The Siuslaw news. (Florence, Lane County, Or.) 1960-current, July 18, 2018, WEDNESDAY EDITION, Page 7A, Image 7

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Siuslaw News
Community Voices
Military Heritage Chronicles —
Cal Applebee
Special to Siuslaw News
e’ve covered a broad range
of topics over the years in
the Chronicles, and I thought
we’d touch on food fed to our
troops over the years. After all,
I am a distant relative of the
Applebee restaurant franchise
— but as we say in my side of
the family, “We know them, but
they don’t know us.”
This topic really covers the en-
tire alphabet with something for
every palate — richness, bland-
ness, sweetness and salty.
Starting with the Civil War,
when field kitchens on the bat-
tle fields couldn’t keep up with
the task of feeding troops due
to complex logistics, the govern-
ment attempted to feed soldiers
with salt pork and hardtack — a
stale biscuit — as an early at-
tempt at individual rations.
While both the North and the
South attempted to follow ra-
tions guidelines, with the field
kitchens not keeping up and
rations somewhat problematic,
soldiers often had to in-fill when
they could from local resources
or the occasional food box from
home. However, the lessons
learned would benefit those
serving in World War I.
After the hardtack experience
in the Civil War days, in the pre-
WWI years, the government
began developing different ra-
tion levels for different needs.
Between 1907 and 1937, those
evolved as “Iron Ration” for sol-
diers in the field, consisting of
combination of cakes, chocolate
and salt/pepper.
The “Trench Ration” devel-
oped specifically for the dough-
boys serving overseas consisted
of canned meats. It was devel-
oped primarily in response to
field kitchen meals being spoiled
by the gas attacks.
The end of WWI saw the de-
velopment of “Reserve Ration,”
utilized up to 1937. Its con-
tents were expanded to include
canned meat, coffee, sugar, salt
and bacon. Oh, and hardtack
was back as well.
In the years leading up to
WWII, attempts to improve the
rations included substituting
pork and beans and chocolate.
At one point, there were five
variations: A-ration or Garrison
Ration, B-ration or Field Ration,
C-ration or Individual Ration,
K-ration as another Individual
Ration, and D-ration or Emer-
gency Ration. Each had various
combinations of contents.
Some rations were produced
with whatever meat and produce
that could be obtained locally, so
product contents could vary.
In post-WWII years, the
C-Ration would continue to
Food for Thought
evolve as the “Meal Combat, In-
dividual” (MCI), and after 1983,
the “Meal, Ready to Eat” (MRE)
that we still have today. In addi-
tion, A- and B-rations are still in
Pentagon officials eventu-
ally realized that the nutrition
needs of the modern soldier
went beyond serving an across-
the-board balanced meal in the
field. Armed forces serving in
various regions, combat situa-
tions and missions received dif-
ferent meal ingredients, hope-
fully lighter in weight as combat
soldiers carried increasingly
heavier loads in the field.
The “Long Range Patrol,” or
LRP Ration, evolved in the mid-
1960s, with a water-proof can-
vas pouch. In the mid-1970s,
the dehydrated meal in a plastic
pouch began to evolve, first see-
ing service in 1981.
The MRE has become the
mainstay since then, incorpo-
rating modern dietary needs.
Although designed for military
use, the MRE has also been
distributed in times of disaster
for civilian consumption. And
despite a warning statement on
the carton “commercial resale
is unlawful,” I have seen MREs
on the shelf at surplus stores,
and in fact, have a carton in my
“prepper supplies” acquired at a
garage sale some years back —
although I haven’t tried any yet!
MREs have not evolved with-
out some controversy — partic-
ularly as to what the abbrevia-
tion actually stands for.
Some variations include
“Meals Rejected by Everyone,”
“Meals Rarely Edible” and “Meals
Ready to Exit,” among those that
can be printed in the press.
Any discussion about food
for our troops would be incom-
plete without mentioning two
entrées — SPAM, and M&M’s.
Both used extensively in WWII,
they not only served our troops
well and survived, but went on
to serve our society with dis-
tinction to this day.
Introduced in 1937 by Hor-
mel Foods, SPiced hAM was
used in B-rations and, by 1944,
90 percent of Hormel’s supply
was going to the military. By
April 1945, 100 million pounds
of SPAM had been shipped
abroad. Even though I am not
a Veteran, I have eaten my fair
share of SPAM and it too is in
our prepper supplies.
The early Mars Candy Com-
pany introduced M&M’s in
1941 and it was issued as part of
the C-ration during WWII, as
the hard sugar coating prevent-
ed them from melting in the
hotter climates. Returning sol-
diers kept the taste for the sweat
treat. In 1948, they changed
from the original tube contain-
er issued to the military to the
bags we see today.
