From The Mess Halls Of Montezuma…

Hot Dinners For The TroopsSo, if I read this story correctly, we’re supposed to support the troops… until a draw-down goes into effect. Then it’s every hungry Marine for himself.

Marines at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan will lose a key daily meal starting Saturday, causing some to forgo a hot breakfast and others to work six-plus hours without refueling on cooked food.

The midnight ration service supplies breakfast to Marines on midnight-to-noon shifts and dinner to Marines who are ending noon-to-midnight work periods. It’s described as one of the few times the Marines at Leatherneck can be together in one place. The base, which is located in Afghanistan’s southwestern Helmand Province, flanked by Iran and Pakistan, also will remove its 24-hour sandwich bar.

While no Marine at Camp Leatherneck agreed to speak on the record, many are privately angry about the hit on base morale.

“This boils my skin. One of my entire shifts will go 6.5 hours without a meal. If we need to cut back on money I could come up with 100 other places,” one Leatherneck-based Marine wrote in an email this week to his wife and shared with NBC News.

The Marine is right. There must be dozens of other places that can be cut without repercussions. This is a friggin’ disgrace, and the Marines deserve better.

10 thoughts on “From The Mess Halls Of Montezuma…

  1. AndyN

    From the article, it sounds like the change is being made because of force reductions that are happening because we’re abandoning Afghanistan, not because of budgeting. If that’s the case, it makes sense to me that if we’re gradually removing our forces from the country, we’d remove support personnel first and combat personnel last. That would mean the remaining combat personnel would have to make do without things like hot meals.

    There’s a legitimate argument to be made against arbitrarily removing our forces from Afghanistan before they’ve completely destroyed our enemy, but that argument has obviously lost. Since we’re going to be pulling out, this kind of thing is going to happen. With all the serious harm this administration has done to our military and our foreign policy, there are a lot worse things to get outraged over than Marines in the field having to eat MREs.

    Reply
  2. Wyatt Earp Post author

    Robert B. – I know, right?

    AndyN – And the sad part is we effectively lost that war. Simply leaving like every other nation that ever fought there.

    Reply
  3. Ingineer66

    Marines are tough and having to eat MRE’s will not kill them, but Leatherneck is one of the biggest Marine Bases in Afghanistan. If we can’t feed them there then what is happening at all the other Forward Operating Bases and Combat Outposts?

    Reply
  4. realwest

    I have to say that I truly wish we weren’t turning Afghanistan BACK over to the Bad Guys. But politics aside, as a combat vet (11Bravo – Infantry) of Vietnam, this line GRABBED ME the most:

    “Psychologically, midrats is probably the most important of all the meals because that’s the big social time — where first (shift) crew is coming off and second (shift) crew is coming on,” Maxwell said.”That’s where you get the esprit de corps, the camaraderie. It’s not just the food you’re taking away, it’s their social sustenance.”

    And that is dangerous – MORE DANGEROUS BY FAR – to those few Marines and Soldiers who are stuck in that hellhole until Obama brings ‘em all home. Just ONE MORE reason why I can’t stand Obama and why I worry about those troops we have left over there.

    Reply
  5. AndyN

    I had to go re-read the article, because I’m really baffled by the outrage. NBC found a Marine pilot and the wife of a Navy pilot, so in effect two Naval officers (and that’s assuming that Babette Maxwell… wife of a Navy pilot isn’t the wife of the Marine pilot initially quoted, because this is NBC reporting the facts to us), who are complaining that the chow hall in a combat zone is cutting back from serving 4 hot meals a day to serving 3 hot meals a day.

    I’d be interested to hear what the critics of this move would prefer as an alternative to sending home support personnel first when troop strength is drawn down. How few combat troops do we need to get down to before it’s acceptable to say the remaining troops don’t need to have non-combatants serving them hot chow four times a day? And how likely do you think it is that if a junior enlisted man or civilian contractor emailed his wife complaining that he’s stuck cooking and serving 4 meals a day to an increasingly empty chow hall in an increasingly dangerous country, that NBC would think we needed to hear about it?

    Reply
  6. Daniel Fuller

    When I was in the Corps, midrats was my favorite meal. To this day, I still do midrats, all my friends tease me about it. I’m sure these Marines are pissed. They deserve better.

    Reply
  7. Jon Brooks

    I have been waiting for my anger to tone down before I comment on this article, before I get another…”Not going to have that talk here”…comment from Wyatt. Which are usually justified mind you.

    Well….okay still not calmed enough….So I’ll do a precrime precomment on myself…”Not going to have talk like that here Jon.” And it would have pertained to Obama and Hagel.

    Reply
  8. Jim from Hatboro

    This is even worse than the Royal Navy abolishing grog rations in 1970. To this day the Brits call the day grog was banned “Black Tot Day.” At least the Brits had the common sense to increase the beer ration for all ranks by a can a day to help smooth the waters, so to speak.

    Reply

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