken....but the official comments on the issue read completely different. They have made it sound like a punishment...not only by the way they presented it, but also by taking EVERYTHING away. I typical knee-jerk reaction from people who don't think THROUGH the issue at hand, they just react. And these are the leaders of our fighting force.....SCARY!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  52. alimarea

    hey, michiganguy, are you over there? Have you been in the military? Are you at all familiar with the rising rates of PTSD and veteran suicides? How about the violence that those suffering PTSD have often committed after returning home? This has been going on for the past 10 years.

    It takes monumental ignorance and arrogance to refuse to see the big picture here as far as morale goes.

    The people on the FOBs go to places like Bagram during R&R. So let's take that last little bit of 'home' from them too.

    I'm so sick of 'well I had it so much worse' attitudes too. So what, does that mean everyone else should too? With that mentality, we should still be sending our soldiers to fight with muskets.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Dan

    Sounds to me like someone is trying to cover up the fact that the logistics system isn't working properly. So, instead of fixing that (and holding someone accountable), they "can" the Burger King?

    And, oh by the way... what is Obama giving up in support of the war effort? It is Lent, you know...

    March 25, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  54. larry wisc rapids wi

    Let me get this straight, Burger King, DQ, and McDonalds in a war zone, or are we talking about some sort of in country R&R facility? Things have changed since my 3 consecutive years in Viet Nam, 1968-1969-1970 USMC. We had burgers alright, they would be preoared at base mess halls, and delivered in Gook food trucks! We were very glad to get them. The only other amenities that we could possibly come accross is when we wondered into an Air Force facility, where they had ice cream parlors, massage parlors (shivvy girls) and reqlly good mess hall chow. So when I read some of these posts exclaiming that the trops need this sort of deversion, because they are away from home, and fighting a war, I gottal shake my head!! We were grateful just to be able to see a round eye girl !!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Fataboy

    Maybe we can ration bullets and bandages....... I would be willing to bet I know WHO owns GREEN BEANS coffee.........

    March 25, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  56. LacrosseSon

    Want to help? Find a soldier on AnySoldier dot com and send him/her a care package.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Herman

    This is not about the troops out in the field being distracted. We all need to read some of the reports coming out of the field. If you are a fighter, you are one of the few that actually get to eat the fast food, use the internet, etc. Most of that food is eaten by folks who never go outside the wire. They are the ones being distracted. Men and women "outside" the wire are laughing at all the people on the large bases who have had their movies and fast food taken away. The folks doing the fighting are happy just to get ammo, water and food. Oh yeah, 12 straight hours off? Something to do when you are not on shift? Not for the ones in the mountains and the foxholes....

    March 25, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Anonymous

    This is stupid. My husband is on his 4th combat tour in Iraq. Even though he rarely eats at BK because he actually has a job to do there BUT just to know he could once in a great while is nice for him. Some of you sitting here complaining about money and your tax paying dollars going to waste to have BK there. IF you knew half the truth about where money is being spent there in Iraq like I do, you'd fall over dead from shock. My husband's job there has allowed him to see where our taxpayers dollars are going to and for reasons of protecting my husband I cant get into details but I can tell you its all going to waste. Billions and billions of dollars. So you can't tell me taking away what small creature comforts they have will save so much money. Get real ....

    March 25, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  59. BillyMo

    Combat supplies to the combat troops is a lot more important that Pogey Bait for the REMF's

    March 25, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Kevin Ellis

    As a civilian who worked at a FOB in Afghanistan I can tell you from experience that these short sighted measures will further reduce moral even more. What these brave soldiers and marines experience and endure outside the "wire" is nothing short of heroic and to think that some myopic minded officer wants to take what little these war fighters have to look forward to when they return to base is amazingly ignorant.
    I can assure you that having a Burger King in the middle of the a god forsaken base with 135 degree heat and dirt all around you does not make a base a club med. SGM Hall should be ashamed of himself for even suggesting that.
    Kevin Ellis
    Stuttgart, Germany

