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. Danielle

    Well at least they still get coffee. Geez! Let's take away everything that's like home and expect them to be ok. Go work out, that will make everything better. Maybe HE forget they are in a war zone and not an amusement park.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Cav Scout

    Also everyone is mentioning using the cooks, for the first 6 months of my first tour we were stationed at a chicken factory we took over and all "cooks" did was issue out MRE's.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Greg

    You've got to be out of your mind. I served in Iraq and these little touches of home build morale and keep troops happy. They are in a war zone and need some comforts of home. It made a big difference to me not to relay on the DFAC food every night.

    My guess is the idiot who made this decision hasn't stepped foot on a military base or work outside of the wire. Maybe we could take the booze away from the embassies and yes they have it and drop their food supplies

    This is one of the more bone headed decisions ever made by the military and they make a crap load of stupid decision.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Old Ground Pounder...

    I'm older soldier, from the time when the dinosaurs still wander around and the Earth's crust was still cooling. I was stationed at a remote bases all over the World (including Korea, the Middle East) means you were there to do a job. You worked, slept, eat, cleaned your weapon, patroled, setup ambushes, tried to live through the night and repeated the whole the next day.

    When and sometimes if you got back to the main base, all you wanted to do was take a shower, if it had running water and if the heater was working, it might be hot. Otherwise you sucked it up and continued on.

    If it comes down to getting a burger from some franchise or getting additional ammo, well you can guess which one wins out. THINK PEOPLE, these bases are set up for surviving, not seeing if I can get a banana split, but guess what, you get the banana split, but you get to lose out on getting water shipped in.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jon N more step to totally ruining the Military morale. If you haven't been deployed please don't comment on this thread.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Anne

    If KAF loses BK and Pizza Hut, I hope KAIA has to shut down their bars and end their 2 can per night (bar?) rule!!! Heck, why don't we just get rid of DFACs all over Afghanistan and just serve MREs to everyone to even the score, as I am sure that would help ease strain on the supply chain – NOT!!!!!

    Please, this is a simple pleasure from back home. Don't take it away.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Phil

    Pretty damn pathetic. Not only is the Obama administration runing the country, they are telling us what we can and cant eat now!

    March 25, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Amanda

    My dad along with the rest of the soldiers and sailors from WWII didn't get anything extra. Maybe there is something to be said for being on alert more that 12 hours a day.But i know that isn't the same anymore.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jamie

    Anyone who thinks that our troops are not getting food, water, or ammunition because Burger King is taking up all of the capacity is out of touch with reality.

    The incompetence of the logistics in this war is the fault of the endless line of private contractors hired to do jobs that should be done by people in uniform. And when the soldiers and Marines occasionally get back to base for R&R, they darn well should be able to get a burger or watch a movie.

    America is the world superpower. We're spending tens of billions of dollars on this war every month. It's nothing – NOTHING! – to provide these "luxuries" so that the handful of Americans actually fighting this war while the rest of us sit at home can know that their country cares about them.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. DesertStormVet

    When I was in Desert Storm, I served in a unit that spent VERY little time in Tent City or near any sort of civilization. For 6 months, I ate MRE's and slept on a cot next to my commo shelter. If and when it rained, I just put a rain poncho over my bag and hoped to stay dry. It's easy to sit here and criticize these luxuries saying soldiers do not need them, but the fact is, sometimes just a little taste of home is what keeps you sane. If you are in a battle zone, I say you deserve all the luxuries we can provide for you. For the most part, if you've never been in a war zone and you're criticizing this, you should really keep quiet as you have NO idea what this is like. Having been in units that were largely deployed in the field, I never got the little luxuries others did in Desert Storm. However, I was never in any way upset that some got them and I didn't. I chose my job in the Army and served proudly. If it meant I was out in the trenches while someone else was in a tent sleeping warmly, well that's the breaks. But you don't take away everyone's luxuries because a few have jobs that do not allow them to enjoy them. One of the biggest luxuries solders had in Desert Storm was mail. However, if you were out in the field hundreds of miles away, we often didn't get mail for weeks at a time. It never occurred to me to think other soldiers who are closer to a post should not get their mail because I'm too far away to get mine. I guess all I can say is, get used to it guys. once you come and get out of the military, you'll be surprised that you may be treated like a second class citizen being denied the benefits you earned, not being able to find a job and getting no support from the military that just gave you an honorable discharge. It's a crime the way we treat our soldiers.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Colleen

    If the removal of these luxuries means that the guys fighting on the front are better supplied, I am all for it. My son was part of the initial offensive against the Taliban launched in February in Marjah. It was a hard fight and rough living. I know they need stuff like movies when they are in their off time but the guys in the remote outposts and on the front need everything we can give them. The article also says that it will provide for more computers and phones. I know that if most guys had to decide between a movie and being able to contact home, 95% of them would pick calling home. . . .

    March 25, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Si

    It's not like all our military members are sitting there and getting fat on burgers. It really is a shame when my fellow citizens say "you signed up for it". To an extant, yes The extant where our members do what the elected officials of our great nation tell them to do repeatedly since 2001, without complaining. We should bring back the draft so our citizens don't forget what it means to be a citizen. Can't beleive anyone in our nation reading this article would begrudge one of our great military members a burger or 2!

    March 25, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Viet Nam VET

    Hey Gen. Klink and Sgt Shultz....why don't you let the men there willing to die for your benefit give there opinnion ? Maybe they would like a whopper from time to time. At any point in time you guys can trump up some reason to leave and go have dinner in french restaurant...somewhere else. This is not about getting the supplies to the fron lines...this is about whos war is it belongs to the people in CMD and by God if they don't want you to have don't get it.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |

    Hmmmm, how many other wars were fought and WON without these conviences, distractions, whatever. The point to remember here is ENLISTED..... Sure these heros deserve some r & r, good food, whatever, but a Whopper, Blizzard or personal pan pizza is not the answer. Bravo, for taking the initive....

