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    Default Fast food chains booted from war zone

    By John Yang, NBC News Correspondent

    KABUL -- At coalition military bases in Afghanistan, Burger King and Dairy Queen have been deposed, Pizza Hut is being shuttered and T.G.I. Friday's has run out of time.

    The military won't be renewing the concession contracts for those fast food operators and others, according to Army Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Hall, commanding Gen. Stanley McChrystal's top enlisted advisor.

    "This is a war zone -- not an amusement park," Hall wrote in his blog.

    It's not that the military is worried about the troops' waistlines or cholesterol levels, they're worried about resources -- the water and power those facilities use and flight and convoy space it takes to ship in those Whopper, Blizzards and Jack Daniel's barbecue sauce.

    "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 are in the fight each day need [to be] resupplied with ammunition, food and water," Hall wrote. "Closing these facilities will free up much-needed storage facilities at both Bagram and Kandahar, space which is critical as 30,000 additional American and up to 7,000 international troops flow into Afghanistan over the next several months."

    There will also be fewer canned and bottled goods, first-run movie showings and non-USO entertainment.

    War is hell.

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    You have got to be kidding me. Yes, War is Hell. It sucks being away from your loved ones for 12-18 months. Being able to walk (in the 130 degree heat) to the Burger King, Subway or Baskin Robbins was often time the only recreation available. These companies do pay quite a concessionaire fee in order to provide their services on bases. Especially places like Bagram and Kandahar that have multiple flights daily into them, it isn't that much of a strain on resources. I can understand some of the outlying FOBs that require multiple day convoys to be escorted through potentially dangerous areas. But even then, that's just an extra White Truck in the convoy.

    We already pay inflated prices on these service to help cover this expense. I remember a Whopper meal would cost $7 or $8 and you'd get less fries than in the US and a locally procured Coke (i.e. in Arabic, not from the US). And these places use a small portion of resources to operated anyhow.

    For God's sake, leave some of the minor recreational things we have left over there. Especially for those trapped on these bases for the entire deployment without a chance to go on leave or and morale trips.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zzyyzx View Post
    You have got to be kidding me. Yes, War is Hell. It sucks being away from your loved ones for 12-18 months. Being able to walk (in the 130 degree heat) to the Burger King, Subway or Baskin Robbins was often time the only recreation available. These companies do pay quite a concessionaire fee in order to provide their services on bases. Especially places like Bagram and Kandahar that have multiple flights daily into them, it isn't that much of a strain on resources. I can understand some of the outlying FOBs that require multiple day convoys to be escorted through potentially dangerous areas. But even then, that's just an extra White Truck in the convoy.

    We already pay inflated prices on these service to help cover this expense. I remember a Whopper meal would cost $7 or $8 and you'd get less fries than in the US and a locally procured Coke (i.e. in Arabic, not from the US). And these places use a small portion of resources to operated anyhow.

    For God's sake, leave some of the minor recreational things we have left over there. Especially for those trapped on these bases for the entire deployment without a chance to go on leave or and morale trips.
    Maybe the leadership decided the troops need bullets more than burgers or ice cream. I know which one I'd want if given the choice.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    Well, granted it's been about two years since I was over there, but there was no shortage on anything really. We had hundreds of thousands of rounds of small arms munitions at our Ammo Supply Point. Green convoys carried all the "war stuff" and white convoys carried the water, food and "non-essentials" like AAFES stuff. Unless they've fixed the system (doubtful), there were hundreds of tractor trucks and even more trailers just standing by waiting to drive. And the Bangladeshi drivers just waiting to drive. Depending on their contracts, most didn't get paid unless they were actually driving. Necessities always took priority over the MWR stuff, and there were days we couldn't get stuff because convoys were tied up or delayed.

    Oh well, neither here nor there. I'm such a small cog in the wheel it really doesn't matter what I think. I just know how boring and demoralizing sitting out there with nothing around can be, that it's really a shame to take away some of the stuff that makes the place bearable.

    The one thing I wonder that isn't clear from the article... which of the concessionaires are they shutting down? There are some AAFES owned knock off places on base too and I wonder if it doesn't have to do with eliminating competition for them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zzyyzx
    You have got to be kidding me. Yes, War is Hell. It sucks being away from your loved ones for 12-18 months. Being able to walk (in the 130 degree heat) to the Burger King, Subway or Baskin Robbins was often time the only recreation available. These companies do pay quite a concessionaire fee in order to provide their services on bases. Especially places like Bagram and Kandahar that have multiple flights daily into them, it isn't that much of a strain on resources. I can understand some of the outlying FOBs that require multiple day convoys to be escorted through potentially dangerous areas. But even then, that's just an extra White Truck in the convoy.