    March 25, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Melissa

    REALLY?!! These people have one of the most dangerous and stressful jobs in the world! How can they not deserve an ice cream sundae every now and then!? Maybe to people who actually have access to this everyday do't consider is such a "luxury" but when these men and women are serving a 12-15 month deployment, I think they deserve a taste of home. This is absolutely absurd.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Go Navy

    QOL = Quality of Life. The big-wigs worry about it in fits and starts...and history should teach these idiots that it won't work. Enlistment and retention will fall, in the long run, because the perception is that those whole lead have forgotten what it is like to be lead. Everyone always tries to reinvent the wheel. I'm all for re-focusing, as someone times it is needed to regroup and make sure everyone is on the same page. Anything that is deemed a sort of "punishment" only clarifies that nobody cares about the troops (well, nobody in any position to enhance their QOL). I guess we'll just see how it goes, eh?

    March 25, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  63. MEW

    Unreal. I served in Desert Storm and a BK burger was a HUGE piece of comfort from home. Crazy that these small things that can help make the troops feel ok will be taken away. Not a good way to show "support".

    March 25, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Adam

    Hey Michiganguy. I assume from your near-sighted post you have never had the pleasure of serving in our all-volunteer military. Remember, we, the military, pay taxes too. Perhaps if you had just finished your 120th day in a row, with no days off, working 15 hour shifts, and felt like having a cheeseburger you would feel as though you should be able to buy one. Morale items are a necessity. So I do not think we are the ones confused about our government or how the government spends money. Do not confuse being a volunteer with being a slave. Do not confuse being a volunteer with one who gives up all individual rights or freedoms. However, I am more than willing to educate you on these subjects if you would like. And until you do walk in our shoes or actually sacrifice to make this country better, I will continue to think of your post as just plain silly. Have a great day.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Tom from Virginia

    I served in the Army Infantry during the Carter Administration when budgets were tight. The military couldn't afford the C Rations while we were in the field, so we were given a ham sandwich and an apple for a meal. Trucks and fuel were also in short supply.

    The excuse that they need the space for the "real" supplies in Afghanistan is just an excuse. At least the Carter Administration had the guts to tell us they weren't funding us.

    For those of you suggesting that the troops should have the "artery clogging" food taken away for their own good, remember that any meal those soldiers choose may be their last.

    Maybe we should consider outlawing artery clogging food as the first step in comprehensive health care reform.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Ohiolili

    For those who have no real compassion for these troops...remember that when we stop fighting these wars, you will not have any freedoms either. I wish war was not necessary, and I wish we could just up and bring them all back home, but this is the real world. So don't endorse withholding something as simple as an ice cream cone, or a late', or a piece of pizza, from one who is willing to sacrifice for the freedoms we all embrace.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  67. AFE6

    This is a war not a vacation. They never should have had them there in the first place. Everyone who is concerned about troop welfare and morale should go comment on the blogs concerning Obama giving the military a crap raise this year. He triples the deficit in one year spending money on turning our country into a welfare state. He'll give billions of tax dollars to worthless citizens who give nothing back to society, but can't give a raise to the men and women who fight and die for this country.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Alex

    I want my, ... I want my, ... I want my Burger King!. ..... sing with me everyone !!!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Neet

    You must be kidding me whatelse do our troops have to look forward to. How about the Tea party addressing this.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  70. Shanna

    Rediculous. They already have to go through grueling training and marches across the desert. I think they should have at the very least something that reminds them of home. If you ever been in the military you know that its hard at first and then gets easier....being away from home is never easy and its a shame that their commanders thing that speeding up the internet is going to even things out. Its sad. If they risk their lives they should be able to have a whopper.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Paul in Maine

    Good. Maybe this will piss of the rank and file enough to make them question why the heck we are even there!!! For what? We are just pissing away American treasure.

    Bring these troops home NOW where they can enjoy such "luxuries".

    March 25, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  72. MarineMom1125

    Well way to keep up the morale! These men and women give all for our country and work long hours defending us and this is the thanks they get?

