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. cindy

    No, C, you do not want to know the cost.

    The Army isn't about depriving the troops of food, or forcing them to eat MREs. They are just taking away some junk food so the fighters at the front can receive their supplies. Shame on the Army for considering those on the front lines. If these companies want to ship their own supplies and build their own shops just outside the base, they are welcome to it. Why should I pay for it? Why should I subsidize junk food for contractors??? Morale? What about the morale of those if the outer, less comfortable, locations who get the barest supplies? I bet their morale goes up when they get better food, drink and other supplies.

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

    ...and we're going to keep taking things away until morale improves!! Man, I spend a almost 3 years middle east during my career in the service from '71 – '93. These small items mean so much to those who come back after a day in the field. Sweaty, dirty, bloody, and glad to be alive, and you're taking away these connections to home and sanity? What are they thinking? Only those who've been there, understand the significance of these small items. They're treasures to the servicemen and women in the trenches. I hope the folks at home send boxes and boxes of these items to their loves ones in Afghanistan. My heart aches from this news. It's one cold-hearted SOB who came up with this policy. A leader should be getting this stuff from home and handing out to his or her troops as a message that they care about them. It's not so much the items – it's the message they've sent to the troops with this policy.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  3. adam

    This is a GREAT IDEA.
    As an infantry veteran, theres nothing more I hate than coming back to a large base to resupply and get a days rest and see all the POGS sitting around crying about their time in Iraq/Afghan. You get to watch movies, eat BK and DQ, look at some females are you kidding me !? You stay on a base all day and you don't even carry a F'n weapon on a COMBAT deployment, oh maybe you do , but it sure isnt loaded, you might shoot yourself going into the chow hall.
    you work 12 on 12 off, how sad, it must be tough that you can fit your movie into your friday night. How about you work 24 on, 0 off, just about the whole time your deployed and eat shi*t all day, poop in MRE bags and worried about where you step or drive. Un F'n believable take it all away from you lazy SOBs the least you can do is not have "luxuries" while you make the same pay as all us grunts.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. nick


    Because that "bad food" reminds them of home, is better than what they get, and its what they want. True, good food would be better for them, but I say, let em have what they want.

    Oh, and by the way, I understand they need more room for supplies and troops, but these guys are taking bullets for us and I think this is b***sh*t.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Chim Bon

    Troops demoralized, increase in army suicides, post war traumatic disorders, veterans treated quite poorly at home, and now this! Bases may not be an "amusement park", but soldiers should be treated better and, taking away BK, DQ, movies, etc. from them is the opposite of treating them well.
    Whoever decided this is probably working from Washington DC and eating at very exclusive and expensive restaurants every meal. So, why car about soldiers abroad?

    March 25, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Karl Lewis

    It is about time they are getting back to the basics, when you get home, from war, you should feel like you have been in a war zone. Troops have a tendency to get complacent with all of these luxuries. I don't care how you pitch it, complacency gets people killed. I am glad these folks have learned something from the Marines, mission first, troop welfare second, Troop welfare to me is bringing him home safe and making sure he gets his beans bullets and band aids. BTW, I am retired Marine Vet, so I can say it however I want to!

    March 25, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. lisa

    first off our troop should be brought home...since that isn't happening any time soon I don't care about my tax money being used for the people who are fighting for our lives back home. If they want these luxuries I say let them have them. As far as the controversy over what type of food it is...I say for those who have said give them veggies, you go to Iraq and do what these troops are doing and then tell me if you care about your diet, or the one thing that brings you happiness in that day just so happens to be a burger and fries. The term "comfort food" is used for a reason.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. jf

    While their at it, they may as well take away the troops toilet paper and make them wipe with a corn cob. By God that will keep their focus on what they are there for. While the troops are down, kick them again. I didn't think a Whopper could really distract a person so much. Hope you idiots had to lay awake all night thinking up this crap.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Big Business Sux

    I think these movie studios and food chains should donated this stuff to the troops and military. Our country has fattened their wallets and it's time to give back. These guys deserve a taste of home and a movie. If I owned one of these companies I would make sure this continued at the companies expense. Thats the honorable thing to do. besides all these big corporations donate stuff to charities for tax deductions. Why donate to our countries in need before taking care of our own – The ones risking their lives for our freedom should be first on the list to help.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. B Young

    It is so sad that we are worried about allowing our brave men and women an opportunity to have a hamburger or ice cream cone while they take a well-earned break from getting shot at! Some say taking away the luxuries will help them focus on the war and get home sooner...are you idiots! These men and women are totally focused – or they'd be dead! Give them their ice cream for crying out loud! I'm sorry for those who did without during Vietnam, Korea or WWII...but these are new times and this war will likely outlast all three of these conflicts. Get some common sense!

