DESOTO COUNTY, MS (abc24.com) - Too fat to serve your country? It's a growing problem according to a Mississippi Marine, who says most high school students aren't fit enough to join the military.
Chief Warrant Officer Tyrone Hall is making it his mission to change the eating and exercise habits of young Mississippians, that includes recruiting support from all over DeSoto County.
"As an educator, it's my job to teach them better," Hall says. For the past two years, he's been working to build a $140,000 obstacle course where his cadets can train, "To get them interested in getting moving, staying healthy and engaged in physical activity."
Students in Horn Lake's ROTC program do some type of physical challenge every day. The new obstacle course would give them another option.
Pull-ups, sit-ups and push-ups are regular drills, but students want to do more.
"The course has high walls, ropes, basically it's all about overcoming your fears and knowing you can do it," says junior Nikki Yeager. "Motivating yourself and people around you."
The course will teach students to overcome obstacles. Hall's already had to overcome plenty to find the money for it. "We've applied for grants. We've gotten money from corporations, support from individual donations, the school district, Desoto's Board of Supervisors," he says.
"This whole obstacle course is about team work," adds supervisor Lee Caldwell. "We've been a team already in building it."
After grants and donations, Hall says they're still short about $20-$40,000, but he hopes the end is in sight.
"This is a two year project. There's finally traction. In typical Marine fashion we just keep moving forward, keep leaning forward."
If you'd like to donate, visit www.hornlakemcjrotc.org