    March 25, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  73. char

    Maybe it is part of the health package. They may be using the savings to buy a democrat. The soldiers should have it all. they earn little enough as it is.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Bagram flight medic

    Anyone who would mistake Bagram or Kandahar for an amusement park is either being intentionally dense or hasn't been to either base. Compare Bagram to any other major theater base (Balad or Al Udeid) and you'll see the disparity in "luxuries." BK and DQ are major morale boosts on those bad days when you just want a little taste of home, and given that while I was there none of the DFACs were open 24 hours, having a pizza hut that was open late was often the only place to get food at 2am when your flight rolled in after an 8 hour mission.

    This is a typical "penny wise, pound foolish" decision that demeans the hardships of our deployed troops.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  75. RMC

    This frustrates me to no end. My husband is gone six months out of the year over to Afghanistan. With his long work hours he puts in, and the time away from family, I'm glad to know that he at least as some comforts/luxuries while he is there. Now that it's being taken away, I have to wonder what that will do to the morale of the troops who have to endure the same daily grind, day in and day out. As for those who have made comments that this is a war and should be taken more seriously...tell that to the military families who have endured year after year of this mess. I think we're fully aware that this is a war and if our troops are going hungry, then by God bring them home and end the nonsense.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  76. Health Nut

    At least our troops will be healthier without all that junk food in their systems. We're killing our own troops by feeding them that garbage!

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

    Whow, you sure can tell the vets from the civies. If it meant me getting an extra case of ammo or a case of hamburger.....guess which one I'd pick. Never heard of a life being saved by a whopper. Someone mentioned "what happened to military cooks?" I believe that they know how to make a pizza or hamburger if that's what the troops want.

    I don't remember any recruiting posters promising that when you join up you will be sent to a place that has all the comforts of home. Sometimes I get the feeling that people have lost sight of what we have troops in the mid-east and other locations around the world for. It sure as hell isn't to support the fast food industry of this country.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Jake

    I remember my first deployment to the Gulf War I ("Dessert Shield" and "Dessert Storm"). After just 6 months there, Burger King appered and then Pizza Hut. In fact, we had NWR tents that had video games and cable shows. After a while they even offered trips to the markets and stuff. I even helped build an outside theater for movies. I always thought it was kind of funny because I'm sure whoever we're fighting, if they could've seen what we had they would be more confident in fighting us if they beliebed that we were really soft without our sofhisticated weaponry and technology.

    Remove the GI Bill, BAS, BAQ, commissary BX/PX/NAX privilages, Tuition Assistance and alll that and who would stay in the military?

    March 25, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  79. Glen

    As a Soldier who has been deployed more months in the last 4 years than I've been in garrison I will offer that this is a poor decision and an even poorer excuse. The greatest military power in the world and the excuse is we can't get supplies in? Soldiers are sucking up multiple year long deployments. Most are pulling over 12 hour days/7 days a week and you can't figure how to give Soldiers an outlet to reduce stress other than some weights and a telephone? Doesn't the climbing Suicide rates mean something? Show compassion for the Troops or pass the torch to someone with a "Can Do" attitude.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  80. DAVID M

    As a veteran myself. I am glad there are getting that crap out of there. When I was in Iraq (FOB Summerall in Bayji) I had to eat MRE's for 8 months. There should be no reason why they cant either. I mean dont get me wrong. nowadays you have a defac there that makes good meals im sure. But why waste your money while you are there serving. If there was a BK on my base I wouldnt even go. I mean who has the time to go there and wait in line forever to get a burger. After a 3 day mission I would want to go to sleep maybe call my loved ones. And some people wonder why americans are fat. Thats why right there. Because wherever we are, there is always gonna be a BK or a mcdonalds around to fatten you up. And movie theaters, since when does anyone wanna watch a movie while the base is getting hit my mortars. screw that. someone needs to do something about our military. Maybe quit spending so much money on the stupid stuff and start spending it on gear and weapons that some units need.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  81. John P.

    I think this is pretty much a bad idea. with 8 deployments to the Middle East since Desert Storm, I know what it is like in those crummy bases. I remember being shuffled to Al-Kharj AB in Saudi Arabia back when we were setting up tents. Someting as simple as a Pizza Inn was nice enough to break the monotony of a long deployment.

    I could see removing these items if they were to only be deployed for a month... but these troops are stuck there for months upon months... some up to a year. It sucks to have every little diversion taken away.