    March 25, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Craig

    I say take the Burger Kings and DQs away from U.S. bases here in the states. There is no reason to have a "Base Exchange" competing with private, tax-paying businesses. If a service member wishes to get a Whopper here, let him/her go across the street. However, in a front line type of operation such as this, where these enlisted people are fighting sometimes yards away from adversaries trying to kill them, we should allow them the occasional "luxury" of a familiar meal, a sweet dessert or a cup of flavored coffee if they want. Isn't war miserable enough that we can't allow these guys a taste of home? I highly doubt there are many people fighting in the desert getting fat and sloppy because they had a burger and fries twice a month.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  12. KC Coop

    Something tells me Obama doesnt know about this, because if he did, they would get those fast food restaurants back there for our troops. My God, I would rather my tax $$ go to our troops to enjoy a little luxury like a Whopper, than paying for this health care overhaul.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  13. FtheUSARMY

    What a bunch of BS. Really the soldiers don't have it hard enough and you want to screw them over more? This is shameful. US army you guys sucks support the real troopers out there having to deal with rocket attacks and mortars. Let them have something you dbags.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  14. StopNonsense

    This is stupid. Last I heard, if you are in a war zone (but not fighting of course), it's 12 on/ 12 off, 7 days a week. Any fast food is appreciated because it reminds you of home, a little reminder that the world outside still exists. That the way I remembered it. The fast food is only served on the main posts so its not like they drive around to different camps like the ice cream man. They don't eat this food for every meal and I wouldn't worry about the calories because carrying 50 lbs of equipment burns calories pretty fast.

    If this is another of Obama's meddling, like abolishing the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy; then tell the civilians to lay their hands off of military and leave the military policy to the military. The civilian understanding of the war seems to come through liberal media and Hollywood movies made by Oliver Stone.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. electricpony

    They can take all that if they are willing to give joe some beer and the ability to get laid without an article 15 and maybe stop making saluting mandatory in a combat zone.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Tulio Morales

    Unbelievable!!!!What little morale booster these troops have are being taken away....Where is congressional outcry on this? Too busy taking care of healthcare reform. Nancy Pelosi talked last week of Patriotism. How about taking care of out troops!!!!!!!!

    March 25, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Chris

    I've been deployed 3 times, once to Afghanistan, twice to Iraq. These restaraunts are the size of an RV. I don't think they're going to put thousands of troops in the space these restaraunts take up.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Shadow

    Not an amusement park? No, you must be joking. Why in the world did I sign up for this anyway? I was hoping for some good Burger King, some entertainment and some cheap fast food of various kinds. I guess now I will have to pay attention to this "war" that is said to be going on out there. I didnt have time for it before what with all the whoppers and such. But hey, now that I'm bored enough.
    Morale is supposedly bosted by the excercise centers. Yup. I dont get out enough I need that. Good we can have more support and locations for such but to say that troups dont need entertainment and use that as reasoning... someone should hire a new PR person.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  19. snooker

    Are you kidding me? We can't have whoppers, Bk or Pizza Hut, but you will do this you will do that, you will eat this or go hungry, give me a break. I am from the "other generation" the one that fought in 'nam. Let's see, I was old enough to go to war (which I never objected to, by the way) but I was to young to gamble, smoke legally, or drink in the staes (I was not old enough for all of that when 'nam all started, remember?).
    Anyway\\\\ if your old enough to fight (and I commend and support everyone of our troops – even the officers that make these bone head decisions), then I think you have a right to decent food and entertainment when your off duty, on duty-off duty – two different things.
    I also want our troops alert and ready for all comers, but what about morale..... yea.... I bet this decision changes before the ink dries!!!!!


    March 25, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Emma

    So, my husband has begun his second year long deployment, which means he will have missed 2 years of our 3 year old daughter's life. He is going to miss the birth of our second. His 'living quarters' are smaller than a prison cell, in a tent shared by 9 other people, he and his colleagues put their lives at risk daily, they aren't allowed a beer, and now no movies or even a burger?????? Seriously?????? What is wrong with these decision makers? Way to go to improve the low morale that is already felt by them all.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  21. CJ

    I bet the General has what he needs to make himself think of home. Les we not forget that it's the little things that help us remember HOME.. War is hell and it is carried out by men and women who need to remember HOME in anyway they can. I am a Soldier (currently deployed) who appeciated that little thing that reminds me of AMERICA, now it is gone. Hell, these people don't really want us here anyway. The CSM has all the comforts of home...that's RHIP. (rank has it privledge) Sir, how is your private cook? Oh well, back to work..

    March 25, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Jesse

    Im in the sandbox as we speak and if i want a gdamn burger while im fighting a war away from my family ricking my life well i believe i deserve a gdamn burger. Thanks Army leadership for throwing a big middle finger to morale once again and staying out of touch with todays military.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Russ

    Who cares. Let the Army deal with its own issues. Civilians should be allowed little to no say in what goes on within the ranks.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Dinah

