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Megan Turak and Luis Trevino, Military Family Network
PITTSBURGH, PA - February 5, 2013 - Nutritionists will tell you that the most important meal of the day is breakfast.
First Lady Michelle Obama seconds that opinion as she crusades for healthier eating through Let's Move!, "a comprehensive initiative dedicated to solving the problem of obesity within a generation so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams."
Let's Move! includes "creating a healthy start for children" as one of the five pillars to this initiative. A good breakfast keeps an individual energized and alert as they start out a hard day at school or work."
Now that FOB installations in Afghanistan are starting to wind down, a good hot breakfast is precisely what is missing from many of the troops' daily routine. And from all reports, MRE's just aren't cutting it.
A Soldier, serving in Afghanistan, was asked by a service officer what he had for breakfast. He replied, "Sir, they stopped serving breakfast a month a ago."
The service officer continued, "I know…what do you think about that?" and the Solider replied, "Sir, I'd give up every other meal of the day for a hot breakfast!"
If breakfast is important for all of us, doesn't it just make sense that it would be that much more important for men and women serving in combat?
This same service officer commented that American Forces News (AFN) offers a segment, "In Memory Of," where they honor service members recently Fallen. As three names were recently presented, he was outraged: "Soldiers are out here dying and they can't even get a hot breakfast?!"
We know that America's military has the capability to achieve results beyond our imagination. Please don't tell us that an MRE for breakfast is the best we can deliver to a well-deserved fighting force protecting our freedoms. While we know that our nation's Soldiers are well trained, disciplined and can readily sustain discomforts in the field, is this necessary? Surely a better fiscal and logistical decision can be made.
Oatmeal from the USO is a start and we thank them for it (uso-supports-fob-sharana-troops); but as taxpayers, Americans are due an explanation about why a nonprofit can do what the Defense Department will not.