Bringing the Text to Life

G-Rations Exodus 16:2-15


The Marines are trying to spice up their battle grub. Is it time to take another look at our G-rations?

At a Glance

Every soldier since the beginning of time has complained about his or her field rations, whether it's C-Rations, MREs, Long Range Patrol Meals (LRPs) or manna and quail. Good soldiers learn to add a little spice and remember that it's all about the mission.

Editors' Pick

For material based on today's gospel text, see "God Will Be God," September 22, 1996, at

About 150 years ago, at the mid-point of the

American Civil War, an aspiring poet from a Union regiment sent a little piece of doggerel to a newspaper as a humorous way of describing life in the army. Among the verses was this one about his daily field rations:

The soldier's fare is very rough,
The bread is hard, the beef is tough;
If they can stand it, it will be,
Through love of God, a mystery.

At that time, the army marched rather uneasily on its stomach with rations consisting of thick hard crackers called hardtack (which troops only half-jokingly considered to be hard enough to stop a bullet),...

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