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Too Fat To Fight

Obese Woman
Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images


It seems like every time I turn on the radio or TV, or look online or at a newspaper, I see a story about how obesity is killing this country.


There was a story in the news just the other day about how Pentagon officials say because of the obesity problem, more than one-fourth of young people in this country aren’t fit to fight for their country.  One in four – how scary is that?


According to a study released from the Pentagon, too many 17 to 24 year old men and women couldn’t make it through basic training.  Nine million young Americans are simply too fat to fight.


Some military higher-ups even go as far as to say it’s to the point where junk food and childhood obesity have become a national security threat.    One retired Admiral is quoted as saying, “The military is trying to lead and manage an all volunteer force while 25% of the candidate pool is ineligible to serve.”


I should point out, I’m no “specimen of physical fitness,” but I’m also 50 years old.  And I can assure you when I was younger I KNOW I could have made it through boot camp.  Then again, I grew up on a farm and spent every summer throwing bales and cleaning out pig pens.


You wonder if maybe that’s part of the problem – no one does “chores” anymore; and I’m talking farm chores, not making your bed or filling the dishwasher.  Take a drive in the country and tell me how many kids you see stacking bales or working on the family farm.  Not very many.  Heck, not many kids in town even mow lawns anymore.


My Grandpa once told me where the country went wrong was inventing a tractor that put out more than 100 horse power.  His argument was with smaller equipment farmers wouldn’t be able to cover as much ground in a day, therefore resulting in more “family farms” and more “small towns.”  Maybe he was on to something.


Maybe we, as a society, have become so dependent on our gadgets and computer games – and big cities – we’ve forgotten what it’s like to put in a hard days work.  It seems like we’re always in search (myself included) of the easy way out – there’s got to be an app for that.  There’s an app for everything.


All I know is when “push comes to shove,” I sure hope this country still has what it takes.  We don’t dare put all our eggs in one basket by relying too heavily on machines and gadgetry.  I’m still of the belief, we also need “brawn and brains.”


God bless and watch over America and keep us safe!

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