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. DesertGI69

    As a multiple Army war vet myself, I can say that we as troops, always looked forward to going back to a cozy Air Force base, since they seem to be the only service that lives in luxury consistantly, for a little R&R. This is some CSM or General making these decisions, and keeping the morale low. One thing is certain in all military commands...Crap rolls downhill. This could come from as high as the White House. After all, he is the Commander in Chief.

    March 25, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. CMB_Gal

    I think this move kinda blows. I remember spending alot of down time @ these joints during my deployment,even though by the end of the first month I couldnt eat that junk anymore. I think those who will have this taken from them are gonna feel it the hardest. As for incoming replacements,not so much because they never had the opportunity to get accustomed to it. Oh well,typical of the army.

    March 25, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Michel L Tisdale

    The son of a friend of mine is in the guard and everytime they are posted to either Iraq or Afghanistan they have such long hours on patrol that when they return the kitchen is closed and they mostly subsist on the 'goodies' that their families send them. If troops are out there doing what our tax dollars pay for then the kitchen should be open 24-7-365 for them. Even if this means a larger budget for food or better MREs I think that something should be done for the troops. I know that I maybe naive about this kind of stuff but after all my tax dollars are paying for this war and the people that are being paid should be able to expect to be fead, clothed and receive a livable wage.

    March 25, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. kb

    Personally – I'm shocked that it took 37 comments to tie this to health care reform, LOL – there must be a lot of democrats on here, cause it seems EVERYthing's tied to that these days. If you would READ the article, it says that the money will be used for basics – LIKE idk... artilary? Water?? It doesn't say NO MORE MOVIES – it says no more first cut movies. That's FAIR! Imagine what the gov't is being charged for the rights to movies that are still in theaters stateside. Lets be reasonable, people, and at least READ the entire article.

    March 25, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jorge

    Add on to my last post, and by the way the food on these restaurants on wheels are not free to the troops, they have to pay for it. I remember I paid around $6.00 for a personal pizza at pizza hut in Kuwait.

    March 25, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. IRR SPC 25L

    WOW! What a morale booster! Glad to know they'll have their cup of Joe for all their meetings tho.

    I'm glad that I served and did my time, but my husband is leaving in less than a week in route to kandahar. This will be a long year for him. When he went to Iraq in 2006 he was on a FOB and enjoyed going to CP Victory to get a burger when he voluteered to go get supplies for his team from the BX.

    This is very depressing to know, and although I'm not worried about my husband going crazy, I can see someone going nuts and re-living the FT Hood tragedy. I worry for his safety from Soldiers that can't handle the pressure more than insurgents.

    March 25, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Daniel Jones

    Internet and telephone capabilities..yes. Workout facilities and first run movies...why not? Fast food (Burger King, Pizza Hut, Dairy Queen)...hell no! Why try to poison them with that crappy junk food?

    March 25, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Al Ft. Lauderdale

    I take it that all the people that are for this have not served in the military and are stupid and ignorant of our military. I hope that sargent dosen't go on patrol, I can garranty he would not return if he were in my squad.

    March 25, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Sapper 6

    Say again, over. You are coming in loud and stupid.

    March 25, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Thurman

    President Obama, Sir, would you or your staff please comment on these changes for our military men and women who have to spend either 6, 12, 14 or even 15 months away from home.

    The justification for the change is just absurd. I believe these changes are due to space needed for more troops. Give us and our troops some respect and be honest of why the changes. Oh, by the way, what are you having for dinner tonigh?. I am sure its nothing like the chow our troops eat day after day whiile down range!

    March 25, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. F. Martinez

    I'm a serviceman and am more than familiar with these luxuries made available in Afghanistan. I understand the rationale for this move and support it completely. Mission first. The way I see it, the majority of those being affected are the ones in the rear (now with less) gear...

    Don't forget that the most support in any war must go to the statistical few that close with and engage the enemy in combat. Logistics should continue to send the nice things, like steak dinner, down to the Forward Operating Bases (FOB's) as often as possible.


    March 25, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. awolep

    headline news seargent killed by friendly fire HAHA (there take my burger king away)

    March 25, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Judith

    Sad very sad for the troops that this person is part of their chain of command…… Sgt. Maj. Michael T. Hall who wrote, “This is a warzone – not an amusement park,” needs to retire and or be fired. I don’t consider BK and DVDs an amusement park. Just to make sure the public knows these services are not free to the service member they pay for the burger just like you do. These types of facilities/concessions are common at MOB(s) in stable areas…….We’ve been there for how long…… I think it’s nine years now. So is the area unstable at the MOB or is logistic capability beyond the military’s capability? Or are we underfunding the war effort again and the troops get to pay the price? Talk about tanking moral great job if that was your intent.

    March 25, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. AF Vet

    I can't help but wonder how many of the hawks commenting about the "soft " conditions have ever been in the military , much less in combat. In 1980 I was deployed to a remote assignment in Turkey for 12 months. No combat but not very nice. When I was reassigned to a base in England the first thing I did was get a Whopper. The taste of that burger is still etched in my mind. As far as I'm concerned they can build an amusement park for these poor souls. In the context of the billions spent on the war a few pizzas and burgers are pretty easy to justify.

