There is a constant push-pull (hatred?) in our military, especially in the Army and Marine Corps, between the guys whipping it on outside the wire and the guys inside the wire sitting on these huge Forward Operating Bases (FOBs). It is the one thing we Marines and soldiers can agree on. We hate Fobbits. In the case of this story, you're hearing from a "Fobbit" (Urban Dictionary: fobbit) as we call them. The disparity amongst experiences by servicemembers is astounding. Probably more so in these wars than any other in US history.
Below I will lay out the differences for you:
Lodging: At most a two man tent or fighting hole
Sleeping arrangements: In a sleeping bag on dirt or rolled sleeping pad
Food: MRE's and sometimes tray rations
Schedule: Dependent upon the enemy. Usually a 4 hour perimeter watch, a 6-8 hour patrol, and a 4 hour assignment to Quick Reaction Force in case the patrol that is out gets into contact.
Off time: Does not apply. Usually spent cleaning weapons/the patrol base or improving security measures around the base. Normally they will get 1 hour a week to call home on a satellite phone.
Lodging: Usually a converted 2 man packing container with A/C and heater complete with wifi and cable
Sleeping arrangements: Mattress with sheets and a blanket. Possibly a cot.
Food: Even with the reduction of meals, 3 meals a day in a buffet style setting. Think Golden Corral
Schedule: Usually 8-12 hour shifts including 1 hour of physical training and 2, 1 hour meal periods.
Off time: You name it. Internet cafe, coffee shops, game rooms, fast food, bazaar's, movie theaters, video game centers, outdoor pools, huge fitness centers (think Gold's Gym), R/C car tracks, barber shops/hair stylists, masseuses, etc, etc
I totally understand the role that "Fobbits" play. They support guys like me that are outside the wire fighting the good fight. I'm not discounting their jobs. I'm discounting the fact that they live the way they live and then have the audacity to complain about it when something changes. This is not a generalization. Many, many times on my short stays aboard one of these massive wastes of money, I have heard the phrases such as "Aww man they're out of ice cream" "I can't believe we're having parmesan chicken again" "They're showing Avengers again?" "Internet's been down for like 4 hours!". Next time you want to thank a servicemember for his service, remember not all service is created equal. The best example I can give is the difference a cop in Beverly Hills has and a cop in Compton has. Yeah, they're both cops. No, their service is not equal.
The drawdown diet: Marines steamed by loss of hot meal at Afghanistan base - World News
Each one has an A/C and heater, bed, wifi, cable, electricity, etc
Each one has worms, mud, and comes with 3 hours of hard labor to make. Oh joy!
Daily grilling aboard FOB Leatherneck
Cornbeefed hash Tray Rations.