The state that talks the loudest, most blustery, and the toughest is usually Texas.
They are strongly anti-government and are always talking about taking up arms against anything they perceive as the government’s attempt to invade the state.
They opposed Ebola, apparently a government plan to subdue Texas through disease.
They just knew that Jade Helm, the military‘s use of desert environments to train troops for deployment in desert wars, was an excuse to take over the state and declare martial law.
They just knew empty Walmarts were going to be used as staging areas to send Texans to FEMA camps in train cars that were actually intended and have been used to move automobiles by rail, and not people.
And they are constantly talking about seceding from the Union because the United States doesn’t treat the state in such a way as to show its respect for and fear of its might.
And they so love to express their love of the military and appearing to be the well spring of military people even though most of the service members stationed in Texas are from the other states they want to secede from.
People like this just have to be mean, lean fighting machines.
But then comes this.
A study has found that too many Texas youth are too fat and too frail to come to our nation’s defense if needed.
A group of retired military leaders called “Mission: Readiness” recently issued a report titled, “Too Fat, Frail, and Out of Breath to Fight”.
According to their report, which was completed in the fall of 2015, 73% of young adults in Texas cannot serve in the military because they are overweight and generally unhealthy.
The national average is 71%.
“In the event of a national emergency, if we have to mobilize millions of young people today, we would have a crisis on our hands because a lot of those young people are not fit to join the military service. Each year, it seems to get worse and worse in terms of overall readiness and fitness of our young people.
In World War II when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, we mobilized literally millions of young people to join the military. We needed to rapidly mobilize and grow our military and prepare them for war. If we had to do that today, we would find it much more difficult to find that population of young people who are physically fit to join.”
So said retired Army Brig. Gen. Joe E. Ramirez Jr., commandant of Texas A&M University’s Corps of Cadets and a member of Mission: Readiness.
Asthma among youth renders nearly 7% of young Texans ineligible for military service, and obesity and lack of exercise can contribute to asthma.
“A young person who grows up overweight or obese with unhealthy eating habits is subject to all kinds of ailments like asthma or diabetes and they injure much easier than others,” Ramirez said. “Those are the types of things that disqualify them from entering military service.”
Ramirez said the four military branches have different minimum physical requirements.
“There are subtle nuances,” he said. “For example, the Army will have a two-mile run for time but the Marine Corps has a three-mile run while the Air Force and the Navy have mile-and-a-half runs for time. What’s important is, every service has a minimal physical fitness requirement to join that service.”
Recruits who want to make it through boot camp and infantry training must also survive increasingly tough physical-fitness challenges.
Mission: Readiness has more than 550 retired generals, admirals and other senior retired leaders.
They suggest Texas cities and school districts build neighborhoods that encourage physical activity by including walking and biking trails, prioritize physical education in schools, and continue with healthier school meals.
But since these things have been part of Michelle Obama’s healthy living initiatives, this could be a hard sell to a place like Texas.
“We are advocating on a statewide level, on a legislative level, for better PE programs and healthy meals at schools, which was put in at a federal level in 2012, so 100 percent of Texas schools are serving healthy meals,” said Joseph McMahan, the Texas state director of Mission: Readiness. “We also advocate for safer roads and routes to encourage kids to walk and bike more.”
Only 13% of students were found to walk or bike to school, and only 30% of Texas teens get the recommended hour of daily physical activity.
“It’s a huge obstacle, not just in Texas but in other states as well,” McMahan said. “If you’re not an athlete and you’re not involved in sports, by the time you’re in seventh and eighth grade, you’re kind of done.”
McMahan also said,
“It took people many, many years to realize how terrible smoking is and that’s where we are with the subject of obesity. More people are familiar with it now. Luckily, sodas and other sugar drinks are out of the schools, but it also starts at home and getting the parents to realize that it has to start there. We are making headway, but it’s slow.”
“This is my fourth year here,” said 27-year Navy veteran Michael Morales, a senior Naval Science instructor at Socorro High School in El Paso. And as far as the physical training that the Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corp would do amounted to meeting with the gym classes and “they either sat in the bleachers or they played basketball or football. There was no cardiovascular, no 20-minute heart-rate-up workouts, or any of that stuff.”
Morales tries to convince his classes of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
“I told them that we have to do what I was taught to do in the Navy because although we are not recruiting for the military — and I don’t care if they join the military or not — I just want them to be healthy. I want them to see their grandkids one day. The problem is their iPhones, their iPads and TV. It’s all the games they play that takes them away from physical activity.”
The report concludes that Texas must provide children with healthy school meals and more opportunities for physical activity.
If you mess with Texas, that wheezing you hear approaching from behind may be the Alamo wannabes comin’ atcha.