    March 25, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Iraq Vet from South Carolina

    This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. These soldiers deserve a little taste from home. When I was in Iraq, it was a treat from me and my buddy to stop by the Pizza Hut and get a pizza. We also enjoyed watching Transformers is the Theater at LSA Annaconda. I hope this CSM changes his mind or takes his butt home. He's right war is not an amusement park, but it damn shore doesn't have to be any worse than it has to be. The military keeps talking about morale, but then goes and does something stupid like this. I sure am glad I did my 8 years and got out. I hope the brave soldiers stationed over seas now will be able to keep the morale up on their on, because the command sure isn't doing anything to help.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Melinda Helms

    It was Michelle's idea.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Doug

    Also talking about closing down AAFES PXs also. Hmmm. Let's think about this. Now the Soldiers will be ordering more stuff online to be delivered through the U.S. Postal service. Things we couldn't get at the PX we ordered online. Now there will be a large increase in the mail being delivered over....which is flown in by the military!!! Imagine that. Get rid of a percieved problem to save cargo space and money and overlook the second order effects. Going to get ugly. I'd place money that the already extremely high suicide rates double. Back to back to back deployments with no luxuries whatsoever? Vietnam was allowed to drink, shop in safe areas of town, When these Soldiers are out on patrol, they are not thinking of Burger King or DQ. They are thinking of staying alive. Bogus reasoning behind the decision to pull these out.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  18. JB

    I'm glad they got rid of this stuff, the guys who are outside the wire doing the hard fighting don't get these comforts (barring the rare occasion they pass through these bases). The vast majority of people who use these facilities live on the base and rarely leave it, instead they get fat then come home to lie about the 'horrors of war' they've seen. I fought in Iraq and Afghanistan (WIA first tour), have spent time on both sides of the wire and seen the truth about life on a large base. The people on these bases need to spend less time at Burger King and more time at the gym.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Amy

    That is such a CROCK of S**t. Lets take away one more thing that allows our soldiers a chance to relax. Been there and done that, needed outlets for stress. Those are good clean ways for soldier, sailor, and airmen to sit down for a minute and relax.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Jerrica

    I am currently deployed in Bagram and have been for over 10 months. While the fast food isn't too big of a deal for me, it's nice ocassionally. It's nice to get a pizza and watch a movie and pretend like you're back home. And I'm not a big coffee drinker, so I don't really care that they're keeping Green Bean here. But they're not only taking away our fast food, they also want to get rid of some our recreations. We have country, salsa and hip hop night. It's nice to get out with friends and learn some new dances, but they say it takes away from our focuse on the mission. And the military pays nothing for this. Soldiers set everything up and provide the music.

    What they don't seem to understand is if they keep taking away all the things we enjoy, we will all start having issues. These are positive ways to vent our frustration and relax. Deployments are stressful enough without taking away all the things we enjoy.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Gromkov

    Now also watch for a General Order Number 1A which will also ban US forces from using the MWR facilities on NATO bases, such as the Tim Horton's in Kandahar. This is all personality driven by an individual who lacks a fundamental understanding of the culture his army defends, and the people that are part of that culture.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  22. SGT Franks

    Those "luxuries" are not important, however they do make some differences. I have served 2 tours and having lived on remote FOBs going to the bigger FOBs was like R&R. I don't personnaly care for the BKs or DQs, but having them there and seeing the signs boosted my morale. However if they are gonna replace them with phone and internet access at the remote FOBs then Im all for removing them, but if they are removing them to replace them with more phones and internet for the "FOBbits" then just leave them so the Soldiers like me can have boosted morales when we go there. Maybe they should get rid of the 200,00 plus useless contractors who are doing jobs soldiers have been trained to do.

    And for the people who are like we didnt have this is 'Nam and that in WWII the military is a fortune 100 company and it has to compete with other companies offering more pay and less danger, so if they have to do more marketing to get people to serve there country then so be it. Just because people assume we are serving in a "gentler kinder Army" doesn't mean Soldiers and other Troops are dying just the same. Just ask the family members of the 5,378 troops who died serving this country.

    And don't blame troops for lack of focus for the length of the War. We go and do what we are told. We wouldn't need morale boosters if the war wasn't still going strong almost 10 yrs later.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Richard

    Typical Army policy. I've been out of the military for fifteen years, but I remember being stationed with the Army in Germany. Soldier support sucked. I find it difficult to believe that AAFES facilities (which are supported with soldier dollars, not taxpayer funds) were a logistical problem. More than likely, enough of the people in forward operation bases complained that they didn't get this little slice of home that the command decided that EVERYONE should be miserable. Yes, to hell with morale, if you aren't on the line, in your bunk, or in the chow line for a rushed meal, you're slacking. So to take away any reason to slack, let's get rid of all these distractions.

    I'm glad I was Air Force and rotated out of that dung heap and got back to an air base where the service took care of their own. Even tough as nails General LeMay knew that keeping your troops morale high, rewarding excellence and stamping out poor performance was the key to a fine fighting force.

    I'll bet dollars to donuts the senior staff there can still get those goodies. They always seem to look out for themselves, and the enlisted troops that actually get the job done can go pound sand.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  24. HEF

    I am not in the service , nor ever will, however, my little brother he is, and one day in the next 12 mo. he will be send out to the mideast, and i am sad to hear they are taking these Home reminding comforts away from these service members to help them remind them of AMERICA !

    This just sucks ! How can we petition to reinstate them back to these bases?

