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.”
Task & Purpose photo
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.”
Army Staff Sgt. Albert Leon Mampre, who served during World War II with the famed Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division depicted in the HBO series 'Band of Brothers,' was laid to rest on June 15th, the Army announced
Mampre, who died on May 31 at 97 years old, was the last living medic from Easy Company, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. A number of soldiers assigned to his unit provided an honor guard for his funeral service.
NIEUWEGEIN, Netherlands (Reuters) - Three Russians and a Ukrainian will face murder charges for the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine which killed 298 people, in a trial to start in the Netherlands next March, an investigation team said on Wednesday.
The suspects are likely to be tried in absentia, however, as the Netherlands has said Russia has not cooperated with the investigation and is not expected to hand anyone over.
"These suspects are seen to have played an important role in the death of 298 innocent civilians", said Dutch Chief Prosecutor Fred Westerbeke.
"Although they did not push the button themselves, we suspect them of close cooperation to get the (missile launcher) where it was, with the aim to shoot down an airplane."
A Navy SEAL sentenced to one year in prison for the death of Army Special Forces Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar is under investigation for allegedly flirting with Melgar's widow while using a false name and trying to persuade her that he and another SEAL accused of killing her husband were "really good guys," according to the Washington Post.
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — The trial of Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher officially kicked off on Tuesday with the completion of jury selection, opening statements, and witness testimony indicating that drinking alcohol on the front lines of Mosul, Iraq in 2017 seemed to be a common occurrence for members of SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon.
Government prosecutors characterized Gallagher as a knife-wielding murderer who not only killed a wounded ISIS fighter but shot indiscriminately at innocent civilians, while the defense argued that those allegations were falsehoods spread by Gallagher's angry subordinates, with attorney Tim Parlatore telling the jury that "this trial is not about murder. It's about mutiny."