World War II Veteran looks at the differences in soldier meals - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

World War II Veteran looks at the differences in soldier meals

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By Michael Slother - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - As Veterans Day approaches we remember the brave men and women who serve our country. Sunday a World War II veteran showed us how meals in the military have changed over the decades.

Frank Hudson is a volunteer at the Silent Wings Museum. He was a G.I. in the Pacific during World War II. He showed us what his meal kit contained during his service and compared the differences in what soldiers have today.  

The ration kits came in small boxes and there was one for each meal of the day. Boxes contain food and other necessities.

"Here's a packet of sweet chocolate you could mix that in your canteen cup with water," Frank continued to go through the kit. "A roll of napkins, or sometimes toilet paper."

Back then, the kits actually contained cigarettes and matches. Every case had 3 cigarettes inside.

"And then the famous canned goods," Frank laughed as he looked at the can of pork and beans. "Nobody really loved the pork and beans," he said.

In order to warm the food, the cans had to be placed over a fire. First, the can had to be punctured to allow for steam to let out. He recalls one time when a fellow soldier forgot. "It exploded and we were all covered with pork and beans. That didn't go too well."

Frank showed us everything in the kit before the museum's education coordinator Lisa Howe opened up a kit with the grub today's soldiers eat. What a difference half a century makes.

The kit is com slightly larger, but contains more items. This particular meal was a vegetarian burger with barbeque sauce. It also contained a chocolate banana nut muffin and potato sticks. "You get all kinds of stuff," Howe said.

Interestingly enough, the kit contained a heating sleeve. Adding water and waiting 15 minutes warmed the food, so instead of cold pork and beans from a can, soldiers can enjoy a warm meal.

Frank wasn't sure what to think of the newer kits. He didn't taste the burger, but Howe has had them before. "They're not mom's home cooking, but they're not bad. I wouldn't want to eat them day after day."

Veteran's Day is Friday and there are several events planned at the Silent Wings Museum. You can view a full schedule here.

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