    March 25, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  25. LE

    This is a travesty… Another example of our leadership and this administration systematically dismantling our military. Duty, Honor, Country, Integrity, Service, Excellence, What happened to the values we live by. What happened to the military I joined 20 years ago. I was always taught to take care of my troops and my troops will take care of me. This is another blatant example of our leadership failing to do the jobs they where promoted to do. “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”. You have got to be kidding me! How can you justify that statement? A couple of fast food trailers trade space for 35,000 incoming troops. Granted 35,000 won’t show up at one time… that’s a given. Maybe 2000 at a time. I’ve been there; I’ve seen the inadequacy of the process. Your logistics’ leadership should be fired (no court marshaled) if they can’t get food, water and necessities to the FOB’s. Command Sergeant Major Hall, do you F’n JOB! Take care of the troops!

    March 25, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Calvin

    For post #347,
    Get your head in the game, refer to my post #358. After all, you were, or are in the military, and signed on being in the military but didn't consider what it was really like. It's not all about killing people, and wearing cool uniforms, because at some point in your miltiary career you're asked to fight/work half way around the world in a sand box. Yes, we've seen it, and worked there, so my suggestion is to re-evaluate your present status, and make sure your mind set is at the situation at hand, and not worry too much about Dairy Queen or Burger King.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Chrissy314r2

    If anyone deserves luxuries it is our men and women whom serve and protect us. Cut back on welfare and support our troops. People living on welfare are treated far better than our military personnel. Bring on the socialism, we can take care of those whom won't but not those who risk there lives to protect us.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Stan

    And who where the SGMs before SGM Hall?......and why are we just now figuring out we need to be at war if we are in a war zone? Good luck there big fellow....we've had Four Stars running the show....about time leadership stood up. Salute to you!

    March 25, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Ellen

    I would LOVE to have the taxes that I pay go to giving whatever comforts of home it can buy to our Service men and women!!!!!

    March 25, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Another Veteran

    Wonder if McCrystal would be so hot to make this decision if he actually had to stand in line to EAT solely at the Enlisted Mess Hall - instead of getting much higher quality meals prepared by better trained chefs and served TO him, like in a restaurant? Now, the only difference between rotating out of the Front will be 'at least they're not shooting at me here'. Criminally bad decision, and morale will suffer greatly, along with an increase in stress-related accidents and suicides.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  31. beanthere

    Folks...this has nothing to do with room for the surge, or bullets for the troops. This has to do with calories. Anytime the government in general, or the military specifically, justifies decisions on bullets, it's a diversion. Weapons/ammo have always had priority when being sent to a war zone. The non-warmaking items are on the end of the list. My guess this is more about fitness and belt sizes than anything else. Lots of burgers/fried chicken/burritos equates to bigger/heavier troops - unhealthy and unwise in a war zone. The last thing the military wants to say is the troops are getting fat in a war zone - so lets blame it on space and bullets. If not, are you telling me that up to now, leadership decisions were to bring in the fried chicken BEFORE the ammo? Please....

    March 25, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  32. AF Gal

    When you work 16 hour days and only get off 1 or 2 days during your whole deployment ... those things mean a lot. It makes things a lot easier. And until you have been deployed ... you should not criticize those who have. Or how we spend our off time over there. We do what we have to do, and a movie or a whopper .. they just help us stay connected to what we know and love. It reminds us that we are still here and sooner or later will make our way back home.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Rhonda Newkirk

    You know I think this is really sad. Our Military is over there away from Family, Friends and giving us our freedom. So taking away everyday things that us as American have is very selfish.Why not just give each one of them a box to stay in. What is our world coming too. I find it hard to believe that things things like that would matter give our troops what ever they need to keep going. If it gives them a bit of Home let it stay.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  34. old vet

    I appreciate the input from all those experts in this blog whom have actually spent time serving time in the AOR. I'm sure that many 18 years olds would love to be drafted and sent over to replace the fat lazy 50 year olds volunteering for an average (corrected from $200K typo) salary of $50K – 75K. Who would not like to serve in that area , making such a great salary, as well as experiencing various demographics and cultures. Wonder how much the DOD had to cut to make it's operating budget? Hopefully, since the health care bill passed with a cost savings of 1 Trillion (?) dollars over 5 years – money will be available for some luxuries to combat trops and supporting contractors. Certainly that will help provde for " a burger after battle" program. THANKS COMBAT VETERAN

    March 25, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  35. JJM

    It's about time! I am heading in to my 3rd deployment, this includes Iraq and Afghanistan, and as an infantrymen have spent most of my time in the middle-of-nowhere. The few times I had to go to the larger FOBs I was in disgust, and so were my soldiers. Soldiers using MRAPS to go and get Burger King?? To make a PX run to buy a flat screen TV?? For God's sake, most of them looked as thought they could barely pass a height and weight test! We are there to do a job, not dirve down Disney Rd. in an 1151 to go and get some pizza at the other end of the base. I would rather spend the whole year outside the wire then to spend a whole year in a middle-east vaction spot. A special meal prepared once a week at the chow halls would be just fine for moral. 1st run movies??? Well, if you have time to waste watching movies all day long then that should explain in part why we are losing ground in A'stan. Nobody joined the Army for it's glamorous life-style. Suck it up and complete the mission!

    March 25, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Brenda

    I've never served in the military but have the highest of respect for those who do. I find this EXTREMELY wrong and sad that we would take away the simplest forms of home from our troops, but continue to give all the luxuries of home to the prisoners who have murdered, raped and commit other crimes. Amazing the thinking of our commanders and people making these decisions. Its OK to defend the country and be away from your love ones, but you get nothing – Go out and commit crimes and we will give you the world.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Craig

    This is plain wrong. These men and women put their lives on the line every single day and the deserve a little taste of home during their down time. This is going to definitely lower troop morale. Everyone that I know that is serving overseas says that the movie is one of the things that keep them sane. To take this away is just plain wrong.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  38. ERIC

    THAT IS A MORAL KILLER.................

