SOME of Australia's front-line troops in Afghanistan are well fed but many others continue to lose body weight as they struggle for calories.Nutrition is a challenge for the task force and doctors at the Tarin Kowt hospital have expressed serious concerns about malnutrition among troops spending weeks outside the wire. Some Diggers have lost 15kg in a month.
I am pleased to say that I did a small amount to combat this problem last week by sending four boxes packed with lollies to one of the Operational Mentor and Liaison Teams, or OMLTs. That's nearly 8 kilos of Minties, Snakes, Licorice, Fruit Sours and other assorted sweet things that won't melt in the heat or crumble during transport.
Nilk came up with the marvelous idea of sending this particular OMLT a "group hug". There are about a dozen members of the team that we decided to "hug", so it was easy to work out that if we sent four boxes each (including Kae), every Digger would get a box.
I decided to concentrate on one thing - lollies - because by packing and sending four boxes at once, there should be enough volume and variety to keep everyone happy and well fed. Sharing one big packet of Minties between 12 doesn't go far - but four packs of Minties will.
The biggest challenge during this operation was hiding several shopping bags of lollies from the kids!