    March 25, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Anthony

    I think the commander is right on! The fact is, it's these types of luxuries that seperate the hardened ranks of the enemy from the 'invaders.' Remember, for this type of warfare, it is the most resolute and committed thatw ill win the not only the current war, but the hearts and minds of the people in between the front lines. Burger and shakes don't mean a thing when you might be killed in the middle of your sleep. It is this edge and focus our enemy faces every day, and one we must acquire and keep!

    March 25, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Fobbit Slayer

    .......Also, the reasoning behind the closing does not make any sense. It is stupid, and missing the point. Of all the things in Afgh, BK? But I still think its funny that the guys in the rear have to experience a little suck.

    March 25, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Army Wife

    I can see where the space is needed on military aircrafts to get supplies out to FOB's but how does taking movies away help? My husband is there now and he gets just about ZERO time for any MWR activities but if he was finally given a few hours off it would be amazing for him to go have a milkshake and watch a movie. On the bright side here the USO is building a major activity center in a few places in Afghanistan so I hope this will help some.
    God bless my husband and the others that are there by his side.

    March 25, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Unbelievable

    My grandfathers would turn in their graves if they heard these comments. I mean seriously...McDonalds and Dairy Queen? It is a war zone and they are soldiers! I understand the need for morale, but there are more effective means than hamburgers and sundaes... I can't imagine the morale of the soldiers on the front lines is very high when they are lacking supplies because a MILITARY cargo transport plane was carrying a McDonald's trailer filled with frozen burgers instead of actual essential supplies like ammunition or water or actual healthy food... Its unbelievable.

    It is just a huge waste of time, money, and resources; resources that could be better used to help end the war faster, so the soldiers can actually return home to the safety and security of their family and loved ones. All this crap is just a distraction from the war effort, and another classic example of opportunist capitalist using a war for personal profit...

    "'But troops shouldn’t feel neglected', Hall writes, 'as the military plans to increase fitness centers and Internet and telephone capabilities.'" I'd rather have more access to my family then to eat a greasy cheeseburger...

    Its a warzone, they are soldiers...its the job they choose to do. I'm not cold to their sacrifice, I'm just being realistic.

    March 25, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Bob

    You can bet your ass that McChrystal and the other stars get fed any damn thing they want in their mess hall (probably on linen tablecloths with Baccarat crystal!). Total BS! Afghanistan is the ***hole of the world, and we send our men and women back there multiple times – some burgers and pizzas are the LEAST we can do for them! These foods have nothing to do with the logistics of getting basic supplies to FOBs! FUBAR!

    March 25, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  20. kn

    That's just friggin' ridiculous! Having access to some good ol' American food is sometime the difference between being able to continue and having a minor breakdown! These men and woman are putting their butts on the line FOR OUR COUNTRY and we can't make a good burger avaiable to them at the end of their day?!?!

    March 25, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Arugala Farmer


    March 25, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  22. shawn

    This pisses me off- these kids are fighting hard everyday and what idiot thinks they dont deserve a whopper at the end of there shift. Ive never been in the army but this is a really dumb idea.

    March 25, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |

    Support the USO.

    March 25, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Fred Schuler

    What a crock. Why not provide them with as much of a taste of home as you can?

    I hope that the senior officers who made this decision in the best interest of the mission make the same sacrifices themselves. Why don't I think that will happen?

    Thanks to our troops.... and come home soon!

    March 25, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  25. DD

    I have been in the military for 27 years and am in Iraq as we speak.. Afhanistan x2, Iraq x3, Bosnia, South America and Africa geting shot at in heat and cold– and I am here to tell you that taking this stuff away is just plain stupid!

    To all of the Vietnam Vets, love you guys. Was raised by you, thanks for all that you did. But you know good and well that you would be at Burger King everyday if you weren't stoned in the Jungle. Just because you didn't have these things doesn't mean that other shouldn't.

    To all others that are saying that these things are unecessary...Ok whatver, where do we draw the line on that. Go ahead and take away coffee, cigarettes, soda, all food except MRES (General D**chebag says he only eats once a day anyhow). Toilet paper can we take away toilet paper lets check with the Vietnam Guys to see if all of them had toilet paper all the time. Or better yet ask some of the guys still around from WWII.

    If all of our soldiers on the front lines dont have a place to sleep, quick burn all of the beds. Thats right Vietnam Guys, we have beds over here too....If my buddies out on the front lines don't have clean water, quick turn the water off.

    Yes, I am writing this from a warzone & yes I have access to a computer, but I guess since everyone doesnt I should turn in my computer.

    March 25, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Jorge

    As An Iraqi War Veteran serving in Iraq for 12 months in the Marine Corps, these places such as pizza hut was the only thing we had to look fordward other than Green Beans Coffee which in some cases they did not have ice during the summer times. I know that they can do better job with this, this will only bring the morale down.

    March 25, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Alexa

    Wow, if you've seen Saving Private Ryan you must know everything about the military...

