ATLANTA — What started out as just an idea for one Georgia man is now a product on sale at large military bases across the country, and is even being considered for purchase by many US allies. Joe Paine invented “Or Something” to help military members prepare their MREs after hearing complaints from his son, a Marine who spent more than a year in Iraq.
“I called my dad after a field exercise,” said Pfc. Gary Paine. “I read the directions and couldn’t understand what the hell an ‘or something’ was.”
The elder Paine says, “My son told me about his fellow Marines having to hold their MREs while they cooked. That is no way to treat the defenders of freedom in this great country.”
“And it’s just flat out dangerous.”
Paine’s invention has caught the attention of major companies like Raytheon which recently snagged a $300 million dollar contract from the Defense Department to manufacture 200,000 units of ‘Or Somethings’. Replacement parts will be manufactured at 435 plants spread throughout the United States in order to create jobs in all 435 congressional districts.
Paine is proud of the responses he has received so far from the marines in his son’s unit.
“We like how easy this product is to use,” said Staff Sgt. Salvador Goodman. “It’s right at our ASVAB level.”
While Paine says skeptics exist, he has had to make countless sacrifices in the development and has never stopped believing in the product because he wants to help the troops.
“I'm not doing this for the money,” Paine says. “Though the dumptrucks full of cash don't hurt.”