Pizza’s the mainstay of the Military. When I was stationed at Fort Lewis, Domino’s set up shop just off post, in Tillicum. Tillicum was a run down strip of restaurants, a few cheapie car dealerships, and that kind of thing.
Domino’s would send their drivers over on Friday or Saturday night with boxes of Cheese pizzas, and they would walk to through the barracks: “Pizza for five bucks!” Sometimes it would be free. But, of course, taped the box was a set of coupons and the phone number so you would buy more pizzas.
In 2017, pizza will debuting in the Meals Ready to Eat (MRE): http://taskandpurpose.com/the-pizza-mre-is-finally-coming/
Soldiers always have a love-hate relationship with the MRE. An MRE is a “field ration”–a pouch of that you can stuff into your cargo pocket and eat out in the field. It doesn’t need to be cooked and it provided a hefty dose of calories (abut 1,200 a meal).
It also hasn’t always been good. Before Desert Storm, it seemed like no one thought much about making something soldiers liked. We had twelve meals to a box, and some of them were pretty awful. The frankfurters were known as the “four fingers of death,” and Omelet with Ham and Escalloped Potatoes had me scratching my head and wondering “What were people thinking?”
Desert Storm forced the military to rethink the MREs. I don’t think they thought originally much beyond soldiers having the meals for a week when a company went to the field. In Desert Storm, all of us had an MRE for lunch every day. But there were also places where we had it three meals a day. When I was at Log Base Alpha, the food at the mess hall was so bad that MREs were better. :>
We also were pretty creative with it. There was always a box of unwanted items like cheese or fruit, so we could mix what we wanted it. I always added cheese to everything if I could. I even was able to get hold of some nacho cheese potato chip dip and added that. One of the guys found some MRE bread, so some previously awful pork patty and beef patty hockey pucks became pretty decent sandwiches once rehydrated and heated.
After Desert Storm, the military started revising the MREs. They replaced all of them, and over time have added vegetarian meals and even ethnic ones. You can see here http://www.mreinfo.com/mres/mre-improvements/ some of the changes over time. Scroll to the bottom to see the changes to the ones I had.
Everyone always fought over the Spaghetti with Meatballs. If the pizza one is good, everyone will fight over that.
Since we are talking pizza, what’s your favorite? Mine is Mac and cheese. Yum!
And if you haven’t seen it, I posted some Frequently Asked Questions about my military service, which includes the medals and ribbons.
Filed under: Food, History, Military, Thoughts Tagged: Desert Storm, Domino’s, Fort Lewis, MRE, Pizza, Tillicum, Washington State