Lowering standards to save lives

Our military is stretched beyond its means in two wars and several peacekeeping missions. There just aren’t enough troops to go around, and the only way the military can fill the gaps is by lowering their standards of entry.As counterintuitive as it may seem, this is a great thing for thousands of young men and women who would otherwise not have a second chance.The military used to be filled with the smartest, toughest and strongest, and it is being transformed into a rehabilitation center filled with the unhealthy, corrupt and academically inadequate youth of America. According to CBS News, the number of incoming soldiers with prior felony arrests or convictions has more than tripled in the past five years.You may think that you would rather not have the one line of defense between you and a terrorist threat be a heroin dealer, but you might just be wrong.The military thinks that a criminal record is not a big deal – they understand people make mistakes and even go so far as to grant “moral waivers.” Throughout their military career, the criminal record of the recruits is never disclosed to the commanding officers.This allows individuals a clean slate. If you’ve committed arson or robbed someone, the military still trusts you with a fully automatic rifle. These desperate tactics are seen by many as chaos waiting to happen, but they are seen as a saving grace by many others.The dangers of allowing criminals into combat are outweighed by the promise of a good soldier.If someone is willing to put their life at stake for their country, they are clearly willing to try and change.Corporal Angelo Vaccaro was awarded a waiver and his record was swiped clean by the military. He then proved his heroism after he was killed rescuing two wounded soldiers.When given a second chance, some even go beyond expectations and become the valiant warriors that we imagine them to be.Through this boot camp rehabilitation, the military teaches the nation’s delinquents not only to protect other people, but to save themselves from their self-destructive tendencies. Last Wednesday was Veterans Day, a day when we honor the sacrifices and accomplishments of past soldiers.