April 20th, 2010
03:10 PM ET

Care packages more important than fast food

The announcement by Sgt. Maj. Michael T. Hall of the International Security Assistance Force announced that fast-food offerings like Pizza Hut, Dairy Queen and Orange Julius were being shuttered inspired a lively debate about morale and the amenities afforded servicemen and women serving overseas - often in harm's way. Those affected, however, didn't seem very concerned.

"The big things that improve morale in a combat zone are lots of letters and packages from loved ones," Marine Cpl. David Brian Crouch said.

The veterans and active-duty troops all said that access to healthy foods, local cuisine and packages of snacks sent by friends and family trumped military base fast food as morale boosters.

Especially appreciated in these care packages are sweet, sour, salty and spicy condiments, such as Tabasco, sugar packets and seasoned salts for enlivening the military's frequently derided Meals Ready to Eat - individually packaged rations for service members stationed away from meal preparation facilities.

Read more on the troops reaction to the closings

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Filed under: Behind the Scenes • Troops