    March 25, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  39. collins

    Total BS.......I have been stationed on Bagram 3 times and there is no reason to take the "Non-Essential" items as the command calls it. It's freaking rediculous when you have these FOB's overcrowded as it is already. The so-called space for the facilities they say will free up for 35,000 more troops wont even happen when the seating occupancy in those establishments only hold 30-50 people. Quit sending soldiers over here when already 75% of the soldiers here sit on there ass everyday and walk around with a Green Beans cup in there hand.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Kelly

    When is a Burger King, or a DQ a luxury. Maybe you should resort to feeding them garbage from Halliburton.

    What a disgrace!

    March 25, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Steve51

    When my son was stationed in Afghanistan he charished the few times that he was able to visit BK. He would tell me that while he knew it was bad for him and didn't taste the same it was a little piece of home. We still joke about it on the odd occasion when driving together..

    March 25, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Army Wife

    Oh, come on. These folks weren't drafted, they volunteered. My husband didn't have any of those things in Viet Nam. I don't think they were around in Korea or either World War. I suppose the current military forces thought they could join and play weekend warrier for a few years – well, wake up! That's not what you signed on for, people!

    March 25, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Dennis W

    The thing about the activities is not that it's an "amusement park" as the CSM put is an escape for the mind. When you hate where you are stationed and there is little to do in your "downtime", you would be surprised at what watching a movie or eating your favorite burger from BK can do for a person's morale. Those places are not put there so that BK can capitalize on our troops...they are put there to relax the mind and ease the drudgery of serving in a foreign land. That's all.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  44. brad

    The picture shows the BK as a trailer mounted unit. What? .. no room for it anywhere in that forsaken place. I was never a soldier, but history tells me that I have them to thank for my freedom. I think some lame bureaucrat came up with this idea. I can't see a trailer mounted hamburger stand hindering a war effort.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Jo Ellen Kerr

    I am very proud that my group "Los Al (former) Band Moms and Jo's Aerobic Students and Friends support the troops by sending care boxes containing lots of snacks, hygiene essentials and various other items. We may not be able to send Whoppers, but those snack packages of Oreos sure do a lot to get folks through a rough day. The troops know that we care..and that is very important to them.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  46. KHat

    I commented before I read all the comments.

    So many people are saying that this is taking away the comforts of home. But if they're increasing the ability to actually COMMUNICATE with the people at home, isn't talking to mom or your daughter better than having an ice cream cone? Won't there still be food? Won't there still be movies, just not at the same exact time they're playing here?

    There are MANY ways I'm not tough enough for military service, but even I think I could suck it up on this one.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  47. B

    From my stand point as a former logistician who spent 20 years acquiring transportation for supplies, I can tell you that the problem is the leadership that is in charge of the airlift and convoys that has the greatest impact on what the troops do/do not receive. I have witnessed many times that transportation channels were not utilized to their fullest extent because of the incomprehensible policies that are in place. Little comforts go a long way in getting through a deployment and this decision is just another example of how leadership is out of touch and has forgotten what it was like to be a junior member.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Chris

    I spent 16 months in Iraq, and I've got friends who have done longer there and if Afghanistan. Let me tell you, sometimes the only thing to look forward to is a little taste of home that the couple of these places offer. I mean we risk our necks only to come home to the United Socialist States of America (thanks for getting rid of freedoms others died for), or that a spouse decides to leave us, and now we can't even get a semi-decent burger if we're overseas? WTF? I'd rather get spat on by hippies.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Mel

    Just another powerful person making dicisions from behind a desk,not knowing what our soldiers really need.God bless all our soldiers over seas,come home safe soon.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Ed Franklin

    Trying to remember where the Burger King was in DaNang.......

    March 25, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  51. jrod

    I say let them have their Orange Julius, their dipped cones & blizzards. They are over there, I sure as hell would want something like that to comfort me in a place that wants me dead. I hope these guys got their killstreak rewards in order, they gonna need them.

    Your sentry gun is ready for deployment!!

    March 25, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Payson

    Wake up! This is a farce. These outlets don't cost the taxpayers! They are run by AAFES. AFFES does not get government funding. Rather, they operate for a profit. The whopper is paid by the soldier that pulls a $5 bill out of his pocket, not the taxpayers and not the government. Let these guys have a little luxury over there. You don't have any idea what a hardship they have to endure for you!

    March 25, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  53. marty

    These are not only luxuries but they cut down on some of the local trading. This move will put the troops in situations not nessasary. The food will need to come in one way or another. Its probably because the kick -back was not what the person wanted and the local vendor offered huge kickbacks as we pay 10X the price needed and the people who get rich dont care that it effects our country and our troops who are already homesick. This at least gave them a feeling of home life. Ohh well at least we have health care.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Paul

    The people leaving all the negative comments here have completely missed the point.

    Logistic resources are being redistributed so the the frontline outposts and other troops in the field can get the essentials they need to fight and survive. It makes perfect sense and is the right thing to do. So the REMF's can't get a Whopper ....that is the price of war.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  55. BillW

    You had to see this coming. Life in the military sucks whenever the anti-military liberals get power. Sounds like a Carter adiministration move – deja vu all over agin.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  56. cory woods


    SUB: AAFES concessions to close in Afghanistan

    By Karen Jowers – Staff writer
    Posted : Monday Feb 8, 2010 6:18:05 EST

    Most Army and Air Force Exchange Service concessions serving U.S. troops in Afghanistan will be closed within 90 days under an order issued Feb. 5 by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in that war zone.

    McChrystal’s “fragmentary order,” known as a FRAGO, follows a review of morale, welfare and recreation activities in Afghanistan during which base and unit commanders completed a 60-day assessment and submitted impact statements and recommendations for closure or relocation of AAFES facilities.