    March 25, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Lady Vet

    I can't believe they would remove any sense of home for the troops... Even stationed in Italy I was homesick and the fact that we had a Burger King on the base gave me a sense of home when I needed it.
    The thing he needs to remember is exactly what he said.. It is a warzone, so anything that can help keep those kids sane shoiuld be considered essential. If you take away the movies and the burgers, these kids will have nothing to do but obsese about the place they are in, and one of two things will happen,
    1. They will snap under the pressure and start killing their buddies or themselves
    2. They might make it through but then come home so messed up that they can't re-acclimate to civilan life.

    I do understand the need to have enough supply room for the ammo and other essentials to the remote bases, but I do think it is funny that the one non essential they are NOT getting rid of is the coffee.. That is typical of an officer.

    March 25, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  29. nightrider

    I don't remember seeing that a BK or Dairy Queen would be deployed with us in my contract. If they wanted us to have it, they would have issued it to us. Misson accomplishment is the first order of business and then troop welfare. If they get the job done, then they can come back and enjoy. When I was in Iraq, we did have any of this stuff.

    March 25, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  30. vietnam vet

    WOW the new Army. As a vietnam vet all i had was Beer, smokes and condoms,
    and sometimes a canvas tent that leaked.

    March 25, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Sandy

    I am wondering what the REAL story is behind moving out those companies.....

    March 25, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Guest

    I am sorry but the least they can gave our troops is a hamburger and ice cream. These people are fighting for our country and our lives. We can at least give them something to remind them of home. Or just bring them home!

    March 25, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  33. rachel

    my brothers a soldier, and he doesn't eat that crap

    March 25, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Fobbit Slayer

    I am in the Army, and last year, my unit and I were fighting in a remote location in Eastern Afg., the Kunar Province. We rationed water, and MRE's. After 6 months we were able to get a MKT (outdoor cooking trailer), but nowhere to sit and eat. We didnt have "set shifts" we patroled constantly, and guess what, when we were attacked, we still had to work. Boo hoo, BK and DQ are leaving. Guys I know around here could give to craps about "fatty shacks" leaving those rear bases. Good. Save some money, and close them all down. I am going back next year, and could care less. All I care about is the safety of my friends. For God sakes, your in the military, suck it the f*** up.

    March 25, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  35. John George

    All I can say as a member of the Air Force for 22 1/2 years is that it is a mistake. Whenever we go to these countries this is the only thing that connects us to our country. Having foods that make us happy and a few LUXURIES is the least leadership could do for morale. I would like to see civilians eat chicken and rice almost everyday for a long deployment and see if they would not like something from HOME. I am glad I will retire soon because just like our country the military is falling apart also.

    I feel bad for all my brothers and sisters in all Branches of service who will deploy after me for this injustice..

    March 25, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Infantry

    all you people complaining about how they wont have these luxuries anymore are a bunch of POGs!!! All you do is cry about how you dont have your BK and DQ. ITS A WARZONE. you dont see the guys outside the wire complaining because they dont care, they never had it before. Its only the fat ugly people that are complaining because now you dont have anything to drown your sorrows in when all you do is sit infront of a computer all day or count boxes and never leave the damn wire. how about you step outside the wire sometime and do something.

    March 25, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Mom of Three

    I'm glad they're taking that garbage out. Obesity among active troops is higher than before. I wouldn't feed my kids that garbage, I certainly wouldn't want the service men and women I respect so much to have to eat poison...the high fructose corn syrups in the BK shakes and the partially hydrogenated fats that the body can't process. This food may be "comfort" but it is poison and garbage and is making our troops weaker and sicker. They need to fight the Taliban...who aren't fat and slowed down, I imagine, by corporate-processed chemically-enhanced trash that has been scientifically proven to be addictive AND to make the user feel more sluggish. I want our troops home alive and healthy, and if they're sluggish there's less chance of that happening. Good riddance!

    March 25, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Gregory

    It is the little "Luxuries" that mean a big deal to our service people. These people have to completely sacrifice everything else in their lives. Is getting a Whopper such a terrible thing? Especially if you are asked to work in excess of 80 hours a week, while being shot at?

    March 25, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  39. JoeTheSoldier

    OK, lose the fast food (it's crap anyway!) and replace it with some kick-ass high-end food. Bet Gordon Ramsey could whip up some awesome food and kill some insurgents at the same time. Now canceling the movies, that's just plain stupid. GIVE "EM SOME DAMN MOVIES!

    As reminder to some of the vets from previous wars, you probably didn't have to serve as many tours as our current servicemen and women must endure. I think that alone qualifies them for these perks and more. In fact, I'd like to see some country clubs built that include swimming pools, tennis/basketball courts and massage parlors.

    These Generals need to get closer to the front lines. Less doesn't mean more in this instance. Less means less. Pffftt.

    March 25, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Ksom

    I don't understand how different is Berger King different from other hot food they offer on the base? As for movies, sure forward bases can't have them, but I assume they could get short leaves back in the main bases more often than flying back to the States. So when they are in the main bases, why not treat them with a few movies?

    I can fully understand if this is a temporary measure to allow the surge to be executed quickly. But in the long run, if we put more troops in, we got be able to support all of them.

    If money is an issue, let the fast food companies bid for the right to sell in the bases. That way, it is not all cost to the military.

