PTSD from an MRE?

My first time… eating an MRE

About 6 months ago I started a new position at my office and am blessed to work with a director that shares a similar management style as well as personality to mine. Every once in a while our conversations may stray from work related topics to (more often than not) talks about food. In a recent conversation I shared that I would be willing to try just about anything food-wise.

Needless to say his mind got to spinning and being a 2-time Iraq War Veteran his first inclination was to ask if I had eaten ane MRE (Meal Ready to Eat). He went on to explain various “meals”, Five Fingers of Death, Country Captain Chicken aka Triple C; I knew where this conversation was going. The gauntlet was thrown, I was going to eat an MRE.

A week or so later, Joe told me he had to go get something from his car… and then I saw it. A brown package simply labeled “Menu 8 Meatballs in Marinara Sauce”; obviously leaving much to be desired. The package weighed a ton; but I was told this was one of the “best” options from all the choices available.

It was interesting to learn that within the MRE there is a bag that you simply add water to, it heats up and then “cooks” your meal. Make sure not to overfill.

The trick to allowing the “cooking” to take place hands free, is to put the food bag back in the box and lean against something to keep it upright. But don’t be fooled, there are no enticing smells in this cooking process.


While my meal was cooking, I took the time to explore the other items and sides in this bag of tricks. Check out this little treasure trove; matches, toilet paper, seasoning, coffee. Chicklets that double as a diuretic what more could you ask for?





But for the main course– it’s “Wheat Snack Bread with our lukewarm Meatballs and Marinara. This bread is about the consistency of a pop tart and smells like yeast warmed over; i.e death.


At first bite, the bread was disgusting but the Meatballs and Marinara tasted like Chef Boyardee from a can. I thought to myself, “Okay, this is not soo bad”. Shortly thereafter, I was informed   I forgot one of the key ingredients– cheese; so I had to slap that on and go in for a second bite…

This step actually made it significantly more disgusting… please disregard everything you see below…

As previously stated, I am willing to try anything food-wise at least once. In this instance I will never need to try this nor any other flavor of MRE again. Joe tells me while in the field there are ways of “spicing” thing ups and that you become a really inventive chef– I will leave it to the pros! Thanks to Joe and all those serving in our military. The sacrifices you make and the work that you do, do not go unnoticed; my hats off to you!


**Sidenote: While the title of this post is PTSD from MRE, PTSD is no joking matter. If you or someone you know is suffering from PTSD, you are not alone, there are many resources available to you or your loved one. I have provided some links below:

Make the Connection:

National Center for PTSD:



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2 thoughts on “PTSD from an MRE?

  1. kozolcouture says:

    i bought some MRE’s from the army surplus store downtown and brought them to burning man….they weren’t that bad (rice and beans) and then I read how much sodium and calories they contained! haha. the ones I had looked different that what you showed in the pictured. Mine were probably from the 60’s

    miss you! love your blog ; )

  2. ptsdsucks says:

    As a vet, I can tell you…when you’re hungry…you’ll eat them and like them lol as far as the calories and sodium, they are designed to meet the caloric needs of a deployed soldier. The sodium helps replenish salts lost while sweating. If you were in tight situations, you stretched that MRE over an entire day (so you could pack lighter and still take in all the calories you need to keep going).

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