YOUR OPINION: Letters to the editor

By NEMS Daily Journal

Young adult health linked to national security issues
As we remember the many sacrifices of our military this Veterans Day, we should also consider the upcoming generation and what our nation can do to help ensure our long-term national security.
More than 300 retired generals and admirals like myself are concerned that one in four young adults currently is too overweight to join the military and that weight problems have become the top medical reason why young adults cannot enlist. In Mississippi alone, 154,000 18-to-25 year olds were obese or over weight in 2010.
While no single action will resolve the obesity issue, a comprehensive overhaul of school nutrition and fitness programs is an excellent place to start.
New lunch and breakfast nutrition standards have gone into effect this fall, and soon the USDA will update standards for snack foods – critically important steps in improving the health of our children.
These standards are helping parents reinforce healthier eating habits with their kids and deserve our full support; in a recent California poll, parents (91 percent) and students (82 percent) overwhelmingly support the changes to school nutrition standards. U.S. Rep. Alan Nunelee can also help by supporting efforts in Congress to provide schools with resources for the equipment and training that cafeteria workers need to make healthier foods more appealing to kids.
On this Veterans Day, all Americans should first thank a veteran, and then resolve to help our children eat healthier and get more exercise. It’s not just a health issue. It’s a matter of national security.
Richard B. Myers
General, US Air Force (Retired)
Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Arlington, Va.

Why the delay in naming
an Okolona school board?

Parents, former parents and former students of Okolona School District, we are at a loss for words behind the mystery as to why there has not been a school board appointed, so they can appoint and/or hire a superintendent.
The State Board of Education has done good for this district in Okolona in Chickasaw County through strict adherence to state guidelines for putting this district back on track to becoming one of the best school districts in the state.
The citizens, parents and taxpayers have a right to know why they cannot get an opinion or statement from the elected officials of the city of Okolona. Time and time again, when we as citizens of a very unique town in Chickasaw County get the opportunity to excel and/or do what’s right, our elected leadership balks. Whenever the opportunity presents itself to propel our town and community at large to do things, for example, we received a grant and did good by paving streets, and bought new trucks and cars for the city. We as citizens also renovated the monument and made the cemetery look better. Why will the boardl not appoint a school board so the board can appoint or hire a superintendent to move forward educating our children.
Education is the basis of all progress throughout every society. Dissemination of information is the duty of elected officials. Parents and citizens at large want to know what is the next move.
It’s time to set an example. Okolona has always been the mecca of African American culture from rural to small town, junior college, athletics, music, manufacturers and farmers. It’s time to let educators run the school system. It was returned to the city on May 18, 2012; however, the city has not made a move to take advantage of the work the state has done.
The people who helped get us where we are now are needed somewhere else in the state. Okolona School District has been reconstituted as of May 18, 2012.
Nathaniel Cunningham
East Chickasaw County Concerned Citizens

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