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1.6.13

Misplaced Outrage: Marines lose a hot meal!




Recently a decision made by the Marine Corps involving hot meals for the Marines stationed at Camp Leatherneck set off a firestorm of controversy from the left and right. Many Marines stationed at Camp Leatherneck and their families back in the U.S. are angry at this change and rightfully so. 

"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... Instead, we will target the biggest contributor to morale. I must be losing my mind. What is our senior leadership thinking? I just got back from flying my ass off and in a few days, I will not have a meal to replenish me after being away for over 9 hours.” Said one Camp Leatherneck based Marine in an email shared to NBC News, he chose to stay off the record.

Many conservatives are trying to pin all the blame on President Obama and even liberals appear up in arms over these changes, but before one goes placing blame where it may not belong lets take a look at the facts.

As of June 1, 2013 some Marines at Camp leatherneck will be forced to skip breakfast while others would have to go without a hot meal. This is been done as part of the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan. Later this year around 30,000 U.S. troops in total will leave Afghanistan and returned home as the U.S. hands over security responsibilities to the Afghan government.

Starting June 1, 2013 the Marines will go from four daily meals to just three and later this year to just two meals. Many think that this is some evil plan to present Obama to starve or in adequately feed our Marines. This is not the case this a the decision that was made by the Marine Corps as part of their way of dealing with the shrinking number of troops stationed at Camp leatherneck currently and the ever shrinking number over the next several months.
According to the Marine Corps each meal that Marines lose as a result of the drawdown will be replaced by a prepackaged meal ready-to-eat also known as an MRE.

“Any time a dining hall meal is eliminated it will be replaced from a plentiful stock of MREs (Meals Ready to Eat — or any one of several creative acronyms our Marines have come up with.)” Marine Corps Lt. Col. Cliff Gilmore said.
So for those who want to make a political issue where there is none this may be the story for you.

The Marine Corps Lt. Col. Cliff Gilmore also said in an e-mail to NBC News that this is about the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan and he does not mention that this had anything to do with the sequestration law that went into effect earlier this year.

“The fact is our force in Afghanistan is shrinking fast and all the creature comforts and services deployed military-members have grown accustomed to over the past decade are going to be reduced" Gilmore wrote in his email to NBC News.

So really the only way that this could in anyway be the fault of the President of the United States would be to blame him for the drawdown in the first place. Thus, leaving our troops in harm's way well after their mission has been accomplished. It is not likely that the American people will support much longer of our young men and women of our military being killed in almost monthly attacks by the same group of people they are training to defend themselves.

Now the question should be not how can we blame the president but why did the Marine Corps make the choice to drawdown the way they did. According to Gilmore the Marine Corps needed to start phasing out the people responsible for what they call the midnight rations service.

The "midrats," as they are also known, provide breakfast to Marines who work the midnight to noon shift and a meal to those returning from the noon to midnight shift. These same people are also responsible for the 24-hour sandwich bar that will apparently go away on June 1 as well. This is due to the fact that these people need to be out before the mass exodus of our troops from the base.

The outrage at this is completely understandable and justified. Unfortunately, this is how the Marine Corps chose to deal with this, not necessarily the president of the United States, who I am sure is aware of the decision the Marine Corps have made and should suggest they find another solution. The truth is the Marine Corps could have chose another path for the drawdown that possibly would not of been as much of a drag on morale as taking away a hot meal, a hot meal that in fact for many Marines is the only hot meal they get in a day.

A group of concerned military wives and family members have started a drive to send non-perishable food items to the Marines and other Armed forces on bases including Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan. If you're concerned about the health and nutrition of the food that will be left for our troops during the drawdown these wives and family members have also set up a Facebook page to send these food items to the troops. If you can, please help these people get food better than MRE's to our troops. Also, call your congressman and even write the President to push for a better solution. Our Marines are known for their toughness and their unwavering support in protecting our freedoms, they deserve better.

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