    “MWR programs across the theater should be limited in scope and tailored for an expeditionary force,” McChrystal said in his order. “MWR should never be the distracter that changes the focus of the mission.”

    More than 50 AAFES concessions would close under the order, including popular fast-food outlets like Burger King, Popeyes and Taco Bell, as well as jewelry stores, souvenir stores and new car sales outlets.

    At least nine main exchange service stores that operate under the auspices of specific deployed U.S. units will remain open. The fate of 14 other main facilities that are not categorized as “unit stores” is unclear.

    “We’ve received the order and will follow accordingly. We’re there to do what the command wants us to do,” said AAFES spokesman Judd Anstey.

    According to McChrystal’s order, priority command support will be limited to fitness centers, MWR Internet services, the Stars and Stripes newspaper, unit-operated AAFES stores, barber and beauty shops, recreation equipment (books, movies, board games and outdoor recreation gear), USO packages (USO2Go and USO in a Box), and education services, all of which will continue.

    Other facilities exempt from the closure orders include Green Bean Café; AAFES-sponsored vendors run by Afghan nationals; temporary bazaars (open at least one day a week); AT&T Call Centers; AAFES Internet services, cell phone activation services; and tailor concessions that do limited alterations.

    The 90-day timetable outlined by McChrystal will include 30 days for the command to notify the facilities to be closed, and 60 days for the actual closure process.

    In addition to its nine unit-run and 14 other main exchange facilities in Afghanistan, AAFES currently operates 27 food outlets, 51 short-term concessions and 77 longer-term concession services in that country, Anstey said.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Lindsey

    I think this is ridiculous. Ignorance is bliss. Those men and women over there are risking their lives everyday for something (yet to be determined) in a country that does not even want us there in the first place. I say pull them all out and bring them home where they belong. Let those countries take care of themselves. If they want to blow each other away and continue to destroy their country, let them. We, America need to learn to stay out of other countries business and let them make choices on their own. We are not the Mother Teresa of the world. Our country has its own problems to deal with.
    As for taking away what few "luxuries" these soldiers have over there, is a big let down. These soldiers need something to keep their minds at ease without the constant reminder of death lurking over their shoulders everyday. These small "luxuries" may be all they have as a reminder of home and what they are fighting for. It seems the treatment of our own military worsens. A sad day to be an American.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Master Gunny

    I must preceed my comments with the fact that I have often disagreed with some of the decisions made by the brass but, stepped off with a strong left foot to ensure that they were followed and obeyed. That said, having been deployed numerous times to Iraq and Afghanistan I applaud the decision. KAF and Baghram look more like amusement parks or a county fair than a base located in a war-torn country. There a far too many un-necessary "tenants" aboard these bases both in and out of uniform. This blatant display of these unnecessary things are the reason the U.S. is often looked down on by other less fortunate countries There is no need to flant what you have, too much of a good thing is not a good thing as is the case with these two ridiculous bases. I can imagine that the majority of the bitter comments appearing here are NOT from Marines. None of our military personnel currently serving in Afghanistan had their arm twisted when they signed on the dotted line or when their name was placed on a deployment roster. Let's get back to what matters the most...winning this war, and keeping our young warriors alive to return to the real land of BK, DQ and Pizza Hut!

    March 25, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  59. PN

    Way to go, McChrystal. Way to keep up morale. Yes, you're in a war zone, not a party place, but it's imperative to keep your soldiers more than willing to work. Taking away simple pleasures - more than likely b/c you're jealous you didn't have them than anything else - is not the way to go. It'd be one thing if they just sat around eating all day and gained 100 lbs. My husband lost a ton of weight in Afgh and he was near a BK. It's not like people are skipping work to go sit and eat fries. The soldiers deserve it; let 'em have it.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Stacey

    I am really disappointed in the majority of these postings. There appears to be a lot of self-centered thinking by armchair critics. I think most of your opinions would change if we dropped your tail off in the middle of a war zone and experienced first-hand what our troops are experiencing! If you don't think moral is important, especially in a war zone, then try doing a 30 day fast of no tv, no warm clean beds, no showers (except for baby wipes), no sleep,no healthy homemade meals, no clean clothes for weeks on end, no contact w/loved ones....are you getting the picture?! And let's not forget.....most of you could not out-run a sniper for a 2 mile stretch, let along doing it hauling a 100 lb. pack.

    Get your Patriotism in check or stop using the luxuries that these people are so busy defending w/their lives!!!

    March 25, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Frank Pena, Retired US Army

    This is B.S., our troops work hard and burn up a lot of calories. They are more physically fit and healthy than most Americans. Just leave them the hell alone. Give them a break!

    I bet the people banning these products are lazy fat ass people that have no business telling anybody what to to before they address their own problem!

    March 25, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Lew

    Well, I guess the CSM for the ISAF wants to be the CSM of the Army. The CSM is supposed to be the voice to the Generals in charge about enlisted matters. The CSM knows the guys want these shops at the bases, but just says "yes sir, three bags full sir" and concurs with pulling the shops out. Yes, AAFES gets at least a 20% cut of the profits, so the donations to MWR will go down as well.

    The ARMY just treats their people like fodder.......I wonder what the CSM and the General's chow is like????

    March 25, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Anonymous

    As a civilian going in and out of these bases all over the world on a daily basis for my job, I am very sad for our soldiers to be losing these things. Calling them "amusement park" accessories is just ridiculous and our men and women serving deserve some of he luxuries of home in today's 21st century war-zones. Soldiers are getting deployed multiple times, and it is wearing on them heavily. They are often working these 12 on-12 off shifts and have little time to get their heads together. If it's a cost issue, there must be another way to save at least "some" of these things but taking them almost all away is heartbreaking.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  64. KT

    Seriously....the only camp that had BK in Afghainstan was Bagram and it was a freakn trailer that was outta burgers or fries or whatever half the time anyway...the reduction of MWR/MWA activities in AFG started when GEN McCrystal and VCorps showed up last year. Yeah it sucks...but if they could get more FREE internet access in the billets on US run FOBs and all the other outlying camps (like at most of the NATO bases in AFG) we'd be saving soldiers from paying $100s per/month; Improve the provided KBR or Supreme food, and besides every soldier knows you can get "first run" movies a the bazaar...

