A Leading Cause of Rejection 28,5
we were then depending to make the worst of the en listed eye-defectives available for service at the front, normal vision without glasses might have been insured to all soldiers and sailors. This plan was not acted upon, and I now present it, with some modifications, to the public, in the hope that enough people will see its mili tary value to secure its adoption.
If we are to have universal military training, we shall find, as the nations of Europe have found, that it will be necessary to take measures to provide suitable material for such training. In Europe this necessity has resulted in extensive systems of child care, but in this book we are concerned only with the question of eyesight. In the first draft for the recent war, defective eyesight was the greatest single cause for rejection, while in later drafts it became one of three leading causes only because of an enormous lowering of an already low standard. Yet there is no impediment to the raising of an army which might be more easily removed. If we want our children to grow big enough to be soldiers, without losing most of their teeth and developing flat feet and crooked spines before they reach the military age, we shall have to make some arrangements, as every one of the advanced coun tries of Europe has done, for providing material as well as intellectual food in the schools. We shall have to employ school physicians on full time, and pay them enough to compensate men of eminence for the loss of private practice. We shall also have to see that the children are not sacrificed to the ignorance or poverty of their parents before they reach school age. But to preserve their eyesight it is only necessary to place Snellen test cards in every school classroom and see that the children read them every day. With this simple