On Thursday, CNN.com's Brad Lendon wrote in Afghanistan Crossroads about a blog post that appeared on the International Security Assistance Force Afghanistan blog this week, announcing the military was cutting back on "non-essentials" for U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan. This included closing restaurants such as Burger King, Dairy Queen, Orange Julius and Pizza Hut on bases and dropping first-run movies from base theaters.
The reader response was fiery. Here's a sampling from both sides of the argument. You can read all the comments here.
One reader, Nick, writes: "As a former Marine and Desert Storm vet, this is the right decision. If you want a Whopper or a DQ sundae, you should have not joined the military. There are plenty of extra curricular activities that you do not here about. These are not needed."
Heather agrees: "Wars have been fought for years without a DQ or BK being in the area. I feel like the concerns should be going to our troops safety and not whether or not they can get a burger or ice cream on base."
Lili Willard takes the other side of the debate: "My son is currently serving in Afghanistan on an FOB (forward operation base). He works long, hot hours. ... So when he gets to go to one of the bigger bases, it is a real treat to have a DQ or Whopper, and he loves Pizza Hut. This refreshes him and he goes back to the FOB in good spirits and ready to do his work."
"This frustrates me to no end," writes one reader. "My husband is gone six months out of the year over to Afghanistan. With his long work hours he puts in, and the time away from family, I'm glad to know that he at least as some comforts/luxuries while he is there. Now that it's being taken away, I have to wonder what that will do to the morale of the troops who have to endure the same daily grind, day in and day out."
Reader Sam thinks most of the readers are missing the point."If the outposts are not getting their essential items because fast-food is taking up space on the transports to the big bases, that's an issue, isn't it? Ditch the fast-food, get what's needed to the troops at the outposts first."