    Since my grandson, like the many young men and women like him, volunteered to serve, I must comment. I really can't see how eliminating DQ, BK, and movies will raise morale and increase focus on fighting the war that they were sent to fight. The prison in Iraq where he was stationed for 15 months was a hot, sandy, filthy hell hole guarding filthy, stinking people who did not believe in bathing or using toilet paper (use their hands
    instead.) We mailed him alot of his favorite things to eat the whole time he was there. We did not ever figure out how to ship hamburgers and pizzas. I know some did not have families that cared enough to send anything. Shame on them! He did have access to Pizza Hut, and movies,thank God.We do not want our tax money used for funding abortions, politians expensive vacations, etc., etc. We are an elderly couple that still work full time and are taxed to the hilt. I want our government to feel free to use all our tax money to pay for any and all "extras" to make our enlisted personnel a little more comfortable while they are risking their lives every day for American citizens.
    Grandson is facing his second deployment in the months ahead. We truly wish he had not reupped before his first deployment. There seems to be no end in sight for these miserable, tragic wars. By all means, Sgt. Major Hall, lets make it as bad as we can. That should really cut back on the suicides and abuse of prescription drugs.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  25. george warner

    simply stupid

    March 25, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  26. jack merridew

    why dont we bring back the draft and get some 18 year old to do a job for 20k that we pay some fat lazy 50 year old to do for 200k.

    because if we reinstated the draft for these wars the youth of america would burn down your house

    March 25, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  27. John

    As a two tour nam vet, I think Martin Sheen's line beow about sums it up:

    Willard: Charlie didn't get much USO. He was dug in too deep or moving too fast. His idea of great R&R was cold rice and a little rat meat. He had only two ways home: death, or victory.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Brian United States Navy

    I agree with 99 % of these comments. The troops need these luxuories. They are already stressed enough! Dont kill the morale, support our troops while they are fighting this war!

    March 25, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Armybrat

    Ah too bad, no one drafted you to serve like my father and uncles did in WW2 so it was your choice to join, get some money for college etc. Doing your job does not entitle you to perks. Yes your job is tuff and hard, as are fireman and police but it was a choice.
    Maybe our soldiers are not as tuff as they ned to be. Try living in the mountains like the Talban your fighting now there is a hard life.
    Thanks for doing the job you do but it is only a job.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  30. JCQueipo

    Eliminating Luxuries like BK and DQ is NOT the answer here, priorities are screwed up.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Wife of a Soldier

    What more do you want the soldiers to do and sacrifice so you all can go to the mall and get fat eating your whoppers and ice cream? When you are out there texting on your phone or gossiping over whatever petty shi$ that you talk about, do you EVER stop to think of someones husband or dad, exhausted, overseas in a combat zone to protect your selfish, petty a$$? No, all you people care about is your own personal comfort. I am ashamed of the majority of the citizens of this country – self absorbed, lazy, whining complainers.

    Why take away something that really really boosts the morale of the soldier – It is something SO SMALL to give. Why don't you make the American people give up their cell phones – after all, their country is at war in two countries – yet they live as if they are in a twisted amusement park of their own making. What do the American citizens personally sacrifice for their soldiers? NADA

    Perhaps if the government allowed the American citizens to actually feel the fiscal pinch of war vs. a growing deficit, there would be more outcry or more of a national attempt to rally around the troops and their families.

    The average E-3, even with three kids, makes $1703 per month. Try that one out for size suckers.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Beth

    I could be wrong, but perhaps part of the point of all this is to make us look less like an occupying army and more like a group with a mission to accomplish, so we can then leave. Perhaps the locals will resent us less if it doesn't look like we're turning their country into a little America. I agree with Dano: let's give our brave soldiers some real food so they can think clearly and act quickly, and they have the strength they need to do a difficult job. As for luxuries, let's work at giving them the ultimate "luxury:" let's get the job done and bring them home.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Jerri

    WOW this guy is really going to extremes. What is wrong with the guys and girls over there enjoying a reminder of home. So take away their birthday too will you!! Don't need that in the battlefield either!

    March 25, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  34. expert

    I agree with the decision - its a war zone not a shopping mall - and nobody was drafted - they all signed up for this (and thanks for doing so!)

    March 25, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Active duty and proud

    Let's see...Freedom of speech, Freedom to do as you please...the very freedoms that a uniformed man or woman gives up to serve this great nation, are the same ones people like michiganguy and a few others enjoy the most. As a Noncommissioned Officer who had 15 years of service, I understand the importance of having the right supplies in the field for the troops on the front line. Also, I can recall my 26 months in Iraq (2 tours), when you hit the gate of the FOB, the only thing you want to do is get a shower and some chow. Having a little bit of home surrounding you after getting blown up and shot at makes you smile just a little inside. This might be the last meal that you ever eat. If you were to ask any American if they had a chance to pick their last meal, what would it be?

    It shames me to see that a person in this nation that enjoys his freedoms can talk crap about a person that will give his life for his country. To me, this man is a coward and should tuck his genitals between his legs and shut up.

    I charge each and every American to stand up and support these fine Soldiers and support them in any way they can. If you see a Soldier out with his family, tell that Soldier that you appreciate them. But by no means should you feel sorry for him, he knows what sacrifices he has signed up to make and he is fully prepared to execute any mission given to him.

    What do we owe a Soldier that has volunteered to give his life for this country if he is called on? Nothing but the support and gratitude for your freedoms.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Nigel

    Send your comments to Robert Gates. He is the one that can change this policy. Go to and ask your questions there. I am sure Robert Gates will forward questions such as "What the hell were you thinking" to Sgt. Maj, Hall.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Luke

    I understand the closing of fast food places. But movies? Are service members supposed to be concentrating on fighting the Taliban after their 12 hour shift is over and they have a couple hours off before bed? Does it really take that much space to send a movie over there to be played in a cinema?

