Many Philadelphians unfit to serve in nation’s military

PHILADELPHIA. Obese, uneducated, saddled with a criminal-record. That’s no way to defend the country. So, future war heroes from Philadelphia could be few and far between, according to a new report.

Three retired Army generals, District Attorney Seth Williams and a local Tuskegee airman will appear with national advocacy group Mission: Readiness at an Armory press conference to release results of its “Unable to Service: Why Military Service is Out of Reach for Most Young Philadelphians” report. Their mission: Maintain that bolstering early-childhood education both at school and home is vital to national security.

Steve Doster, the group’s state director, will urge Harrisburg to retain the current funding levels for the Pre-K Counts program and on local representatives in D.C. to support the renewal of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

“Investments in early childhood have national security benefits. That’s why these quality early-learning programs that we’re advancing include parental components,” Doster said. “We’re not just focusing on the child. We’re focusing on the whole family.”

Noting the military seeks many characteristics in recruits that the business world looks for in new hires, Doster said the event was scheduled here because, “Unfortunately, Philadelphia is higher than average when it comes to crime, drop-outs and obesity, 80 to 90 percent.”

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