Judging by the havoc MREs wreak on service members from beginning to end, you might guess that the military doesn’t give a shit about soldiers’ bowels. And you would be right. That means it falls on your humble Task & Purpose reporter to investigate the long-held myth that the gum in MREs will help you either release the floodgates or stop up the sewage, if you will, depending on what color it is.
“[The] red one is laxative, and white one is anti-diarrheal,” on Rally Point user post suggests. “So soldiers in the field can control and plan their bowel movements according to a [sic] mission needs.”
“I can say without hesitation that it is only a myth,” wrote David Accetta, an Army veteran and chief of public affairs at Natick. “Any ideas about that being the purpose of the gum are completely incorrect.”
In reality, the gum serves a much more straightforward, if boring, purpose: keeping service members’ teeth clean.
According to Accetta, the gum “protects your teeth, which is especially important if you do not have the opportunity to brush your teeth after every meal.”
And that is often the case in the field.
He added that the 2004 Joint Services Operational Ration Forum chose to put xylitol gum in the MRE packages. It went into production in 2005 and is still given to service members to prevent stank breath today. Previously, the gum was just a sugar-based chewable. But chewing xylitol gum daily can result in a 30% to 85% reduction in tooth decay, which is important, because we all know that bad dental health means the terrorists win.
So… if the service admits to keeping military members’ choppers clean with their MRE gum, isn’t there really a chance that they might imbue it with some Roto-Rooter qualities, too?
No dice, Accetta said. “I was in the Army for 25 years before I started to work here, and am a Veteran of Desert Storm, OIF I, II-III, and OEF VIII,” he wrote.
“I can tell you with absolute certainty that the gum does not have those effects, was never designed to impact or affect your bowels, and does not control regularity.”
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Karl Munson pilots a 26-foot boat while Petty Officer 2nd Class Gabriel Diaz keeps an eye on a boarding team who is inspecting a 79-foot shrimp boat in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of New Orleans, La., on April 27, 2005
Radio transmissions to the U.S. Coast Guard are usually calls for help from boaters, but one captain got on the radio recently just to say thanks to the men and women who are currently working without pay.
DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Saturday to receive the remains of four Americans killed in a suicide bombing in northern Syria.
Trump, locked in a battle with congressional Democrats that has led to a nearly month-long partial government shutdown, announced his trip via a pre-dawn tweet, saying he was going "to be with the families of 4 very special people who lost their lives in service to our Country!"
Former President George W. Bush is calling for an end to the partial government shutdown, which is about to hit the one-month mark and is currently the longest shutdown in US history.
In an appeal made on Instagram, the 43rd president called on "leaders on both sides to put politics aside, come together, and end this shutdown." The caption was posted with an image of him and former First Lady Laura Bush giving pizza to their Secret Service detail.