    March 25, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Torri

    When did the people in vietnam get all these amentities??? I am a wife of a solider and I am sorry, he signed up for it. So he has to take the good with the bad. I myself was in the service so nobody can say I didnt do my time. They are lucky they get phone service and internet. We all know you can find anything on the net, so entertainment of that aspect shouldnt be a problem. My husband also ate lobster, and crab legs EVERY night. Then they would get steaks from the dfac to cook out with. Sorry, I do not feel bad. Get out if you dont like being in the military. And dont say you cant...stop loss is over. If you want to bitch and complain about your job...suck it up for the rest of your term and get the hell out!

    March 25, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Matt

    Considering the Army Posted record suicides last year, you would think they would focus on raising morale, not stripping it down. The fast food is annoying, but not nearly as aggravating as the movie removal.

    On a side note, I am curious if the expansion on internet means more free terminals or lowered costs with higher speeds for those that chose to get internet. As it stands, it costs around $100 per month to get a 128k connection.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Sanjose Mike

    First chair supplies always must take precedence over "luxuries." Our troops need to have the best military supplies and equipment we can offer them. More completely armored vehicles are always more important than Dairy Queen treats. They must be protected from harm above any other much as we can provide.

    That said, some luxuries do important things for morale. Having a slice of America next to them reminds them what they are fighting not have to have our entire Country return to the 13th Century, and Shar'ia Law, as demanded by our enemies.

    Words are not enough to thank our soldiers for their courage. I wish them all good luck and to come home safe and sound.


    March 25, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Danny

    as a former oif vet and just a human being i have to tell you how much the little things matter when your life is laid out on the line every single minute of every single day and it is just the biggest load of bureaucratic, sitting behind a desk in dc, sh*t that only someone how has never been in that situation would even think of doing to someone who gives everything they have and only wants a simple burger with fries from time to time to remind them of how life used to be. I am really saddened by even thinking that this is happening.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  42. John

    This is NOT the way to support our troops! The fool who made this decision should be sent to the front lines and made to wear a bright orange suit in combat.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Silvrtungdvl

    If I was a criminal and in jail for whatever reason, I would be treated to far better than our own servicemen who put their lives on the line for us. What is wrong with this picture??

    Criminals get:
    1. CAble tv
    3. 3 square meals a day
    4. TV
    5. Excercise rooms

    A GI get:
    1. Shot at
    2. degraded to become a man
    3. ordered around till exhaustion
    and the little bit of goodies are now being taken away..geezes..what is wrong with this COUNTRY!!


    March 25, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  44. David

    Good job. They need to leave the Burger King home.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  45. MD

    And they wonder why suicide rates continue to increase. Every little morale kick to the nuts adds to the problem. A little pizza or whopper goes a long way when you're doing a 12-15 month rotation away from home and family in locations with few amenities.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  46. J

    I'm sorry this is rediculous. My husband was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan 3 times. We have lived through it. He never would have had time to see a movie. He was infantry. Having movies is unfair to the soldiers who are unable to enjoy there ammenities due to their job. Many soldiers are stationed away from a main base and would not be able to participate anyway. That is an expense that is just a waste of taxpayer money. Deployed soldiers are there to do a job. I do feel they should all have internet access and phone calls home to connect them with their famlies, but fast food adn movies are unnecessary. They all have tvs in their rooms and computers to watch movies and fast food is terrible for them. Why would we poison our hard working soldiers with fast food, making them fat and sick? There is no way to make Iraq or Afghanistan into America. It's going to suck no matter what you do.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Ed Q

    I can remember when getting SP packs and if you were lucky, and the VC or NVA weren't causing trouble, 2 sodas or 2 beers. Mail was a big thing also. Semper Fi

    March 25, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Joe

    Wow, just WOW. A vast majority, including current adn former armed forces members, are missing the bigger picture. So that this won't happen again I'll use small words and type them in all caps: THE TROOPS AT THE FRONT LINES ARE NOT GETTING THE SUPPLIES THEY NEED!!!!! Is that berrer for you? Sure the people in the rear with the gear won't have the fast food that keeps them happy, but at the same token, they're safe on a base. Let's keep our priorities in check, get the ones who are fighting what they need, the rest can come later.

    Oh, p.s., troops in France, Russia, Germany, Itally, Africa, and the Pacidic islands didn't have fast food or movies all the time, yet they faught and won, just shows how times have changed.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Rob

    The Muslim Terrorost who are killing your poor little brothers and sisters don't give a darn about fast food. they live off of bread and humus and still are happy to kill them regardless of their diet of the day. They are tough and can live off of nothing.

    Those who can live off of nothing and survive and endure the wickedness of this war are those who shall over come. Not the men and women whining about fast food.

    This is war people not a carnival ride that you can just get off of and grab your favorite fast food. For those who serve and are crying about the fast food being taken away , I say shame on you. This actually is putting all Americans at risk cause it shows our enemy that we are vulnerable to such frivalous things.

    I can see the muslims who plot against just laughing at us cause they know it is only a matter of time that they will rule over you, and when they do, they are going to take away much more than just your fast food.

