(KABUL, Afghanistan) — Marines are losing a daily hot meal due to the gradual U.S. troop drawdown in Afghanistan.
Last Saturday, Camp Leatherneck in southwestern Helmand Province cut back its food service from four to three meals by getting rid of “midrats,” which is either breakfast or dinner depending on whether a Marine is starting a midnight-to-noon shift or ending a noon-to-midnight shift.
The Pentagon says the reason for the cutback is because food workers are going home before the Marines who provide security in Afghanistan. It’s expected that a total of 30,000 U.S. service personnel will be heading home in the coming months with the plan to get most of the remaining 35,000 troops out of the country by sometime next year.
Yet, Marines aren’t too happy about getting shortchanged a meal everyday in spite of the prospects of finally ending the nation’s long commitment in Afghanistan. They can’t say anything publicly but their relatives are learning about their displeasure through letters back home.
Help may be on the way soon. A Facebook page called “Breakfast for Bagram” has been started to encourage Americans to make food donations to the Marines and others troops who could use a little sustenance from back home.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Michael Pearson, Faith Karimi and Ian Lee, CNN
Oren Liebermann, CNN