    March 25, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Tim Bagwell

    It's about time the command makes all of the troops focus on how much it sucks being in Afghanistan. Had a rough day and would like to have a small taste of home??? Too bad the chow hall is closed and you'll just have to suck down another MRE!!!

    March 25, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Grog in Ohio

    So... they can risk their lives but not see a movie during their rare down times? Wow... great recruiting idea!!

    March 25, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Crush1800

    We could pay for the new HEALTH CARE REFORM, if we brought everyone home. As a Veteran, I know these things are nice to have, but are they really needed. No, WAR is WAR, Home is Comfy. BRING OUR TROOPS HOME....PEACE

    March 25, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  68. rachel

    start sending our guys portable dvd players and movies; they can watch what they want when they want and share it with whoever they want.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Steve

    I've never been in the service but i know a ton of people who have. We have sent our people into a litterally God forsaken $%^& hole of country to shoot people who hate everyone. Its hot, full of crazy people trying to kill them, and primative. They can't have booze or women either. So you take away the pizza hut and the DQ. Are you kidding? Does anyone in charge heard the term "Moral"? Well apprently not. This administration has 6 out of 10 people completely pissed off at them already I guess they decided our Joes should joint those ranks.

    I hope everyone is happy with who they voted for!

    March 25, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  70. Appalled

    Unbelievable. This CSM has clearly never seen the glimmer in a young soldiers eye when handed a meal that actually reminds them of home rather than the horrible crap served at mess halls overseas. To anyone that thinks the mess halls are serving healthy alternatives to fast food, think again. Maybe in an effort to save money the Army should just finally do away with CSMs. If all they're good for is putting reflective vests on soldiers in combat, then taking away anything closely resembling morale, maybe we could just do without them too. This is combat after all. Unless CSM Hall is driving supply trucks down the roads, I'm not sure what he's contributing to the fight.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Weyah

    Yay! I know it's hard and I feel for the troops, but if we're to win hearts and minds and convince the world that we're not occupiers trying to impose American culture on them we need to be thoughtful and careful about what is on our in-country bases. I remember when my dad was an AF base commander in the states and we didn't have first-run movies on base–in the STATES. Get the mess hall cooking better food and get these wars over with.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  72. jay

    As a veteran of the first war, I am aware of the expense involved in flying in materials into theater. Flying a burger king truck into Iraq is a stupid waste of tax dollars. It could have been sent on a boat for a fraction of the price. Look out healthcare system...uncle sam is coming!!!

    March 25, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  73. mddiva35

    When I was deployed to Iraq in early 2003 we ate out of the MREs until they finally built a dining facility that summer of 2003. I probably gained 15lbs within two months from eating all the junk food in the dining facility. We didn't have the Burger Kings, DQ, etc. I still completed my mission. I just had to run three times a day when I returned home to get the excess weight off. Still having some luxuries allows the GIs to have some comforts of home not offered anywhere else. When we went outside the wire sometimes we would stop at one of the Iraqi restaurants in Mosul for some chicken, salad and bread. I wouldn't dare do that now. Too bad. They can still get bootleg movies from the Hajis.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Harleyrider

    Having been a Nam Vet of mutiple tours, I really hate to see an attitude like this towards a few little extras for the troops. We didn't have much in the line of "Nice Things" when I served, but we also didn't really expect any. We had a small PX that had a place to get an ice cream or a sandwhich when you could get off to go there – and it was like Heaven to just have that few moments to act halfway human once in a while. Our President also has no love for the military and I think you will begin to see other ways that support will fall by the wayside; Military spending cuts etc. I'm surprised the Congress hasn't come up with a few new taxes for our troops. Perhaps a "Sand Flea" Tax based on the number of bites you collect during an average work day....... I'm sorry that you fine troops are being treated like crap. But, as we all have too – Solder On! God Bless

    March 25, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Recent Vet

    When I was in Iraq, we loved getting back to the base that had BK. Granted, I only ate at it twice, but it was like eating a piece of heaven compared to what I was used to eating. I never had time to see a movie, but I don't blame those who did. What a great escape from the grueling work and hours.

    I hear from many vets who did not have these luxuries in their day. This is absolutely true, but I'm guessing they didn't have to put up with all the dumb rules we did. I was stopped and reprimanded IN IRAQ twice for having my hands in my pockets from upper enlisted and officers not in our unit. I once had a vehicle stop and reprimand me for having one shoe untied. I was also reprimanded once for not putting socks on when I had to use the toilet in the middle of my "night" when the toilet was 1/4 mile away. That combined with no alcohol, and BK is the only thing we had left to feel human. Working 12 hour days (or more), 7 days a week, it felt like prison.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  76. Aaron

    For everybody screaming about their kids or friends who are marines or infantry and never get to see this stuff.... BS. The soldiers and marines that want these things to stay more than anybody are the ones who might only get a chance to enjoy it once or twice in a tour. Don't act like someone gets stationed in a hell hole for 12 months with now showers and never once moves... that's just not how it is. Having served in OIF and OEF from invasion of Iraq to last year, I've seen a few different scenarios. And Vietnam vets... I'm disappointed in many of you whom have spoken up here. You say that you didn't have any of these "luxuries" and the soldiers now can just live without. Give me a break, you had prostitutes and drinking binges... which are highly illegal for the military serving in these war zones. If you haven't been there recently than just keep your comment to yourself because it's useless.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  77. JSchutt

    Reading some of these comments mirrors the thinking of this CSM: "MRE was good enough for me", "We didn't get any luxuries when I served". What is it with this "I didn't have it so YOU shouldn't either" mentality? My grandfather didn't have helicopters when he was in WWII; doesn't that make you "spoiled vets" too?
    Let's take 1/3 of the care packages and $$$ our gov't sends to earthquake and tsunami victims and spend THAT on our troops.
    Then again, if they remove those "carnival" attractions maybe they'll find Bin Laden was hiding under them!
    It's almost "mind-bottling"!