    Think about that one for awhile all of you who are complaining.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  50. CNNWatcher

    It makes me sick how many of you morons don't know how to properly use the words there, they're and their. Even if your statement is going to make a point if I continue to read it, I stop after I come across that kind of stupidity. Please go back to 2nd grade and start all over again.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Katie

    They should start w/ removing the frills from stateside bases. WTF do I need a Burger King for?? There's one right off base!

    March 25, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  52. sman

    The military leaders are a joke...give these soldiers whatever they want you morons...they're the ones doing the fighting.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Michael Troop

    I am glad I have packed up my stripes for I do not think I could serve a military that no longer suppoorts the troops. I am a disabled vet and a DA civilian who cannot believe how we treat these men and women today!

    March 25, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Michael from Kansas City, MO

    Opps, Sorry for my spelling. Got Lazy.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Military Member

    I cant believe some of the things people are saying on here. Do you really think that most men and women want and/or enjoy being over there?? I can tell you first hand that it is not a place you want to be. The only things you look forward to are the little "luxuries" that we have there. We would trade all that stuff to be able to see our families each night. So for you who ask why we feel like we are entitled to this stuff.... why dont you go give it a try?? You stay in the desert for 6 months to a year and tell me how it feels to be there. To not talk to your family each day or see them each day... tell me how you would appriciate something small as a movie... CANT BELIEVE SOME PEOPLE ARE SO IGNORANT!!!

    March 25, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Dimslie

    With the Dims in charge, they're lucky to be getting bullets.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  57. James

    The FOBs do not have runways for C-17s which bring in the heavy supplies for BK/DQ, etc. The FOBs get supplies from helos and convoys that depart from the big bases. I'm not aware of logistical complications due to this. In addition, there is no logistical difference between bringing in a movie that is 2 weeks old or 2 years old. Film does not get lighter with age. This clearly indicates that this decision is no more rational than depriving people of cars, because our grandparents rode horses. Nobody who has ever been deployed would confuse a base with an amusement park. "Wow this is great, I always wanted to spend 14 months in Taliban Escape. Have you seen the line for the IED Express? How many tickets do we need to ride the "Mortars in the Moning"?"
    This is a volunteer military, not Sparta. Despite that difference, it is still the most capable army in the world (with all due respect to my NATO brothers and sisters). If you want people to volunteer, you can't keep doing things like this.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  58. may

    Food is food and trucks to move it will still be needed. They will have to supply more "approved" food to take the place of what might have been one small enjoyment for these soldiers.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Thanh

    This is the "softening" the Army leadership was talking about. They're warriors. Most people who are protesting against this on this thread don't even have any direct/indirect connections to the military.

    Our enemies are doing just fine surviving, If we ever want to defeat them, the troops need to remain disciplined. Feeling sorry for soldiers insults their pride. That volunteer force is out there so that we don't have to go. War should never be luxurious, and they need to be focused if we want to leave any time soon.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  60. SDMarine

    Come on, be serious. A lot of you are civilians or family members and don't understand how this "luxury" is really a problem, especially for those who get caught up eating this crap everyday because they sit in a rear area with all these trailers. Just like civilian life, being over weight is a big issue, especially those Army and Air Force units that manage these large bases.
    My son, who also serves in the Marines, in Afghan, is not allowed to get junk food in the mail. The only thing we send them is jolly rancher hard candy, granola bars and powder energy drink mix. They use all these when they are up for more than 24 hours at a time on long patrols or when they feel wore down.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  61. g.h

    What if we left the BKs and the DQs and the movie theaters over there and brought our boys home instead?

    March 25, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  62. CAT

    Been there and I think the right decision is being made. They suck up enormous amounts of resources on base(water, generator power,) that quite frankly can be put to better use. What goes to the larger bases flows out to the smaller FOB's and if there is more room now for ammo, water, supplies, and so on, all for that. In hell, quality of life means being able to call home, get on the internet, get more than 60 seconds of water for a shower, wash your undies out, read your mail/open a package. A real luxury was being able to get a COLD soda(pop), and heaven forbid, ice. A massive luxury was tota,l 100% ,quiet ...the type that breaks you out in sweat when you get back home,.

    Anyways, most of those things were run by AAFFEES anyways and the profits they make are insane...and don't respond with how much good they do and that crap. They charge prices in country that make you cringe knowing they are the only game in town. I always thanked GOd for a package with things I would not have to buy from them...So a lesson in all of this is that our (ALL) soldiers need the support and comfort items FROM HOME on a regular basis ...

    March 25, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  63. John

    Let me go ahead and put my two cents in here... Food contracts are generally run on most large FOB's by a contractor. The contractor in my area has a holding center for their supplies in a major city in Afghanistan. Now for those outposts who do not have a contractor Soldiers, trained in food service, manage the dining facilities. Their supplies come from the military supply system which is housed on a major installation. Two seperate places for the contractors supplies and the military supplies. So I don't see how Soldiers not getting food can be to blame. Now when the BK and Pizza Hut was taken off the installation near me we were told it was because Soldiers at the outlaying posts didn't have access so it wasn't fair, which is fine. The "room for the 35000" additional Soldiers thing is crap too. The BK at the large FOB near me was housed in a 20ft long x 6 ft wide connex.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Michael from Kansas City, MO

    I can understand the removal. One of the Army's issues of becoming "heavy" as an occupational force. I don't mean the soldier's waist line, I mean it becomes harder to move as more infrastructure is put in place. As a former signal soldier, I dreaded unpacking the vans for setup, especially since I knew it would have to be packed up and moved in 3 days to the next signal site. We has so much useless equipment in our MTOE to set up a "mobile" environment. I worked hard to get the uncessary equipment removed from it.

