One of the worst parts about running missions on the roads here in Iraq [or anywhere for that matter] is trying to get a meal in when running 120K down the road with an AK in one had and a radio in the other. When you are driving, scanning for bad guys or working the radios, MTS, GPS and other gadgets on a 14 hour convoy you can hardly make a ham and cheese sandwich in your lap.
MRE’s are a bit of a pain to sort through while mobile in a car and between all the potholes and constant swerving most of it ends on your kit, hands and floor. You also have to eat them cold because using an MRE heater in a sealed armored truck will make you puke.
For the folks here who have eaten 5 cold MRE’s back to back, you know you are lucky to even gag half of one down. Even instant-eat food like canned meats and beef jerky [I swear I have eaten 100 pounds of Beef Jerky on Convoys and PSD missions] are hardly satisfying and not even remotely nutritious.
Plus having to hold your chow in one hand, a fork in another, napkins and a drink between your legs means your AK is lying on the floor and your eyes are on your lap. Not really a good thing when running down the road in one of the most dangerous countries in the world in a big ass bullet/VBIED/IED Sponge SUV with Iraqi Security Company stickers on the side.
Before a mission I usually make a few sandwiches and throw them in the truck. I have always thought that sandwiches were the perfect food – meat, grain, vegetables, sugar, salt – a square meal in the palm of your hand with no utensils required and only requires on hand. The problem is you can only pack a few sandwiches because after a day they turn rancid from lack of refrigeration or become nasty soggy.
So I did a little bit of Googling and found these Bridgford Ready to Eat Sandwiches that were made for the US Military’s “First Strike Ration” MRE.
They are sort of like an MRE version of a Hot Pocket for HSLD and on the move infantry types that does not require heating. All you do is tear open the package and eat.
The packages weigh 3.5-oz, 3.1-oz and 2.5-oz [depending on flavor], are about 9X5 [but you can fold them to 4 ½ X 4] and are a bit less than an Inch thick. I can easily put 3 in my LA Police Gear Operator Pants cargo pocket [2 would fit in the 5.11 pocket] but I usually stuff a couple in the admin pocket on my HSGI Warlord V-4 New Version.
The Bridgford Ready to Eat Sandwiches comes in a bunch of different flavors, Honey Barbecue Beef, Honey Barbecue Chicken, Pepperoni, Italian Style (Sausage, Pepperoni and Sauce) and Bacon Cheddar.
Out of all the different flavors Bacon Cheddar is my favorite [the bacon tastes just like fresh bacon] with Italian Style a close second. They are just a bit dry but not enough to really bother me.
These are great for anyone who needs to eat on the move or in a vehicle and still be able to have a free hand and the ability to concentrate on their environment, Convoy Escort and PSD contractors and Mil guys on the move will especially appreciate these. I also think they would be great for SAR personnel, Cops, EMS folks and hikers.
They will store for 3 years if kept around 80 degrees and 6 months if kept in an environment over 100 degrees. Each one packs about 300 calories depending on the flavor.
The only bad point is the price, at 4 bucks a piece if you eat allot of them like I do it can add up. But for a tasty meal for guys on the move Bridgford Ready to Eat Sandwiches are an excellent choice, I buy em by the case now.
Bridgford Ready to Eat Sandwiches
18.99 for a Five Pack
Bridgford Stay Fresh Sandwiches – Five Pack
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James G is a Veteran Civilian Contractor who has worked in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for way too long. He spends his off time in Indonesia and Virginia getting drunk, shooting guns, writing poorly written articles and eating cat Sandwiches.