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Ready to eat: Scenes from a military meal

In combat, eating is often the only good thing about a day. When a soldier or Marine sits down to warm up his military ration, or MRE, he’s not being shot at, he’s not losing friends. It’s almost a ritual, and the very act of opening one of these packages suggests safety, however brief it may be.

To a lot of the troops from many nations that VII photographer Ashley Gilbertson has met, mealtimes are the only thing to look forward to — other, perhaps, than going home.

See the photos at VII Magazine.

Need to Know presents VII Magazine, a journalistic partnership with VII Photo, which gives readers unprecedented intimate access to the work of the world’s leading photojournalists. Every day, our partners at VII showcase a new photo, and each week, a new video or audio slideshow.

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  • John Sembrot

    Looks better than the food they feed my kids for lunch. By a factor of three for nutrition and fiber.

  • Liandryden

    The food they are having looks healthy. The food they are giving their troops in the third world country could really use these kind of food. Soldiers should be taken good care of since they are the ones protecting our country. They at least should be given a decent meal, something that they could look forward to. The government shouldn’t be so greedy. I care because my boyfriend is a soldier. (Shout out to you, Buddy! For those in long distance relationships like mine, visit for more information.)