    March 25, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  41. ex rescue

    It's war folks, not loony tune rentals and big macs. Gen. McCrystal is doing the right thing.

    March 25, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  42. WarrDawg

    The fine young men and women of the United States Armed Forces did not join up so they could eat BK, DQ...etc.

    We joined to do the job with whatever we have at our disposal so I would rather have equipment and supplies to keep my but alive.

    If you ask the ones on the front lines which would they prefer...bullets to fire at the enemy or burgers for the rear echelon?

    That's a no brainer. We have to free up transport space to get more of the critical supplies (Ammo, water, food) to fight this war to win so we CAN bring them home sooner than later.

    March 25, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  43. EBC

    The DQ and BK did not have the capability of being shipped overseas back in the day. No wonder my grandpa didn't have it out in Germany while he was commanding tanks. BUT WARS IN THE 21ST CENTURY ARE DIFFERENT! WE'RE FIGHTING WITH DIFFERENT WEAPONS, DIFFERENT EQUIPMENT AND THE UNIFORMS ARE DIFFERENT- EVER HEARD OF THE DIGITAL CAMO? OF COURSE WE'RE GOING TO BE ADDING DIFFERENT THINGS TO THE OVERSEAS BASES LIKE..... BURGERS! MOVIES! THE INTERNET! So the argument that "back in my day we didn't have this or that" or "my grandpa went to war and he slept in a hole" No duh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    However, if this is for the best then so be it. Generals did not become generals for no reason. They are not stupid or cruel. They are US ARMY GENERALS BECAUSE THEY HAVE THE SMARTS AND THE ABILITY TO MAKE THE TOUGH DECISIONS.

    My thoughts and prayers are with every soldier out there.

    March 25, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Donna

    This is not the army of WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. Back in those days the men didn't call home every day or so, no fast food, or whatever is being called luxuries for todays men and women in this war. Times have changed and these young men expect these things because they were brought up as necessities not luxuries.There were no cell phones,, vcr's, personal TV's or any of that for the old army but that was then and this is now.
    My husband was career AF in Vietnam, My son and son in laws are todays army of Iraq. We chuckle over some of the luxuries they have but I'm happy for them that they in their few minutes of freedom. They work so hard...THE REAL REASON FOR THE CLOSURES IS THAT THE ARMY IS BEING FORCED TO CUT BACK AND SAVE MONEY, AND OF COURSE AS ALWAYS CUT IT FROM THE TROOPS AS THEY CAN'T FIGHT BACK.

    March 25, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  45. shaw

    bottom line: wheres bin laden? no whoppers till we find him.

    March 25, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |


    March 25, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  47. grim reaper

    when i was in the navy we were lucky to pull in too ports hadd these things or similar too make it hard on these folks serving is a joke. only the college brass will make on them .then when enlisted refuse to cover brass s ass, the brass trys to make them look badd. joke brass has always played on enlisted .of course you have a college folk as president who never served doesnt have a back bone of a military guy. allows some west point spoiled bratt call the shots this is what happens .try removing burger king form streets around washington and langley your see a biigg fight by the washington loosers.

    March 25, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Chris

    A CSM supporting what higher ups want and not really being concerned with overall troop morale should not be a surpirse. But hey, that CSM will be able to pick up fancy coffee for his boss per request any time!

    March 25, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Laura

    Like morale isn't bad enough already...take away some of the few things they have over there to keep them entertained and remind them of home.

    March 25, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Joe

    Gosh, there have been a lot of posts on this story. Well, here's my take...

    I've been deployed to Iraq and Kuwait. I was pleasantly surprised by the presence of these vendors on the larger bases and I do believe that they were helpful for morale. The DFAC's (dining facilities) were also nicer than I had expected, (I don't know what the DFAC's in Afghanistan are like), and I ate at the DFAC much more than from the commercial vendors.

    Given that Afghanistan is more remote and landlocked, it is plausible that these vendors are more of a strain on the supply chain than they are around the Persian Gulf. But they should provide more details and numbers, especially to the personnel, to show why this decision was taken.

    The fact that the coffee vendor is staying does make it seem as though this decision was based on the pique and whim of a general and not one compelled by strains on the supply chain. So, hard numbers and facts to back up this decision ought to be provided.

    March 25, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  51. gloria

    I would like to say that we need to support our troops in any way possible. If they are going to remove BK & DQ then they need to make sure that the troops are well fed and taken care of! They deserve to be able to enjoy a movie and ice cream at the end of the day. There are a lot of troops that don't receive care packages or mail. We need to come together and support them. I am very proud and thankful to our troops for their sacrifices. To show thanks to them we should allow them to have this. To all the Vietnam Veterans, thank you for your service!! God Bless you all!! Gloria

    March 25, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  52. KJ

    You can tell from the post by Joe that he was never in the military or a warzone......Sure when it was time to fight they fought, but they are always rotating troops out of the zone for fresh troops and those get a break, get beer USO shows and whatever else they could bring in...

    Please do not Post unless you have experienced a war....

    March 25, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  53. vegasd8

    Another Obama move to control what we eat and percieved junk food. I am sure BK would run the joints for free if we let them. Watch for Michelle Obama to come out with a healthier menu substitute.

