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Letter: Rethink the age of enlistment, too

An Air Force honor guard enters a high

An Air Force honor guard enters a high school gymnasium during a promotional event in Thornton, Colo., in May 2017. Credit: Alamy Stock Photo/Ted Small / Alamy Stock Photo

I think it’s great that the federal government might raise the age to buy tobacco products [“Senators want to raise smoking age to 21,” News, May 21]. If you can’t drink before you’re 21, it makes sense that you shouldn’t be smoking before that age, either, because of health concerns.

What I don’t understand is why a 17-year-old can enlist in the armed forces with parental consent (18 without). If your brain’s decision-making function doesn’t fully develop until a few years after that, then how does the enlistment age make any sense?

Your news story on tobacco quotes Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) as saying, “We are coming together to side with young people’s health.” Well, then they should be coming together and raise the age for enlistment to 21.

Dina S. Abdelkader,



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