    We already pay inflated prices on these service to help cover this expense. I remember a Whopper meal would cost $7 or $8 and you'd get less fries than in the US and a locally procured Coke (i.e. in Arabic, not from the US). And these places use a small portion of resources to operated anyhow.

    For God's sake, leave some of the minor recreational things we have left over there. Especially for those trapped on these bases for the entire deployment without a chance to go on leave or and morale trips.
    First off, the troops shouldn't be paying a dime for grub of any flavor. Secondly, if BK wants our troops to enjoy the Whopper, then how about them sending 20 tons of frozen patties on the next food supply plane, with instructions on how to "flame broil" them. For FREE!!!

    If you want recreation, play tag with some camel spiders.
    I'm the one Fire and Rescue calls, when they need to be Rescued.

    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF
    "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."

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    I recall during my 2 1/2 years in Germany it was often nice to get a little bit of home once in a while. All the bullets in the world aren't any good of there is poor morale. No sense in making the unnecessary stays in these other countries intolerable. Give them the comforts of home.

    This administration has no shortage of money; So Spend Baby Spend!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by FIREMECH1 View Post
    First off, the troops shouldn't be paying a dime for grub of any flavor. Secondly, if BK wants our troops to enjoy the Whopper, then how about them sending 20 tons of frozen patties on the next food supply plane, with instructions on how to "flame broil" them. For FREE!!!

    If you want recreation, play tag with some camel spiders.
    Actually, the mess hall provides all the food you want. If you want to eat outside the mess hall then you pay. No different in the states, if you want to go out to dinner then you pay the bill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FIREMECH1 View Post
    First off, the troops shouldn't be paying a dime for grub of any flavor. Secondly, if BK wants our troops to enjoy the Whopper, then how about them sending 20 tons of frozen patties on the next food supply plane, with instructions on how to "flame broil" them. For FREE!!!

    If you want recreation, play tag with some camel spiders.
    I am guessing that there are two things about you:

    1) you've never done time in the armed services; and

    2) even if you have done time in the armed services, you've never been overseas, where a "touch of home" no matter what flavourit comes in.

    I respect your thoughts, however, until you've been with boots on the ground like that, I must respectfully disagree with you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MalahatTwo7
    I am guessing that there are two things about you:

    1) you've never done time in the armed services; and

    2) even if you have done time in the armed services, you've never been overseas, where a "touch of home" no matter what flavourit comes in.

    I respect your thoughts, however, until you've been with boots on the ground like that, I must respectfully disagree with you.
    Sorry, but will all due respect, you're wrong on both counts. I served 13 years in the Marine Corps with the 32nd MAU, and then 22nd MEU from 1979 to 1992. I've been in more hot/cold countries than most people have been in States in their own Country.

    FM1
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    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF
    "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    Actually, the mess hall provides all the food you want. If you want to eat outside the mess hall then you pay. No different in the states, if you want to go out to dinner then you pay the bill.
    I remember when in 1984,the first McDonalds ever to open on any base at Great Lakes Naval Training Center in Illinois went into business.
    Attendence at the mess hall dropped like a rock because everyone was going to the Mickie D's.They had to post guards at the doors to make sure that when one person left,one person was able to get in.Even the officers were there.
    (Trust me,that "great Navy chow" they advertise isn't always what it's cracked up to be.The MSs have bad days too or you get worked late and some 3rd Class forgets to give a "complete" list of the guys who need chow saved for them for when they do get done turning to.)
    Of course the snipe school students had to be marched to the messhall because some kid wrote his Mom that the Navy wasn't feeding him.She got their congresscritter involved so we had to march to the base mess hall while everyone else was getting in line for "real food".
    But,why shouldn't the troops in harm's way not be able to get the same creature comforts that the Stateside or even European-or Asian-deployed troops get?
    The risk of getting shot at daily and getting shot at daily is hardship enough.There should be more waiting for you at the end of a patrol than sitting around looking at the same guys every dang day eating the same MREs and bottled water until you want to go nuts just so you can see different people.
    Last edited by doughesson; 04-06-2010 at 02:22 PM.

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    Some folks have the attitude that "Nothing is too good for our boys and girls serving overseas,so fu** 'em.Give them nothing."
    That's one reason I shipped in the Navy.We take our bunks and mess tables into combat with us.My previous post notwithstanding,in the destroyer I served in,you knew that at 0600,1200 and 1700 there was going to be hot chow served just as soon as you could get to it.We'd have our choice of entree's,desserts,milk,bug juice or sodas and even got to go back through after the line thinned out and it was assumed that everyone had had their chance for a first pass down the line.
    Not every foot soldier has that luxury.
    To those who think that the military has too many creature comforts that should wait to be enjoyed until after a unit rotates home,may I remind you of a fireground position called "Rehab"?There were a few times when I'd eat better on my department's dime during training,on fire or wreck calls than I would when I was at home after my "real job".
    They're away from home,and either risking getting shot at daily or getting shot at daily or stuck off where they don't get the same tv stations that we do.Let them have whatever touchstones they can get.It means more than you'd ever know unless you'd been in that position.