    March 25, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Snowyman28

    This is asinine. I understand the "grunts" not caring–to a point. They do survive on bare-bones bases one MREs for month at a time. However, how about when they do get back to the hub bases like KAF and BAF? This will drive morale to an all time low. I've been to Afghanistan twice now, once without the restarants and once with. While I never did go to any of them, it was nice knowing there was a little taste of home. It's a little thing, but those little things count toward keeping people that are under 24/7 stress from breaking. Also, the comments from the CSM are a joke–"This is a war zone, not an amusement park." Way to look out for your men their SM. If you've lost that much contact with the men, you need to go. I'm so glad I'm in the Air Force (of course, I've only been deployed with the Army so I absolutely feel these guys' pain). For those of you that haven't been there, you need to take a step back and consider what all these men and women are doing without and ask yourself just how much of an inconvenience is a BK or DQ.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  79. Er

    I wonder if the guys in the rear got to see Avatar in 3-D... Or did they complain because some shipment of ammo kept the stupid glasses from reaching them, I bet their moral was real low then. Get in the fight, win, then come home.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Walt

    Just a quick word from a Vietnam Vet. After all these years and all the wars a R.E.M.F. is still a R.E.M.F. Nuff said

    March 25, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Calvin

    Well I think it's a good idea, because I would have someone covering my back who is focused on the mission, rather than day dreaming of the next best thing out i.e. movies, phones, etc. And when in the military there is always a possibility that you get deployed. Before you deploy they make sure you are trained and ready to go, and yes there are a lot of personal sacrifices to be made. Besides it's only for a couple of months, for some, years, but you'll have served knowing you protected the greater good. The greater good, is very questionable, but hey at least we know we did it for the great U.S of A.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  82. KHat

    Sounds awesome! Replacing fast food with fitness centers is a great, healthy idea. College campuses should consider doing the same thing. It's also great that they are enabling better and more frequent communication home. I'm sure that it's a bigger morale booster than a 1000-calorie burger meal.

    Also, there is a huge expense difference in first run movies versus second run. If they can save money by simply shipping the films over a few weeks later, what's the difference?

    March 25, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  83. keith

    Is that the new policy? No such thing as Morale, Welfare, & Recreation? If that's the case, remove it from ALL bases WORLDWIDE!! Frick, Men and Women putting their life in harms way and the upper echelon takes away what FEW amenities these Soldiers have to get away from the daily grind of hostile searches, marches, etc...

    Totally REDICULOUIS!!

    Maybe these idiots who made these decisions should stay a minimum 30 days to see what it's like to live the life of a soldiers in these hostile environments. It's a nice treat after a rough day to come back to your base and be able to enjoy some MWR!!

    March 25, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  84. REMF

    Before you condemn the decision, consider the fact that the only people using these non-essential services are rear-echelon desk workers at large bases. This is about providing proper support to the soldiers who are actually getting shot at, instead of ensuring the administrative paper pushers can have an ice cream after their shift. Please don't try to sell us some sob story about how dangerous your desk job is at Bagram or Kandahar. These large bases are bloated with Disneyland-like amenities, sucking up precious financial, transportation, and manpower resources which can be better used helping soldiers in remote valleys who, quite frankly, live in horrific conditions.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  85. denise rhodes

    the command seargent major is an idiot and there should be no excuse for our soliders not having food or water or proper protective gear

    March 25, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  86. 1/7 Suicide Charley

    I'm glad the SGT MAJ is doing this. The focus needs to be on the grunts out in the field not the POGs( personal other than Grunts) in the rear. I know the chow halls over there are awesome, so the service members can save some money by not eating at these places. In Ramaidi, I went to the Subway on base once, and it SUCKED!!. All the veggies were old and that was the first and last time that I ate at a fast food resturant over there. Like the SGT MAJ said, this is a warzone, not an amusement park. Get some.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  87. jack usmc

    I have read most of the 357 post before me. It is sad that the United States Military has reduce it capabilities to move gear to war zones. The United States Military was reduce in size and capabilities in 1990's. We were suppose to be able to fight a war on two major fronts. Now we can't move enough troops to support some R&R and supplies to the front. WOW

    March 25, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  88. Rob

    While OIF and OEF are/were before my time, I have been deployed to the Middle East.

    These dedicated men/women are working long, long hours. In what little free time they have, a movie or a taste of home should be made available to them. Their superiors are asking them to go in harm's way on a regular basis.... the least they can do is allow them some method to unwind.

    One of my happiest memories of my deployment to the Middle East was an opportunity I had to watch a movie. I had worked 14 days of 12-hour shifts in a row. I'm not complaining.... not saying I had it better/worse than anyone else.... just saying how it was. On my day off, I saw "American Pie". I cried with laughter for two hours straight. My abs were sore.... felt like I had done 5,000 sit-ups. I realized it was the first time I had enjoyed a good laugh in quite awhile.

    When the movie was over, the conflict was still there.... but I had gotten away for a little bit. I was a welcome respite.