I hope this has given you a
taste of what our soldiers over
the decades have had to con-
sume. And if not, maybe we’ll
schedule a SPAM-fest at the Or-
egon Coast Military Museum in
the future!
You can learn more about mil-
itary heritage by visiting www.
com or stopping in at 2145 King-
wood St. in Florence.
Us TOO Florence —
Behind the headlines
Bob Horney
Special to Siuslaw News
2888 Munsel Lake Road
Saturday & Sunday July 21st & 22nd 9:00-4:00
n June 23, I spent about six
hours attending a webi-
nar conference from Kirkland,
Wash., presented by Us TOO In-
ternational. The conference was
titled, “Prostate Cancer Pathways
for Patients and Caregivers.”
Since it was presented as a we-
binar, I could attend it from the
comfort of my home in Florence,
which I did.
Presenters included Dr. Jon-
athan Wright, Medical Director
of the UWMC Urology Clinic
and UW associate professor of
Urology; Dr. Brian Lawenda, Ra-
diation oncologist at Northwest
Cancer Clinic and 21st Century
Oncology; Dr. Cobie Whitten,
at Providence Regional Cancer
System; Katie Stoll, Executive Di-
rector at Genetic Support Foun-
dation; and Dr. Heather Cheng,
Director Prostate Cancer Genet-
ics Clinic.
One thing that was clear from
the get-go was that each pre-
senter was an established expert
in his/her field. Their presenta-
tions, with accompanying slides,
were of highest professionalism
and gave critical information for
prostate cancer patients and care-
givers. I was greatly impressed
with the level of information
brought by each presenter.
On the other hand, as the we-
binar concluded, I realized I had
a good basis for understanding
much of the material and infor-
mation that they covered. Why?
Chalk that up to having had
Urologist Dr. Bryan Mehlhaff,
Prostate Cancer Specialist at Or-
egon Urology Institute (OUI),
attending our Us TOO Florence
meetings since 2004. In addition,
his years with us have been sup-
plemented by a combined 8 years
with Urologists Dr. Doug Hoff
and Dr. Roger McKimmy at our
lunch meetings.
But, Mehlhaff is the key to all
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the information we receive, just
as he is the key to keeping every-
one at OUI on the front line with
prostate cancer care.
By attending the webinar and
listening to those prostate can-
cer experts share their expertise
on varied aspects of the disease,
I came away with an increased
appreciation of the expert level of
information we receive right here
in Florence — and that it is avail-
able twice a month. All it takes is
showing up at Ichiban Restaurant
the second Tuesday of the month
from 5 to 7 p.m. with Mehlhaff or
the third Tuesday from noon to 1
p.m. with McKimmy and his PA,
Cameron Derbyshire.
The doctors’ reasons for join-
ing us are to keep us current with
the latest in diagnosis/treatment
of prostate cancer and to answer
all the questions that we have.
I can assure you that there are
very few meetings where we ar-
en’t advised of something new
that is working its way through
clinical trials or hasalready re-
ceived FDA approval and is being
used somewhere in the U.S.
The men and women who
meet regularly with the urol-
ogists have had a chance to
keep up with dramatic chang-
es in prostate cancer care, from
screening to diagnosis and treat-
ment. These changes are coming
from many different directions
as our researchers are pulling
out all the stops in their search
for better screening instruments,
more definitive diagnostic tools
and effective treatments for the
Serious attention is being
directed toward a new screen-
ing instrument (IsoPSA) that
appears to provide more pros-
tate-cancer-specific information
than the current PSA test.
“To be clinically useful, a bio-
marker must be both tissue-spe-
cific and cancer-specific. While
PSA is prostate-specific, it is not
specific for prostate cancer, lead-
ing to diagnostic inaccuracy and
too many unneeded biopsies,”
said Dr. Klein, chair of Cleveland
Clinic’s Glickman Urological &
Kidney Institute. “IsoPSA fulfills
both the tissue- and cancer-spec-
ificity needed for a useful bio-
marker, and this validation study
shows that it can more accurately
detect high-grade cancer and re-
duce the rate of unneeded biop-
sies in patients at low risk of this
Knowing the above study
validated the results of an earli-
er study is a good step forward.
However, I’ve read enough ques-
tions and concerns from promi-
nent urologists to know IsoPSA
isn’t a “slam dunk.” At this point,
I sense that there are more ques-
tions than answers about its use.
I look forward to future Us TOO
Florence meetings with Mehlhaff
to see how it all plays out.