COMBAT OUTPOST RANKEL, Afghanistan -- The Marines with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, and their Afghan counterparts did not have to search out their favorite Meals, Ready-to-Eat, Aug. 19.
That’s because the meals-on-wheels convoy showed up and cooked them a hot meal at Combat Outpost Rankel in Garmsir, Afghanistan.
The Marines with the Meals-on-Wheels traveled four hours to deliver a well-deserved hot meal to the 3/1 Marines and the Afghan National Army soldiers in the fight. The convoy, comprised of all volunteers from Regimental Combat Team 7, traveled to various unit positions throughout Helmand province providing hot meals to service members "outside the wire" who typically eat packaged, dehydrated meals from their MREs. Scoring a packet of peanut butter or candy, or coming across their favorite MRE is the most satisfaction they usually get from their twice-a-day meals.
The meals-on-wheels Marines cooked and served steak, chicken, hotdogs, hamburgers and ice-cold beverages.
"This is a great morale booster for all the Marines, sailors and soldiers out here," said Lance Cpl. Matt Wilson, a team leader with Weapons Platoon, Lima Company, 3/1. "Especially for the (Marines and Afghan soldiers) who have been with us throughout the whole push down here, because it gives us a break from MREs."
Normally the Marines search out their favorite two MREs to ensure they get the food they want for the day. Once the Marines with 3/1 saw the meals-on-wheels convoy roll in, they were not even thinking about MREs anymore, as the sounds and scents of burgers, hot dogs and steaks grilling captured their imagination.
"It is a good day when meals-on-wheels comes out and provides us with a hot steak and cold Coke," said Wilson, 25, from Greenwood, Ind.
Lance Cpl. Gary Mishoe, a Marine with meals-on-wheels, said this is his 15th time coming out and serving a hot meal to Marines in southern Afghanistan, and he gets the same result every time — extremely grateful Marines.
"I think it is great that we get to come out here and recognize all the Marines down here," said Mishoe, a motor transport operator for RCT-7. "This is a way we can give them a break from their everyday lives down here. It gives them something to look forward to when we come out here."
When meals-on-wheels comes out it gives everyone a chance to sit down and enjoy a home-cooked meal and relax, Mishoe said.
"We appreciate the Marines with meals-on-wheels coming down here and recognizing us, by providing us with a good meal," said Wilson. "It means a lot to us out here."
The Marines and ANA soldiers were very grateful for the food they received from meals-on-wheels. They understand the risk these Marines took driving down on dangerous roads to provide them with a meal to remember.
"I think this is a great thing, and we should do this more often for the Marines who are in the fight non-stop every day," Mishoe said. "They deserve this."