    I can understand even more that the leadership doesn't want to create a Viet Nam type rear bivouac area where infiltrators can bring the battle to the LOG Bases. Viet Nam never has a defined front in which to guage succesful battles. If you don't know where to fight, you can never win.

    Viet Nam is better known for its R&R program and soldiers concentrated more on getting back to Siagon.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Steve

    I don't see the point in taking away first run movies, I worked as a CO in a prison that had a federal contract and enen those clowns got first run movies, why not our troops for crying out loud.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Scott in NH

    Wow, you risk your life for the country. You have a good chance of going bankrupt and/or losing your home or marriage. Your family must live without you. You might come back with TBI or in a box. And for all that sacrifice to the country you aren't entitled to a burger or an ice cream??

    March 25, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Harry

    Nice way to slant the poll there CNN. The question SHOULD read:
    Should U.S. troops have fast food and first-run movies on overseas bases IN COMBAT ZONES?

    March 25, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Glenda

    Bad decision on their part. How in the world does this make a difference in the fighting. What about moral on the troops part. So, what if it's fast food. They look forward in eating something other than the army, marine issued food. If their food they serve now is anything like what they feed the children in our schools they are as doomed as the children.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  69. NoNo

    Back in the mid-sevnties I spent 6 months TAD in the Marshall Ilands doing clean-up duty. Our lunches and dinners for the most part part were out of cans. After a few months a good burger would have been a real treat and forget the DQ man that would have been a slice of heaven. A lunch consited of a slice of mystrey meat a cheese something slice a can ofpinapple jucie and a hardbolies egg. Pineapple made choke for years. After hitting the USA my first meal was a big double whopper no cheese a stawberry shake with fries. It was deeeeliicious. First time my son-law came home from Iraq I bought him the biggest T-bone with all the goodies on the side. His base was mini-mall USA but he coundnt get a good piece of beef. Oh by the way he is Combat Medic so hold the hooks he was in it all the way just had a better place to sleep when he wasnt on patrol. Still not happy with this decision but the commander gotta command and they do no that the troops ability to fight and win comes first. Thanks

    March 25, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  70. Steve

    Reading the comments here I'm really amazed at how whiney they all are. This nation is in trouble, and it's largely because nobody is willing to sacrifice the unimportant for a greater good.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Ray

    It is a crime that the Army is wasting so much lift capacity to deliver luxeries to command posts that it causes delays in delivery of water and ammo to guys in the field!

    March 25, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  72. Bob

    I will think this is a good idea when all they serve at the Pentagon are the MRE's that our guys will be eating on the field. When the Pentagon restricts these places locally and puts them off limits for their personnel, then I'll think they really believe this is important. Until then, I'm thinking this is just another came that the higher-ups are playing to show that they have power. What small, petty-minded people to make this kind of decision!

    March 25, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  73. TJ

    My initial reaction to this story is SO WHAT? So they are closing fast food places!
    But then I thought & read some of the comments, and thought again.
    Although I have never been in the military, I have known persons who were.
    In reading the article, it sounds as if these places were there for our soldiers to enjoy a treat every once in awhile. There is nothing wrong with that! no one expected the war to last this long, no one knows when or how it will really end. Why shouldn't our children, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, etc have just a little bit of enjoyment once in awhile? They are fighting for you, and for me, and for generations to come, we owe them.
    Give them back their whoppers & ice cream, for some of them this may be their last chance to feel a little happiness before they die for us.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Brendan

    Well, at least our Soldiers will be able to not spend their money at an establishment that has foreign contractors being employed at it. If Soldiers want a "taste of home" they can get it through care packages from home. Honestly, if they crave ice cream that badly, they can go to the PX and get some from the freezer. If they want a burger for lunch or dinner, they can get one from the chow hall. Enough bickering and complaining from everyone who thinks that a deployment should be better than being home. No wonder Soldiers spend so much money when they're overseas!

