Soldiers in Afghanistan have been filling us in on what it means to no longer get a hot breakfast each morning - and it has a lot more to do with morale than hunger.
The comments are in response to a story that appeared in Home Post last week about the Pentagon's dismissal of a viral email that claimed all troops in Afghanistan weren't getting breakfast. According to the American Forces Press Service:
The Internet myth’s genesis came from a few forward operating bases in eastern Afghanistan’s Paktika province that are closing or being turned over to Afghan security forces. Instead of a hot, prepared breakfast, service members at those bases receive packaged meals known as “meals, ready-to-eat,” or MREs. This streamlines the logistics for these closing bases, officials explained.
But soldiers writing to Home Post say it's not that simple. Mitch Story wrote on the Home Post Facebook page:
I am currently in Paktika Province and we do not have breakfast or midnight meal. We are down to 2 hot meals a day ( lunch and dinner) or guys who run missions at night and work night shift only get one hot meal a day. The Battle Space owner out here instructed the Contractor who is in charge if the chow halls out here to cancel the meals. What they did not consider is that there a lot of units that are still out here and will be here for quite some time to come (my unit). I don't know why the DOD is not owning up to the facts. It appears to me they are trying to cover up the fact that we are not being fed.
"Disappointed in Afghanistan" wrote:
I am here and its breakfast time and the dining facility is CLOSED. There were a box of MREs out at dinnertime last night for the taking, but no one seemed to be taking them (no surprise)...so, I surmise, most, like myself, are simply skipping the most important meal of the day. Bad decision by someone. Hot chow in the morning is not only good, its good for morale. Probably why on missions or exercises when MREs are necessary, they are offered for the LUNCHTIME meal, with hot breakfast and dinners. Why do Soldiers here have two hot meals back-back w/in three hours of one another, and then go without for 18 hours? Doesn't make sense. All leaders know (or at least should know), there are three things you don't mess with: A Soldier's mail, his money, or his chow. Hopefully common sense will eventually prevail.
And John Golymbieski added:
My nephew is over there and he is not getting breakfast any longer the mess hall was open 24 hours is now open 3 hours for lunch and 3 hours for dinner if he wants cold cereal for breakfast he has to go to the other side of the base, if they are on a mission for several days and come back they have to wait until the mess hall is open.
So it sounds like MREs for breakfast becoming more and more common. What have YOU heard?