    March 25, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Rob

    all we are saying is give fast food a chance, all we are saying is give fast food a chance,
    the ole John Lennon song, whatever!!

    Ignorant civilians need to look through the eyes of our enemy and realize that we are not fighting for what sort of fast food we are going to have a heartattack from,

    and the "new millitary" cry babies need to take some real lessons from the WWII, Nam, Karea, etc VETS who didin't cry over such pathetic things as fast food.

    To me, nothing would motivate me more, or boost my morale more as a man in the fight than knowing I get to go and take out some bastards who want to take away my family, and the freedoms we take for pleasure.

    Again, remember, terrorism, and all the other fanatics are brainwashed to kill people and their way of life just because it has a different belief, they are ready and willing to kill, they are ready and willing to kill you and me. This is more important than this one decision about food logistics. The military is still getting food.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Kimberly

    This is really awful. One of my oldest friends just came back last month after being in Afghanistan for a year. I think this is a big mistake because from the conversations we had, the things that reminded him of home were the biggest relief from the actions of the day. Yes, it seems like a waste of money when you aren't the one dealing with the reality of war. But how much is our country willing to spend on additonal therapy after more soldiers come back showing signs of PTSD? And saying fast food is unhealthy is dumb. They would be better off banning it from the average American than from a soldier who is more inclined to burn off that excess fat.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Lisa Desbiens

    They are risking their lives to fight for freedom and they are being denied basics that they would have access to everyday here. Are they being punished for serving in the military? Seems to me this would be a motivation not a distraction. We have seen this administration is an enemy from within – so it aligns with this – showing that they don't care about this country or our military. God Bless our Troops! Thank you to all who serve – present, past and future! May we have common sense guide us through the next presidential election in 2012!

    March 25, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  57. GW

    From someone that has been out there...this is a ridiculous move. It was bad when the MWR Hut we had got taken from us, but to let these establishments close is not only a shot to morale, but taking the last piece of home away. The suicide rates are already high enough, I can only see this as another contributor to raising the toll of lives lost with out combat involvement. Sure teh space is needed, and yes, it's a warzone, but at what point does peace of mind being lost contribute to a lack of motivation in continuing fight? Bagram and Kandahr have internet at inflated rates for speeds that are comparible to dial up and this is supposed to be the "escape"? General order number one has gone through many revisions to "help" but ultimately there is still no "escape" from the day to day. It's hard enough to retain soldiers in this fight, it's a shame that we have to take the things, that make them happy even for a moment, away with out consideration.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Neil

    I think that if ti is transport space that is the issue, then the movies surely aren't taking up any room. I do, however, agree that fast food is a total waste of space. Load those trucks with T-bones, Ribeyes, Tuna steaks, etc. Give those guys some real nourishment instead!

    March 25, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Frank Rizzo

    I call you one thing for sure as a former US Marine Combat Veteran I feel sorry for those troops, why people would asked; if you ever been in Combat at the front lines for awhile and your "LUCKY" enough to make it though and get some RR in the rear of a Combat Zone it's the little things like a warm meal, a nice movie or even a quite moment means the World to a Person who has been though Hell and Back. I say give the Troops what need to get the Mission done we'll worry about the small stuff later. God Bless Our Troops, and May God The Greatest Nation On The Earth the good old US of A.

    Former US Marine

    March 25, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  60. 69 Vietnam Vet

    I remember in Vietnam at 1200 hours we stopped all combat, raced the VC and NVA down to the local BK & DQ and stood in line for water buffalo burgers, that was great. Not as bad as my dad had in France in 1944, they didn't see their first DQ until they were about 4 miles inland, now that was a hardship. Give me a break, there used to be a saying, " war is he&&, combat is" those who know, know

    March 25, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  61. KJ

    Those who make these decisions are living in the finest quarters and have chefs on hand for anything they need, I am remind a war movie when a GI the dude was driving around Vietnam with a Trailer attached to his truck for some General and all the troops would take pot shots at it......The guys in charge will not be affected by this decision, that is for sure....

    March 25, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Cece

    All they said is that they're removing "first-run" movies. That just means that they aren't going to pay any more money to constantly get the rights to screen the latest releases and ship them out to Afghanistan. I was a civilian on a job once on a military would not believe how many movies they have access to. All you need are a few big CD cases to store hundreds of DVDs. These men and women are very busy, and I'm sure they haven't had time to see every movie that came out in the past few years. Time to catch up!

    March 25, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  63. 0311

    This is what the Army needs. They already have problems with fat and lazy soldiers, and this is a good solution.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Stevce

    Does the SGM think we are dumb. How many Burger Kings, DQ,s, etc. does he have that is going to free up space for 35,000 troops. Seems like it is going to be a awful tight fit squeezing all the troops in such a small area. Has the front line troopos not been receiving rations and ammo because of the eateries. I think if this is so, blame logistics and transportation. Oh, by the way, if he needs the space, how are more fitness facilities going to be put up. And to end with, what idiot would think an assignment to Afghanistan is like going to an amusement park. Let the troops have some enjoyment and relaxation while away from home.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  65. strongstrong

    Stop whinning, Wall Street need that little money to keep them bonus running! Who cares about soldeirs fighting for us???

