Some servicemembers are having a tough time swallowing the idea of MREs as a collectible, luxury item.
“I’d pay someone to take them off of me,” said Airman 1st Class Aaron Stauffer, of the 603rd Air Control Squadron at Aviano Air Base in Italy.
Stauffer and friends laughed off the idea of seeking out the prepackaged meals, and were even more surprised at the idea that someone might be making a profit off them.
Sailors at the U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa had the same reaction.
“I wouldn’t eat them if I didn’t have to,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Kathryn Newbill, a corpsman there. “I can’t believe people actually want them.”
Newbill said while deployed for six months last year she ate MREs twice a day, and that’s more than she would like to remember. The pork chop meal was particularly “disgusting.”
Petty Officer 3rd Class Orlando Atencia, another corpsman at the hospital, said he has eaten enough to figure out ways to make the meals bearable. Mixing the cheese pouches with any pasta dish makes a good meal, he said, and adding Tabasco and salt makes it even better.
Still, he can’t imagine a GI or former servicemember going online and seeking out the MREs.
“It’s got to be civilians who are curious about these things,” he said. “For us in the military who go out to the field and eat these, they aren’t our favorite things.”
Still, at least one servicemember wasn’t surprised by the online sales.
“Everything’s on eBay,” said Airman 1st Class Sean Yates of the 603rd ACS. “If they want some bad food, then go for it.”