FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
With the U.S. fighting two wars and threats like a potentially nuclear-armed Iran on the horizon, there is a very scary truth that needs to be addressed.
Three-fourths of the young people between the ages of 17 and 24 are unfit for military service. It's a national disgrace.
There are a number of reasons for a lack of a sufficient pool of recruits for the military to draw from. These include factors like having a criminal record, not graduating from high school, or having health problems.
But the biggest reason is that a boatload of young people in this country are fat. In a report titled "Too Fat to Fight," a group of 130 retired military leaders says the top medical reason is young people are simply too heavy - and can't handle the physical requirements of being in the military.
One fourth of young Americans are just too fat to fight.
The report blames unhealthy food in school lunchrooms; and they're calling on Congress to pass a wide-ranging nutrition bill that would make school meals healthier. But the problem extends far beyond the school lunchroom.
We have become a sedentary society that doesn't exercise enough, spends way too much time in front of the TV or computer and exists on a diet of fast food and/or junk food. The price tag for that is sacrificing the future of the U.S. military.
The authors of this troubling report say all branches of the military now meet or exceed their recruitment requirements… but if these obesity trends don't change, they could wind up threatening our national security by the year 2030. That's less than 20 years away.
Here’s my question to you: What does it say about our country if three-fourths of our youth are unfit for military service?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Mark in Oklahoma writes:
You should see the HUGE 12 and 13-year-olds at the middle school I teach at. All they want to do is cuss, eat, slap each other's butts and be disrespectful. What a helluva generation we're raising because some idiot decided "discipline" was not needed in schools. Well, guess what? Kids have no discipline when it comes to sex, food, ethics or anything else. Thanks a lot Dr. Spock.
As an Army Recruiter, I can tell you first-hand that this is the truth. Between the physical issues (overweight, asthma etc), education issues (lack of high school degree, inability to pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery exam) and moral issues (criminal charges, drug use, etc.), we have a tough time finding qualified applicants. We are in trouble!
Quite simply, we need mandatory service for all citizens like any country under the constant threat of their adversaries. Our nation and society can't afford the liberty of inactivity.
Sgt Dave writes:
That's all right. The drill sergeants have got something to fix that. They are very happy to give the chubbiest ones some "extra help."
My experience in the military was that the rigorous physical training of Basic turned a kid (not unlike kids today) into a pretty fit fighting machine. And I had a lot of pride and respect for myself at what I had accomplished in a short time.
Don in Las Vegas writes:
I would have preferred for Pres. Obama to stop the wars himself, but this is ok too. Nature works in mysterious ways.
Michael in Washington writes:
Maybe if the military establishment would invent a weapon or devise a means of combat that included text messaging or tweeting, we'd have absolutely nothing to worry about. Or a better solution might be to encourage American fast food chains to open locations all over the world. Eventually every nation's potential soldiers would be unfit.