    March 25, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  75. KAH

    There were no fast food places in WWI and WWII, so stop complaining.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  76. David

    This has got to be a hoax. The Burger Kings and other restaurants are just small trailers, they take up hardly any space at all. In a base like Bagram, they are a miniscule presence. I don't believe even the military would as idiotic as to remove the handful of things that give troops and contractors a break now and then.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  77. KatinCal

    Wow – talk about taking away the few things that allow our service members to feel a few moments of normalcy in their lives during a horrendous war on terror just doesn't seem like the right thing to do. Sounds more like some pencil pusher is just trying to get a promotion by showing cost cuts.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Steve

    I really applaud this decision. I was really amazed to see these kinds of services on forward bases when I heard of them years back. But then I've long been amazed that the military tried to outsource the most important aspect of making war... supplying food for your soldiers. Napolean knew better.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  79. Susan

    1) Get the basics to our forward troops excuses...just DO IT
    2) Our toops cycling back to base DESERVE pizza, ice cream, movies and EVERYTHING else we can give them to keep up morale
    3) We the American taxpayers elected the Commander in Chief, that means our collective voice should be heard.
    4) Mr. President, you need to fix these issues...TODAY Get our forward troops the essentials and return the very small gestures of appreciation to our troops (Burger King, DQ, Pizza Hut, movies) Our troops need to know we care. Fix this justifications, no excuses, no passing the buck, no top brass mumbo-jumbo. Failure to do the right thing in this situation is just a sad, sorry commentary on our government & military leaders

    March 25, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Anne Johnson

    These little tastes of home are a big deal--–this is yet another example of civilian suits making poor decisions. Our troops deserve better!

    March 25, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  81. J_Semper_Fi

    So the idea is to add "fitness centers" to a place where these guys are humping all their gear up and down mountains. i live and work next to Ft. Hood and i've seen these guys come back on leave and the last thing they need is another workout.
    and as far as the internet and telephone centers go- if you've spent that much time away and then finally get to talk for a few minutes to a loved one...after you hang up you're even MORE depressed for awhile.
    and if the logistical pipeline is having a problem getting supplies to the troops then change it to make it work better.
    and while rank has its privileges, i think the one sleeping in a cold rocky fighting hole in the middle of nowhere on the side of a mountain, should be the one getting a few "luxuries" every now and then.
    wonder where Sgt. Maj. Michael T. Hall sleeps at night?

    March 25, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  82. Infantry Mike

    Seriously, as an Infantryman, everyone needs to get real. Glad to see those things removed. Waste of time and money. Its a war and people need to toughen up. There is plenty of smart soldiers out there in each unit who know how to get what they need to make themselves feel more like home. Battlefield ingenuity is what soldiers talk about when we come home, not about how many times they got to go to BK. Get rid of that stuff and fight, that is why we are there and happy to do it.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  83. Chris

    Did anybody read the article?

    The problem isn't space on the base. The problem isn't somebody trying to exert authority or save money. The problem is the supply lines to get to the bases are choked down with tons of "non-essential" food items. Think about it – if you've got one way in to get supplies and it's slow then taking up half a plane with a burger king semi-truck probably isn't a cost effective way of managing your space. It stinks because these things are great for morale. What's bad for morale is being pinned down running low on food, water, ammo & have to wait for the next resupply plane because the current one coming in has pizzas and breadsticks on it for the rear base.

    I'll agree cutting the movies is probably a bit of a crappy move.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  84. mike

    "War is Hell." Gen. Dwight Eisenhower
    If anyone would know, it would have been him. And isn't that the point, really? War is not supposed to be conveninent; it's not supposed to be sponsored by corporate big business (which most of us realize means subsidized by taxes so that big businesses can make obscene profits). They should be drafting tens of thousands of young men and women into the Armed Forces to do these jobs instead of private contractors. They should also be drafting tens of thousands of young men and women into the Armed Forces to relieve the overworked, overextended "volunteers" who are forced to endure tour after tour with little or no break. Our Reserve soldiers are supposed to be just that- reserves. And our "National Guard" troops are supposed to protect against domestic attack and to assist in times of national emergency. I know the US is an empire, but since when do our national borders extend to Waziristan? Neither of these groups should have ever been placed at the head of our fighting forces.
    So why did it happen? Because Republicans (Bush/Cheney et al.) knew they could exploit those currently enlisted. Those enlisted are bound to obey, in addition to the fact that most of them and their families vote GOP (and thus would be even less likely to complain). And by forcing these relatively few soldiers to take the brunt of the abuse, it serves two goals. First, it means we "need" more private contractors on our bases, which makes more money for Halliburton, KBR, and Cheney's other cronies. Secondly, the nation as a whole is lulled into a false complacency about the war because their friends and family don't have to ever worry about being drafted. Why stop a war that you're hardly even aware of, especially when you won't have to fight (and possibly die) if you don't want to. You can kill the volunteers much easier; after all, "they volunteered to die, you're not forcing them.'

    March 25, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  85. Redeye Dog

    This demonstrates how politics serves to skew the common senses of leadership. There is always an individual which steps in looking to check his block, some way. I venture to say this stems more from a decision made by his superior officer than his own doing.

    Everyone knows that our troops are being stretched in many ways these days. Oh, I am not referring to the obvious like being asked to clear sectors of well known IED locations by passing through them, day in and day out!

    This administration is looking to save money any where it can and it has set its sights directly on the military. As good as our military troops respond to these demands, it simply is not fair. Now, we are taking away items which were designed to improve morale while trying to argue that it will help the cause.

    These decisions are made by people who have no concept of military life and passed down through generals and officers, all who are looking for that next promotion. So what's wrong with that?

    When the fog of politics obscures reasonable thinking to this degree, it is clear there is no one left watching the ball. It's another setback for our soldiers who are already tasked to sacrifice so much.