    Then I see the arguments about it being a logistical item. If it was like my previous deployments, these facilities are run out of somethign the size of a semi's trailer. So space is not that much of an issue. If it is because they use up space sending food to these places. Guess what, now the military will have to supply more space for food for the military dining facilities instead of BK and the like. And one thing I have learned... civilian companies working on a profit based system are a while lot more efficient than any military run operation.

    Sure, it may be a warzone, but if you never get a don't focus as well. You just get burned out. After all... "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy."

    March 25, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  82. ROB

    This decision is so totally and completely without thought. Troops are already on edge as it is from the fighting. Coming back from patrol and having some good to eat or do is a morale builder. By taking these items away you are going to see more troops become more and more depressed. This could possibly result in more suicides, increasing the already high suicide rate. Regardless of what Vets had done or did or didn't have before in other wars/conflicts doesn't make right to do so. I see that the command doesn't want to loose their precious Green Beans Coffee, if they take the other then they should take it all out. As for the movies....come on....they should keep that...simple solution...have the movies be play in the chow hall if they aren't already done are saving space that way. If the troops want that stuff to stay or to come back they need to write to their congressmen or congresswomen.

    As for the comment " I wonder how much tax-payers are subsidizing this mini-mall commercialized reality. I probably don't want to know." Most of these business donate the equipment to be operated there and also they have a contract through AAFES. Also these establishment are already on almost every military base worldwide. So the cost isn't coming from the taxpayers. It comes from the people who live on military bases worldwide , when they eat there. Which in turn, a small percentage goes towards deployed personnel and MWR related activities on those bases.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  83. Diane Jones

    This is the biggest slap in the face to our troops. Let's see, the troops don't have it bad enough and now you are taking the little bit of home they do have. My son use to call and tell me how they enjoyed every now and then being able to go to Burger King or one of the other facilities. Could this have anything to do with the Contractors needing more money? How does the General consider these items LUXURY's???? And saying it takes up to much space??? GET REAL. These men and women deserve all they can get to boost morale. He should be FIRED.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  84. Dexter

    The US military should get out of there themselves. The Afghani people live in a timezone 500 years back and don't want to be "helped" by foreign soldiers.

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

    I would venture to guess that these facilities will be setup on our southern border to assist in the wave of illegals about to cross our borders. It would be the politically correct thing to do!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  86. DSC

    A DQ Sundae is the best way to win over the Taliban if you ask me. The way to win hearts and minds is through the stomach. Mmmmm....Strawberry Sundae.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  87. Charles E. Martin

    SUX SUX SUX!!! I am a civilian engineer, working there.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  88. cmills

    As somebody who has been to Iraq let me tell you that as non-important as a meal from Burger King can seem to somebody enjoying all of the freedoms in America, it is a sight for sore eyes when you are over there. Let's get over the "how many taxpayer dollara are spent on this" because it does not even come close to other things that taxpayer dollars are going towards in this war. Give the guys who are actually fighting the war a break, as they do not make the decision to go to war, but simply are proud of their country and will fight for it. Can't we apare a little money for them to have some DQ or Burger King while we sit here in our air conditioned offices and homes talking about American Idol and Desperate Housewives?

    March 25, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  89. D

    I can tell you from first hand experience that these fast food places aren't that great of a morale booster for most people. The food isn't that good, so it's really not a taste of home. Plus there are enough fat bodies in the military as it is. Why add to the problem?

    If they really want to bring up morale how about running water and internet for the Soldiers in the middle of nowhere that rarely talk to their families or are currently bathing out of water bottles.

    I say good riddance to fast food places and bring on additional gyms.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  90. Grant from Denver

    All I can say is, good!

