American units stationed in Europe, and sent to Iraq and Afghanistan,
used to get a big ceremony and party when they returned from the combat zone.
The parties have been cancelled. Cost was given as a factor, as each party cost
about $250,000 (for food, entertainment, and large tents.) The U.S. Army is
cutting back on just about everything in order to pay for combat operations.
Turns out that most of the troops don't miss the party. That's because there
was a large ceremony as part of it, and that meant the troops had to
spend hours practicing their marching skills (which had grown rusty while in
Iraq). One thing the troops really dislike is practicing for these ceremonies.
A close second is actually participating in the ceremonies. It's much more
relaxing to have hotdogs and beer at home. The troops did get a day off to
"celebrate" their return, and this was much appreciated, as was the absence of