Army’s new dining policy hurting some small businesses

Posted on 15/06/2011


Randell York – The Daily Burlesque 15/06/2011

Baghdad, Iraq – With the upcoming deadline for the complete withdrawal of all US Military forces from Iraq rapidly approaching, small businesses reliant on the Military Base economies are seeing firsthand what happens when the US begins to cut expenditures. “I used to be able to go the dfac ( Dining Facility) and get two containers of food and as many drinks as I could fit in my pants” said Brahlad Bisswas, an Indian laborer for 77 Construction, “but now with the new policy, we are only allowed 1 container and 2 drinks. This has greatly affected my business here on base”. The business Brahlad and many other Third Country Nationals (TCNs) are engaged in is a common practice at many of the US bases in Iraq and Afganistan, officially they are not allowed to operate, but many TCN’s working on the bases have found that  American soft-drinks like Rip-it’s and the high quality lobster tails and steak served in the dining facilities have a high resale value with their colleagues that are not entitled to access the Military’s facilities for security reasons. “I used to make $20 to $30 a meal before the new policy” said Noshi Hashi, an Egyptian electrician with EMTA, “but now I have to get all my friends to form a shield around me so I can get the Rip-its without the army people seeing me, just to make $5.” Both the Army and the Air Force declined to comment on the new policy, but Chris Johnson, a bus driver for KBR, was quick to condemn the resale market “I’m so sick of hearing these guys bitch about the new policy, they get paid $500 or $600 a month already, what the hell do they need sell a couple sodas for?”

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