    War is Hell; shouldn't be treated any other way. It is to be avoided at all costs. I don't remember anybody that served in my family (every generation so far) that had luxuries like that when they were in a combat zone. Why do our current batch of fighting men and women feel entitled to all of this? They are there to fight. I don't understand why they think they need to see Avatar while eating a Pepperoni Pizza. Talk about asinine!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  91. Lee Cochran

    This is history repeating itself. Remember USMC Lt Gen Jones banning Star's and Stripes and MWR PX in Somalia so it wouldn't appear the US was in the country for the long haul. This is not a good move. It looks good on paper but these are human beings. For the time they'll be there, a little escape isn't a bad thing especially if they are in a relatively safe area. And the comment about coffee–PLEASE! Young guys aren't really into coffee anyways. Just the officers and older servicemen.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  92. B-

    Way to punch moral in the gut. I have been stationed in Afghanistan several times and I can tell you the only moral that keeps anyone sane there is going to a place that is familiar and comforting. Like getting fast food- besides the dirt they serve up at the mess hall. This is rediculous and I am upset knowing that in the next few months when I return overseas, there will be less things to do in off time. This is a moral thing. Way to make everyone else feel worse than they already do over there. There needs to be something to keep the moral of the troops up. This is a step in the wrong direction. Like there wasnt enough over there as it is, now taking it away?? Come on!!! Rediculous!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  93. Greg from Virginia

    Very Sadd that they are taking these few reminders of what they are fighting to preserve. Shame on the Military Leadership for making this decision. I also think that it is time for some real action on Don't Ask Don't Tell, this law is hurting national security. I think all Gay people serving in the Military today, estimated to be around 65000 should all go to their commanders and out them selves, what are they going to do boot all 65000 out of the military? I don't think so. If we want real action we need to fight for it, otherwise the military is just going to keep delaying.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  94. Heather

    I think it's ridiculous that people are concerned about these things and that they are even an option. Wars have been fought for years without a DQ or BK being in the area. I feel like the concerns should be going to our troops safety and not whether or not they can get a burger or ice cream on base. These are luxuries even for people in the mainland states not connected with any military organization. There is nothing saying that a DVD or fast food meal is a necessity. It is ridiculous that this is even a news story when the concern we have should be with our troops safety both mentally and physically. We should be more concerned with our troops themselves than whether or not our troops can get sundaes.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  95. LR

    And to Michigan guy!!! Seriously? Are you really that ill educated to think we are getting Burger King and Dairy Queen for free when we are deployed???? No!!! We pay for it just as you pay for it here sitting on your happy behind with all your luxuries!!!!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  96. really

    I think of Captain America and I don't see him eating a friggin Whooper. Nor do I see our awesome military force eating nasty fast food. It sucks they don't have movies, but getting rid of these unhealthy franchises just makes sense.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  97. Todd

    The removal of these restaurants free's up space and logisitics to move food and other neccessities around to support the troops. I hate to say it, but rather make sure we can support all of them properly first, rather than have some living great and others in forward operation bases not getting enough. Sustainability is more important than luxuries.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  98. vinny

    I see alot of the usual whining and complaining but the "holier than you" phonies. I actually would rather my tax payer money go to making these troops days a little easier, than going to help some underachiever pay his health insurance or to fund General Motors. Remember the only reason any of us are even here and able to compalin about such things on a chat board is because of the many men and women who are fighting to protect these freedoms. If we can give them one of the little perks we have back home like a Whopper, then I am all for it. Try marching through a desert all day and worrying about stepping on a mine or having some lowlife shoot at you from his cave. Yes its a volunteer army. but its only a volunteer army because there are so many brave people willing to do this. I am all for boosting the moral in any way we can

    March 25, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  99. Marine

    having served on a remote FOB out in the middle of nowwhere all I can say is good on the leadership. I went from November 08-March 09 without so much as a letter in the mail all due to the fact that they had to wait until they had a certain weight of mail to ship it out to us. Meanwhile, the base that the mail sat on had new shipments of Burger King, Green Bean Coffee, and Pizza Hut coming in every day. If you don't like the military life style, get out. I'm not trying to degrade anyones service but 12 on 12 off is a joke, try Day on stay on and instead of movies, try only having spades as entertainment. We are fighting a war, everyone has to make sacrifices to support that infantryman on the ground.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  100. LR

    To the mini mall comment from "C" do realise that the military also pay taxes right? I despise ignorance from people who complain about "their" tax money in regards to the good of our military people, when the military people, such as myself, pay the same taxes!!! Educate yourself so as to not look so ignorant to the public please!!!!

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