    Quote Originally Posted by zzyyzx View Post
    You have got to be kidding me. Yes, War is Hell. It sucks being away from your loved ones for 12-18 months. Being able to walk (in the 130 degree heat) to the Burger King, Subway or Baskin Robbins was often time the only recreation available. .......
    For God's sake, leave some of the minor recreational things we have left over there. Especially for those trapped on these bases for the entire deployment without a chance to go on leave or and morale trips.

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    I don't believe anyone wants to take away a touch of home from military personnel. And I empathize with the necessity of maintaining morale.

    But the reality is that wars cost money. Lots of money. The commanders in the field have to choose on how to spend those dollars wisely. It seems that in this case they have chosen to commit those resources to shipping bullets and equipment instead of fast food treats.

    I'm not the one in that position having to make that choice. I'll trust that commanders are attempting to make the right decision that best protects and equips those in the field.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    Quote Originally Posted by doughesson View Post
    I remember when in 1984,the first McDonalds ever to open on any base at Great Lakes Naval Training Center in Illinois went into business.
    Attendence at the mess hall dropped like a rock because everyone was going to the Mickie D's.They had to post guards at the doors to make sure that when one person left,one person was able to get in.Even the officers were there.
    (Trust me,that "great Navy chow" they advertise isn't always what it's cracked up to be.The MSs have bad days too or you get worked late and some 3rd Class forgets to give a "complete" list of the guys who need chow saved for them for when they do get done turning to.)
    Of course the snipe school students had to be marched to the messhall because some kid wrote his Mom that the Navy wasn't feeding him.She got their congresscritter involved so we had to march to the base mess hall while everyone else was getting in line for "real food".
    But,why shouldn't the troops in harm's way not be able to get the same creature comforts that the Stateside or even European-or Asian-deployed troops get?
    The risk of getting shot at daily and getting shot at daily is hardship enough.There should be more waiting for you at the end of a patrol than sitting around looking at the same guys every dang day eating the same MREs and bottled water until you want to go nuts just so you can see different people.
    I recall taking the 1 hour trip to Nuremberg just to go to McDonalds. Al though the menu was in German and they served beer in paper cups. It was still worth it. Maybe instead of wasting so much money on a crappy health care bill that will raise cost we could have bought some burgers instead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    I recall taking the 1 hour trip to Nuremberg just to go to McDonalds. Al though the menu was in German and they served beer in paper cups. It was still worth it. Maybe instead of wasting so much money on a crappy health care bill that will raise cost we could have bought some burgers instead.
    Thank God they sell beer at Chuck E.Cheese's.Of course,the down side is someone will get plastered, mess things up and get thrown out. "Don't you EVER come back to Chuckies!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by doughesson View Post
    Thank God they sell beer at Chuck E.Cheese's.Of course,the down side is someone will get plastered, mess things up and get thrown out. "Don't you EVER come back to Chuckies!"
    I'm still trying to figure out what the downside is to being banned from Chuckies....
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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    My first tour in Iraq was 03-04 and I'm finishing up my second right now. You can not believe the change in living conditions that has occurred in the last 5-6 years. We tell the guys on their first rotation what we had and they think we're lying to them.

    I can understand eliminating these services in Afghanistan for just the reasons that the article listed. They are currently doing a surge similar to the one that occurred in Iraq. As a result they are running out of room to put troops, supplies and equipment. I appreciate a touch of home as well, more I like change of something different. The chow hall puts out good food and they really try but after a while it's all just the same old thing.

    It may seem like just one more white truck in the convoy but it's more than that. There are requirements to how many security vehicles you have to have per package vehicles. You have to operate within that ratio. That one white truck might be needed to carry water, food or parts that the troops need more than a Whopper.

    The fast food over here is overpriced and not like back home. The people who cry the loudest are the fobbits. For the more experienced personnel, think REMF. Same thing, just more PC.
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    Regarding Chuck E. Cheese. When I was stationed out east a few of us were going to the movies and bought our tickets and had time to kill so we went to the Chuck E. Cheese a couple doors down.

    I got carded as soon as I walked in the door! I asked the doorman "How about all those little bastards running around?". He said it was "different". I wasn't planning on drinking when I went in but after that I had to on principle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57
    I recall during my 2 1/2 years in Germany it was often nice to get a little bit of home once in a while. All the bullets in the world aren't any good of there is poor morale. No sense in making the unnecessary stays in these other countries intolerable. Give them the comforts of home.
    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57
    Actually, the mess hall provides all the food you want. If you want to eat outside the mess hall then you pay. No different in the states, if you want to go out to dinner then you pay the bill.
    That's all fine and dandy when you're on a NATO base. I wasn't referring to that.
    But in a combat theater, I don't see any reason for any fast food place opening a joint up, and charging the troops for some "home" type meal or atmosphere.

