I've spent the last week on a short-term recruiting gig, visiting high school classes in several cities in the western half of North Carolina, from classy Smoky Mountain resort cities to economically hopeless Appalachian towns. The full-time recruiters I worked with said that they look at a high school class with the knowledge that about 70% are already disqualified for various reasons, and of those who aren't, only about a third will get a qualifying score on the ASVAB. With that in mind, it was heartbreaking to hear teachers so enthusiastic for their students to enlist, admitting to us privately that the military was the only path they could see for their students to make anything of themselves. "Half these kids think they're going to college," one of them confided in me. "Nine out of ten of those will drop out in their first year." Interacting with high-schoolers these days isn't exactly an encouraging experience.