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


    March 25, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  67. warvet

    Thank you to the new Commander and Chief Obama! We have to pay for the new health care plan somehow! At least when Bush was in he fully supported the welfare of the military and the men and women who serve. He made it a point to improve our benefits! This is the reason I didn’t reenlist because of the cuts that will be made!

    March 25, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Bill

    That's crap!! If these people are willing to die defending the principles of America, buy 'em hookers, beer and sweet-tarts if they want!! They are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, and should be rewarded for such!!!!!!!

    March 25, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Mike

    As a former contractor in Iraq (on the Economy) and Afghanistan (both on bases & on the Economy) I think that anyone that has real knowledge of the situation there understands why there are so many contractors.

    1) Many of the jobs done by contractors are NOT something you can have a draftee do. For example I hold a MS in Safety and supervised several thousand workers in Afghanistan. And surveyed literally hundreds of sites in Iraq.

    2) Draftees are NOT cheaper. You have to pay them. You have to train them. They get LOTS more leave and are rotated home frequenetly. So you'd need 3 or more in uniform (in the US and then deployed) for each contractor they replace.

    3) I have worked on several small firebases and they are a LOT more spartan than the big bases. The idea here is that you shouldn't be living better if you happen to be assigned to a big base than if you are out at some FOB.

    And the DFACs serve plently of good food.

    Finally many contractors are TCNs (like russians, egyptians, and Indians) that are paid not all that well by US standards (my indians made about $12000 a year).

    March 25, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  70. cc

    Do you guys relize 357 people posted coment??

    March 25, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Anna

    Oh sure they work their butts off in a war zone worrying about if this is going to be their last meal and can't get a dumb pizza or a hamburger while we live comfortably and safely in our homes getting fat from McDonalds and Wendy's. Wow they're sure lucky. I haven't deployed yet and I really want to but come on. Cut these guys a break. What next? Get rid of their weapons and give them baseball bat and tell them to kill our enemies with it?

    March 25, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  72. Patty W

    Only people who have had or do have family in the militiary who fight the war understand how important these little things mean to the soldiers. BUT LISTEN UP, YOU GET WHAT YOU VOTED FOR !! Obama said there would be change when he became the president. Here's one change he needs to leave alone!!!

    March 25, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  73. joseph cecil smith

    there has to be a smarter wiser way than this. soldiers have to do without so many things.. at least they deserve first run movies, advance before theatre release,, etc,,, what a had job we have given our military.. blessings to everyone and their families.
    congress should stop playing around and get the work of the country done, stop fighting and make progress on every single issue that is important to america.. support the troops so well that we bring them home fast as humanly possible, leaving a secure middle east. probably we most need to stop israel from building condos on palestinian farmland.. that's the only change that will bring peace to the world.. stop israeli holocaust being waged upon palestinian peoples.. Hebrew people deserve a homeland, but must share jerusalem as it has been shared for thousands of years.. no more genocide and apartheid, no more Rachel Corrie's – activists murdered by israel bulldozers, we must discipline israel, for she will never give rights to the palestinians – if they can't do it in 50 years, it's because israel doesn't want to.. the world needs to protect palestine.. then our soldiers will be more able to come home, and al queda will lose its support – only when there is peace in a shared Jerusalem.,.. israel therefore is NOT our partner in peace.. they are pyromaniacally starting fires in the middle east. obama needs to crack the whip.. freeze the gifts to israel until they stop building condos on palestinian farms.
    peace to all

    March 25, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  74. brian

    It's about time. I don't think you get to call it a "war" if you have personal pan pizzas and sprinkles on your chocolate dipped cone. Ask anyone who's fought in a "war" and they/we will tell you the same. Having said that 'd be fine if they brought the fat food back and stopped calling the nation building occupation a "war." There is no ice cream in war.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  75. beverly

    This decision really stinks. Our troops deserve to have a little treat now and then.
    They are risking their life and limb for their country.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  76. Rakkasan

    Sorry, CombatVet, some of the same problems that persist in the "New Army" have been around at least as far back as the "Old Army" that you were a part of. Just because the newest generation of Soldiers have grown up in a more forgiving, tolerant, and lax Army than what you knew, as I've personally seen as a combat infantryman in the same "New Army," doesn't mean we let our leaders off the hook for making bad decisions–like allowing booze to compromise the combat readiness of Soldiers on the line because they felt like they needed it to cope. You don't lower the standard to the common denominator. And you won't miss your comforts as much as you will miss your buddies. Plain and simple.

    While I'll admit my bias as a grunt who deployed and lived without running water, heat, cots, etc, I'm not without compassion for the lack of comforts that our SMs of all branches have to bear in Afghanistan, even those in the rear. I'll admit it: I loved the rare trips to the bigger bases where I enjoyed a Whopper or a pizza on a couple of occasions and I would've been missed them in Iraq; but, it sure calls to question just why the hell there were so much more resources and infrastructure pumped into OIF when OEF had been going on for 2 years longer and is not currently in the process of a drawdown. So, to our leaders I ask, why can't we provide our front-line grunts with everything they need to fight and still keep a few BKs and DQs in the rear?