    I'm an old school hard core Marine. I was happy when they brought the gamma goats in with a hot meal, compared to eating the C-Rats or MRE's.

    FM1
    I'm the one Fire and Rescue calls, when they need to be Rescued.

    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF
    "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusKspn View Post
    I'm still trying to figure out what the downside is to being banned from Chuckies....
    Like Rodney Carrington,I want to know just what WOULD get you banned from Chuckie's?
    How bad does it have to be?

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    Like I said,I served in a destroyer where we took our mess tables,bunks and SITE tv system into battle with us.That was a pretty easy life.
    We didn't get Mickie D's or Booger King anytime we wanted but you could always coat your slider with Thousand Island dressing or wait for the next Steel Beach picnic to have a flame broiled burger your way.
    I wasn't talking about a trademarked trailer rolling up during a mission out in the boonies and start distracting the guys from the job at hand.I was talking about back where their gear was:in the rear.They have to rotate troops in and out to allow them time to reload their webgear and get some rest from the stress while another platoon patrols the AO,don't they?That would be a nice time to have it your way,while you weren't walking down the street with your platoon looking for trouble and hoping to H that you didn't find it.


    Quote Originally Posted by FIREMECH1 View Post
    That's all fine and dandy when you're on a NATO base. I wasn't referring to that.
    But in a combat theater, I don't see any reason for any fast food place opening a joint up, and charging the troops for some "home" type meal or atmosphere.

    I'm an old school hard core Marine. I was happy when they brought the gamma goats in with a hot meal, compared to eating the C-Rats or MRE's.

    FM1

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    Quote Originally Posted by doughesson
    Like I said,I served in a destroyer where we took our mess tables,bunks and SITE tv system into battle with us.That was a pretty easy life.
    I've got about 4 1/2yrs worth of boat time. And the food on each (USS Constellation, USS Guam, etc) have been marvelous. Not so good on the sub though.

    But I do appreciate the rides and experience.

    FM1

    (Sorry for the digression, and hi-jack)
    I'm the one Fire and Rescue calls, when they need to be Rescued.

    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF
    "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."

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    Since the beginning of time the REMFs take care of themselves first with the comforts of home" and whatever doesn't fall off a truck gets up to the grunts at the pointy end of the spear.

    Go to it Sgt Mgr. T rats breakfast/dinner and MRE lunch for everyone above Bn level. If you want to whine go join the AF.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FIREMECH1 View Post
    First off, the troops shouldn't be paying a dime for grub of any flavor. Secondly, if BK wants our troops to enjoy the Whopper, then how about them sending 20 tons of frozen patties on the next food supply plane, with instructions on how to "flame broil" them. For FREE!!!

    If you want recreation, play tag with some camel spiders.
    Dude....I just spit coffee on my keyboard....

    I totally agree! First of all, these "comforts of home" are in areas where the POGs and REMFs are, most of which are in vital support roles, but who also never leave the wire or have to spend weeks sitting in an OP on the side of some hill somewhere.....these places already have plenty of "comforts of home". I was truly disgusted by what I seen at Al-Asad Airbase when I rotated through there......I thought I was back at 29 Palms....they live the life of Reilly there. For us Grunts.....we stayed out in the middle of no where, COP Living! No heat/AC, no running water, barley and electricity, filled more sandbags each day, reinforced the gun positions, stung more triple strand C-Wire.....and the only delivery we had was via Rockets, mortars, and Small Arms. Not a single one of us could care less if these POGs lost their BK Broilers, Whoppers, friggin...Ice Cream....We wanted more ammo!

    Besides, its a great move, way to many people where coming home 10+lbs overweight from eatting like kings. The DFACs are more than enough for these folks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FIREMECH1 View Post
    I'm an old school hard core Marine. I was happy when they brought the gamma goats in with a hot meal, compared to eating the C-Rats or MRE's.

    FM1
    Again, Roger that! 1 hot meal really upped motivation....and couple it with mail call and the Marines always got happy!

    Best chow I had in Iraq was some local grub made by the local police chief's family. Lamb, hopis, rice, something that looked and tasted like a chicken, a tomato base slop, dates, and baclava......damn that was good!
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    Quote Originally Posted by VinnieB
    I thought I was back at 29 Palms....
    Just for you VinnieB.....

    WHERE THE HELL IS 29 PALMS ???

    FM1
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    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF
    "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."

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