    Now I understand that these opportunities will not be available for all Soldiers/Marines/Sailors/Airmen, but they should be out there on the off chance they can get away from the war.... if even for two hours.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  89. Iraq Combat Vet

    As a veteran of O.I.F. I find this to be one of the dumbest moves that I have heard during this entire war. it is a shame that we(the servicemmbers) who are in harms way can't have the freedom to enjoy some luxury from home when we have downtime. I think this is something that should be looked at more to determine if this is the correct course of action. I know when I was in country it was a highlight to be able to go and grab a Whopper, especially when the mess hall serves the same food all the time. But I guess the top brass figure that i don't know what I am talking about, go figure.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  90. SPC

    I look at it like this ok i have been to iraq twice once for a year and once for 15 months both times sucked yes i think they should take them away but not the movies it is a great break after you have been out in sector for 36 hours do nothing but driving around dealing with rude iraq's just a little taste od the normal life back in the real world is nice and for those guys at COB's hey man they made portable DVD players for a reason have your family or someone you know send you one but i feel you on not being able to do what eveybody else does at a FOB

    March 25, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  91. JAI

    Being a retired 100% disabled vet with a son inbound to AFGAN this summer I am very disappointed in a decision to remove non tax payer supported AFFES ventors. The excuse that we need to focus on the war fight is easy for GOs and a SEC of defense who tolerate the expense of having three of the four services not at war. The marines (who make national news when they go for a walk) are only on 7 month tours. So I guess we could save a whole lot of wasted $$$ if we made them pull their weight and do a full tour. Maybe we can get them to give the soldiers a rest by catching up on their "on the ground in theater" deployed time. Hey come to think of it maybe we can save some money by reducing the combat/hazardous duty paty for those soldiers who can actually meet a reasonable difinition of being in harms way. i.e not floating in some boat 1000 miles away or in some airplane flying over head at 30000 feet where no one can hurt you. I had the nasty experience of overhearing a conversation of an airman belittling a soldier over the number of tours each had. The soldier was put to shame until it was explained to him that one of his tours equaled three/four or more of the airmans tours. Got to love it. Has anyone thought of the impact this may be having on those soldiers who spend all their time on rustic FOBs. Amazing! The SGT MAJOR needs to go.......

    March 25, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  92. rebecca

    "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 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  93. rick

    So, We can print enough money to bail out crooked or poor investers and bankers, inept auto companies, etc. and we can't supply the frontlines AND provide a taste of home through fast food and updated movies? Really? These are our priorities? These brave folks stand in the gap for us and we can't let them have some comfort food or celebrity pleasures? These must be the same people who want the 350 million folks to pay for 30 million without healthcare, unless you got a deal like Nebraska, Tennessee, or Louisiana. Who can we trust in leadership to think about America before they grab for themselves?

    March 25, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  94. Marine

    I doubt you'll see a bunch of Marines crying about losing BK. Sheesh, how about getting to to the business of killing Taliban, strengthing the Afgans and then getting the hell out of the country for good. Focus on the mission and not on the pogey bait.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  95. Donna

    I think our soldiers should have every comfort while they are on base. This includes fast food and movies. We should all write our congressmen and demand that these comforts be returned immediately. Our military forces are giving up alot by being deployed there. The least we can do is give them some of the ocmforts of home while they are away from home and family.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  96. Errol

    Like everyone should, I love and support our troops.

    But it's annoying when people write comments full of military acronyms. Not everyone has been in the military or has been associated with someone who has served.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  97. 2009Retired

    Those of you crying that soldiers "need" these "luxuries" are of the same ilk as the rest of the rear echelon "warfighters" that complain about their showers not being hot enough, or their air conditioners malfunctioning for a few hours. Did you people even read the article. The CSM said that they need to make room for ESSENTIAL items that soldiers on the front lines need. You try sitting in an outpost while thinking that you may not have enough ammunition if the Taliban did decide to attack. Or how about eating MRE's for days all the while knowing that some one in the rear is eating a Whopper and slurping down a sundae. Even if they are not being 100% forthright about the reasoning for taking away some luxuries, it does make things a LITTLE more fair. Being in war is not fair and your duty in wartime may be due to choices that you made but I think it's good to close the gap between the haves and the have-nots a little.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  98. John

    Having served in a foward base in Afghanistan I can tell you I didn't appreciate BK or anything else over there. The only time I saw BK was when a chinook crew handed me a trashbag while we were unloading ammo and water, I thought it might have been some loose mail or something else. To our surprise it was there BK trash from their lunch, we were all pretty pissed off about that. It didn't help having overweight REMFs come out for a day or two on a bird to fix something complaining how much our platoon sized FOB sucked and hopeing we would get attacked so they could get their CAB while they hid in the safehouse. Good riddance to all of that crap, as for GreenBean we did a convoy to a base for supplies that had only a GreenBean and at 0300 a coffee was just the thing for that 5 hour trip back. So keep the coffee and loose the rest.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  99. Nav Vet

    Wow. Lots of opinion out there. However, at first blush you might think this will be a blow to morale, but there's an interesting phenomenon that happens in the military: the focus on objectives, a strong sense of mission, the setting of absolute standards, and the shared experience in hardship actually contribute to significantly better morale and cohesion. A Whopper and sundae will contribute very little when one or more of those things are missing. It's more important to morale in the long run to stay mission oriented and get the forward units what they need when they need it. Nothing kills morale faster than a sense that the supply system can't provide material needed. In a subtle way, this will have a positive effect on morale. As we used to say on my submarine: "a griping sailor is a happy sailor." If it's too quiet below decks...something's wrong.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  100. James

    It is about time. This is one of the best things GEN McCrystal has done. I just returned from Bagram and will go back in a year. I did not eat this stuff one time the entire year. If this is what is keeping morale up then something is wrong with the unit. Soldiers spend way to much money and time at these places and for what? The food in the chow hall is just as good and sometimes better. And yes, it does take up room that could be used for better things that could actually help win the war. Hopefully the next move will be to get all the 52" flat screen TV's out of the PX and get in the necessities.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
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