    March 25, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  77. kcrl1

    War is hell.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Sarah

    Look there is no more draft I support our troops but they are getting food money to do their chosen job. They chose this. Lets get an equal amount of supplies out to all our troops. I get that life is tough over there but this is not Vietnam no one made them enlist. If you cant handle going to war dont sign up to be a solider

    March 25, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  79. Tony

    It's another one of them "Old men makes decisions, young men dies." type deal. Except this is to deprive the service member of anything that resemblence home to many if not most of the troops. But in the end it's to further the old men's agenda...making rank.

    People got to understand that by doing that they war will be fought harder becasue those men that is doing the killing and dying are doing it better, in return, the old men that make that decision will look like he was a genius. So in the long run those old men will make rank.

    Must be good to come in to work, make a couple of decisions, signs some papers, go play golf, young men dies, go home rinse and repeat. These people making the decisions are not doing it with the best interest of the men by their own agenda.

    That's why I hated being in the military, probably the worst mistake I've made in my entire life. Most of these young men are ignorant to the lifestyle of the military, the only thing they know of is the Montgomery G.I. Bill before they even pursue the military. They don't or never heard of working 12 on and 12 off, most of the time with your 12 off, you have to stay there for their stupid trainning or whatever they can think of to make your life a living hell.

    Read the fine print though, it says during time of war, each G.I. is gurantee ONE hour of sleep and ONE meal. Don't be fool by the assumption that you're gurantee 3 meals a day and 8 hours sleep, that is a myth and a lie.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Chacho

    When I was in the service back in the Vietnam era, when we ran out of food and other things in our base was because the higher ups were selling in the black market and by this i guess it still has not changed. I would have like to have a BK DQ or a PIZZA Hut available back them to ess my frustuations of being away from home. I guess this sargent major must not be getting his kick back and now his pisst off.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Fred

    Major Bilko there needs to ease up a bit. We're talking about a few, lousy, but better than nothing comforts on the base, not the front line. Somebody needs to put an extra hamburglar toy in his next happy meal. Geez.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  82. ObiRon

    This is the democrats letting the military know that they hate the military. I feel bad for these brave men and women now and in the past that sacrificed so much. It was all in vain. We just lost the cold war after winning it 2 decades ago. The dems treat our military like dirty.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  83. MAJ (P)

    Everything is logistics. The logistical problems in Afghanistan are very different than they are in Iraq. Afghanistan is a land-locked country and almost all of the supplies come through mountain passes in Pakistan that are attacked regularly by the Taliban. Even without the attacks the road network needed for resupply is horrible.

    Therefore, since you can only draw just so many supplies through that narrow straw of a supply pipeline, if you add 35,000 more troops what would you want in that pipeline, Whoppers or bullets? These restaurants aren't a whole lot different than when we got cigarettes for free in our rations which in the end hooked a whole generation on smoking. We don't need to outsourse moral.

    The best way to improve moral is to defeat the enemy and the best way to do that is to get down on their level which means no dip cones or super-sized fries.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  84. Soldier supporter

    Sorry about the spelling\typo’s…. Got on my soapbox and did not pay attention.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  85. mac

    Hey my husband was a Marine in VietNam for a 4 yr tour .He was a grunt under fire 360 daysa yr Luxury was a blanket and a dry space to lay his head and a package from mom that arrived dry and unopened out in the field. A day with no incoming get real!

    March 25, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  86. R.M.

    Michelle O. probably put her $0.02 in about the unhealthy junk food our soldiers were ingesting. I think this country needs a Nutrition Tsar to add to the mix.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  87. Been There...

    Give me a break! When you have been out on patrol all day it's nice to have a break. This SGM is not out there fighting, he's sitting in his office making F'ing policy!

    March 25, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  88. SgtAlonso

    I was a Corporal in the Marine Corps working a 12 on 12 off schedule (In reality, it was 14 on 10 off) in Bagram when the Burger King trailer arrived in 2004. The Dairy Queen's arrival was just a rumor at the time. At first, it was a very welcomed addition to the base. My fellow Marines and I tried to make it there whenever we had a chance, which was not very often because we worked at night and slept during the day. In time, the lines to get food there became ridiculous. I began to wonder where all these soldiers came from because I knew very well that they didn't all work at night as we did. The only assumption I could make was that they were on their lunch break. As other "luxuries" became available, the base exchange became a very crowded place and it worried me a bit about the readiness of our base in case of a rocket attack (they were frequent) or a small arms attack. The chow hall had good food and I always wondered why they brought in American vendors such as BK to the base. The food was unhealthy and the mere presence of a BK on base took away the focus of why we were there: to fight the Taliban. I am glad that they are finally removing these disgusting and unnecessary items from base. It's just a shame that it took them six years to figure out what a regular enlisted Marine saw in a few months. Our military has enough distractions out there and civilian contractors are more focused on making a dollar than supporting our military. There is internet, good chow, good gyms, and the best friends you could ever have in the world on base already. Anyone who says they need a Burger King and Pizza Hut please stand up so I can punch you in the mouth. I was happy with base chow and home-made beef jerky sent by my parents. I slept well because I knew my Marines had my back and weren't making Burger King runs during work hours. This is a war zone, not an amusement park. I am glad they are finally getting back on track and focusing on the mission.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  89. Bob Ramos

    I was in the USAF during the cold war. I worked on the flight lines loading bombs. When a drill was scheduled, we worked 24/7 with breaks inbetween. During these breaks we headed to the local McDonalds (they were on base even then) and chowed down. Their food was better.
    These meals really helped us (most in their 20s). While I make no claim to having been in as much danger as our guys in Iraq and Afghan, still I have a deep appreciation as to what a meal at KFC, BK, and the like can do for morale.

