photo: churl via Flickr

Whenever we have heard the wingers talking about the ‘troops’ we are automatically warned that what is to follow will be resoundingly supportive.   Money and equipment, the forces defending us should all have the best.   Kevlar of all sorts is about to come.

The assumption is that as long as they’re in action keeping us safe we will do it all for the uniformed forces.  Trouble only brews for those troops when it comes to supporting them after they have served, may be wounded, and have lives to live.   That was an assumption used to vote for funds in congress, anyway.

In today’s world of despoiling the economy to get the wingers voted into office, that just isn’t the going frame of reference.   The area of neglect that’s affecting the troops strongly at present is the basic education that the country needs to provide if we are to produce viable troops in the first place.

Nearly a quarter of all students who try to join the U.S. Army can’t pass the entrance exam, a new study says.

The study, “Shut Out of the Military: Today’s High School Education Doesn’t Mean You’re Ready for Today’s Army,” puts the blame on America’s educational system.


“In every state in America, the military turns away remarkably high percentages of applicants who, despite their high school diplomas, lack the reading, math, science and problem-solving skills needed to serve in the armed forces,” the study says.

However, while many blame the educational system, nutrition studies are also showing that the ability to think is affected by childhood nutrition as well.  Studies conducted on children threatened with malnutrition that were conducted in several areas have shown direct relationships between inadequate nutrition and educational abilities.  . . .

In the longest follow-up (e.g., Guatemala) through adolescence, supplementation effects were evident across a wide variety of tests termed psychoeducational reflecting skills in such domains as reading, numeracy and other achievement-related areas.


…it may be helpful to summarize the conclusions from the previous discussion:
1. There is evidence to support nutritional effects on behavior independent of social and environmental factors.

Provably, the increasing inability of needy families to provide food is affecting their children’s abilities.   As a nation, we cannot afford to neglect the one in seven now forced to utilize food stamps to have enough to eat.

When our armed forces are turning away applicants who are willing but not able, even the right wing should begin to understand that we are undermining the basics of a security system for the nation.   If our kids are suffering, we are betraying our needs as a society in many ways.

That we can’t even provide troops for defense is a huge indictment of the concept that the needy can be disregarded and left to struggle along somehow.    By ‘eat the poor; law of the jungle’  behavior we are undermining our national abilities and our future.

Ruth Calvo

Ruth Calvo

I've blogged at The Seminal for about two years, was at cabdrollery for around three. I live in N.TX., worked for Sen.Yarborough of TX after graduation from Wellesley, went on to receive award in playwriting, served on MD Arts Council after award, then managed a few campaigns in MD and served as assistant to a member of the MD House for several years, have worked in legal offices and written for magazines, now am retired but addicted to politics, and join gladly in promoting liberals and liberal policies.