    It is a sad day in hell, indeed!

    March 25, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  86. Laura

    My husband spent 25 years in the military including time in Iraq and Afghanistan and I can't believe they are doing this. Why do they want to take away what little bit of home a service member has while deployed in a war zone for months at a time? I know service members who have done multiple deployments to Afghanistan and this is the "thanks" they get? Quite frankly, I think the general who made this decision is out-of-touch with reality and has no clue of what it is like to be a young service member fighting this war. What a shame.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  87. Neil

    Fast food is worthless garbage that should not be put into the human body. I think it's great that this option is being taken away because it simply provides more likelihood that these soldiers will choose healthier meals. I'm totally against government intrusion into peoples' live, but the military are at the mercy of the government anyway, so the government should give them something decent to eat!

    March 25, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  88. JW_OEF09

    I just got back from a deployment in January. Kandahar and Bagram are HUGE! The soldiers there do give up being home, but they chose that life and there are plenty of other ways to unwind. Soldiers who are really "downrange" give up a lot more and if reducing the Club Med atmosphere in the safest posts in Afghanistan frees up time and supplies for the real "warfighters", I'm all for it. Troops should be honored for their work, but we need not try and replicate the excesses of stateside living in a combat zone. Focus on the essentials, fulfill the mission.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  89. carl e kerr

    I"d like to know what kind of benefits congress has while they're working. Maybe we could cut back on some of their benefits. Do they get free ice cream and cake? I'd rather see that our troops have a little something extra. Maybe we could get a look at the menu served for free in Washington!

    March 25, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  90. Soldier for Life

    Typical of the Air Force bases to have these goodies and a shame we are just now seeing that we never should have had them if were were serious about this war 5 years ago. Maybe it's part of the Department of Agriculture cutting back on caloriic intake of the troops. Uh Oh here were go on weight control again. Surely a sign of a draw down and coming RIF

    March 25, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  91. Fran From Gilroy

    Everyone should be on the same plan . The forward posts get little to nothing and the major bases (with way over paid contractors) get all the benefits. There are twice as many contractors as soldiers and that why these benefits are there. There not for our soldiers who are fighting on the front lines. Internet and phone services is what the troops care about. Get the fat over paid contractors out and support the troops in the war fighting effort. Then get them home as soon as possible. 1984-1991 152G

    March 25, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  92. Ready

    Oh, yea for all these people talking about working harder to go home sooner it doesn't work that way, the soldiers aren't the ones who get to say when they go out to actaully fight, this comes from up top so we still have to actually wait on the order to actually go out.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  93. Retired Soldier

    What's the matter, you couldn't approve my post the way it was? What's up with that? CNN Censorship????

    March 25, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  94. Stu

    I just got done working in the Post Anethesia Care Unit at Bethesda Navy National Medical Center in Bethesda while on active duty.
    As far as I'm concerned we have plenty of places to eat right here in the States.
    Lets just get these soldiers home soon and with all their body parts.
    Leave our plastic toys in the sand and let the natives duke it out.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  95. stevef2222

    to paraphrase forest gump.. stupid is as military command does

    March 25, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  96. Brendan

    Im actually in Afghanistan and was at a remote base. It is hard enough to get ammo and other supplies without having to push BK stuff to Bagram.. We don't need BK or DQ. The base I was at had internet and really good food in the DFAC. Thats all we need. The only ones using BK and DQ are the support soldiers in the rear that never even get into the fight. They waste their money and get fat. This is a good decision. I'm in Bagram now waiting on a flight out. There is no room to house the thousands of Soldiers waiting to go to other FOBs other than really substandard and filthy tents. If this makes more room for Soldier than it is a great decision. Usually CSMs just creat problems. If this is his initiative then thats awesome. I think senior Army leadership is terrible so seriously trust a guy thats there when he says this is a good thing.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  97. djlockerthebrain

    So while Obama and the Libs tell us that Whoppers are evil and should be banned we have our soldiers eating that toxic waste because our government clearly doesn't care about the troops. Instead of getting rid of whoppers because they are toxic waste they only cut back when they don't have enough money left to fight a real war anymore. The Taliban are probably jumping up and down with joy knowing that they are slowly wearing down our financial resources to fight the war.

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

    @ LT Taylor Thank you for choosing to protect our country there is alot of people that really appreciate you sacrificing your time with your family for us to be safe with our families.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  99. JMcTigue

    I don't think the R.E.M.F.’s should have any more excessive luxuries than the guys on the front line.
    As an Army enlisted veteran, those luxuries only breed contempt between forward and rear units.
    I think the officers quarters in the rear should be the first place the cutting back should start.
    Sorry, no more cocktails sir… just get the job done and get our men home.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  100. Charlotte

    Ridiculous that these things were ever there in the first place. If the army paid more attention to essentials, our soldiers would probably be healthier, to boot. Nobody needs that fast food crap and America would be better off if it were eliminated here as well, although of course that isn't going to happen. Movies? Well, they might have a place. It used to be the USO shows but DVD's are cheap and portable so I don't see what's wrong with showing those, although the troops might need to wait until a movie comes out on DVD. These days that isn't much of a wait.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
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