    My guess is that this decision was made by some rear echelon general that dines in a catered mess hall and sleeps on clean sheets every night and enjoys first run movies at his pleasure.
    I hope a "Chesty Puller" type intervenes and reverses this order. It is terrible for morale.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  90. LL

    these comments are ridiculous. if only you people knew what 'luxuries' troops have. I am currently stationed at Ramstein AFB in Germany. They just finished building the biggest mall on any military base. All the troops do is watch movies and eat fast food. By the way, some troops don't risk their lives down there. They sit in offices with their Burger King. So indeed, it's not an amusement park. Troops have more luxuries than all of you, trust me, so stop complaining.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  91. Bonecrusher 7

    OUTSTANDING decision!!! Although it should have been made years ago.
    If we had been AS focused on DESTROYING our enemies instead of providing soft items our JOB WOULD HAVE BEEN DONE years ago.

    WHY DO WE SECURE MAIN SUPPLY ROUTES???? In order to ensure that our troops are resupplied with the materials required to accomplish our missions! We need to accomplish the mission THEN we can return home to the comforts of life.

    Would you like to know how many servicemen have been killed and wounded escorting these MONSTEROUS logistical convoys???? IEDs and insurgent teams TARGET these convoys because they ARE FAT JUICY TARGETS. Let's focus on what we NEED not what we would LIKE TO HAVE. When we return home we can have it all!!!!

    Great Job CSM!!!! No Mission Too difficult, NO sacrifice too great, DUTY First!!!

    March 25, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  92. PeterSmith

    GQ military huh...the good old days are over...Military is a discipline institute and not a 9-5 job.. This is a whole new ballgame....think about the prepapation...about the physical and mental readiness have to have. Why even bother.. We do not need these things...If you want all these then stay out and get yourself a 9-5...and live on..why go in there and expect special treatment. A job is a job but do it with a pride....instead of kicking and screaming...expecting this and what if you have no burger...MRE is all you need...So if you have no burger, sundae are you going to call a time out during a firefight and tell your enemy eh...let me go get a burger and I'll come back and fight? Lame...I'm a vet and proud to served my country and my army...but this is crazy...stop up and put out. Hooorah!

    March 25, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  93. Soldier supporter

    YOU WANT TO BOOST MORAL? Try sending a soldier a care package or just a letter.
    SHOW them WE care no mater what the press puts out there.
    showing them you care by action not blogs....
    If you want you can look up Soldiers Angles. Thye have thousands of names of troops that have nobody that they can cal or Email let alone receive mail from.
    The Soldiers Angles have an adopt a soldier program and will give you names and addresses of troups in the dsandbox that would love to recive mail from the states.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  94. OIF2Vet

    I was in Iraq for a year. Most of the time on a remote base with no luxuries to speak of but if you had to travel to a bigger base that had a Burger King trailer it was a very welcome treat to have a taste of home. Yes it is a war zone and they are there to fight the Taliban but this certainly won't help morale any. You don't increase fighting effectiveness by lowering morale.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  95. freddy

    why this is nothing new. The more you give the more they take! they want want want and need help. the stonger you are and the more you do, they more they will take advantage of you without giving anything back in return. It's the All American GREED!

    March 25, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  96. MW

    I feel safer already. I'm tired of seeing photos of soldiers eating ice creams while on patrol. the rest of us fat, armchair generals needs that food.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  97. Mike M

    Movie theaters are irrelevant these days. I start my third tour in a week, and just about every Soldier has a Laptop to watch movies on, and that's what they do. The restaurants were actually more of a morale downer than you'd think, because they were only on the biggest bases, where the HQs are, not out where the line Soldiers are. This is a great decision.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  98. AirforceWB

    I just want to say this, i have been deployed in this War and I know and understand most of what our military goes through. Personally, I can understand getting rid of the Burger King, the DQ, and the Pizza Huts. But getting rid of things like movies? Come on, and to use space availabilty as an excuse to do so? How much space does a DVD, VHS, or a Movie reel really take up?

    March 25, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  99. DocAce

    Simply stupid- I can't believe that someone at the pentagon actually sat up one night and said "hey lets get rid of the only comforts these military service people have". So what your saying is In order to have food and water for everyone the DQ and BK has to go? WTF!

    Something tells me it this goes WAY deeper than that, it ALWAYS does-

    18 years in the military 🙁

    March 25, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  100. hearse

    can someone tell me when we signed a formal declaration of war? i keep hearing war this , war that. WHAT WAR???? we are occouping a country , nothing more...

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