You've heard it countless times before, in newspaper editorials and on Sunday morning TV talk shows: the poor and uneducated are over- represented in the U.S. miltary, and have suffered most of the casualties in Iraq. You might have also noticed that liberal pundits never offer any data to back up those assertions.
And there's a very good reason for the lack of supporting data. In reality, the demographics of today's military completely debunk their claims. Tim Kane of the Heritage Foundation has concluded a long study of U.S. military demography both before and after 9-11. His findings? The average education level and family income of military recruits actually increased after 9-11. He also discovered--contrary to the claims of the Congressional Black Caucus--that Africa-Americans are not disproportionately represented in the Armed Forces. According to Kane, the 100 three-digit zip codes with the highest concentration of blacks provided 14.1% of the military's recruits in 2003. That's roughly equal to the percentage of African-Americans in the general population (13%). Kane's research also reveals that the fastest-growing segment of military recruits came from areas with the highest family income levels.
Of course, liberal myths and urban legends die hard, and I"m sure Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY) will keep circulating the myth that the poor and uneducated are overly-represented in our nation's military. But the facts speak for themselves. Our military is without peer in terms of its equipment, training, the quality of its personnel, and the diversity they represent.