INDIANAPOLIS, IN (CNN/WXIN) -- The country's obesity problem has been called a national security issue because many of today's young men and women are too fat to fight. One Indiana man wanted to serve in the military so much, he was inspired to lose more than 160 pounds.
Kevin Ammerman he wanted to be a Marine, but, at 350 pounds he was not fit to fight. He says, "So I wanted to be a Marine and they were like, 'you're too big.'"
Retired generals with the advocacy group "Mission Readiness" say Kevin's obesity and the junk food culture in America is a national security issue, especially when willing recruits can't meet minimum requirements. Sgt. Daniel Mecum says, "I've seen quite a few people wanting to enlist in the Army who are a little bit above our height and weight standards, yes."
But Kevin was way over the standards and vowed to drop the weight so he could fulfill his dream to serve. Starting out at what he says, "Three-hundred and fifty one. When you're that big it has an impact on your confidence. I would actually think I was bigger than I was. So my driver's license says I was 375 but I was 351."
Kevin lost more than 160 pounds and was accepted into the Army. He says has a long list of people to thank who helped him train, kick the fast food habit and focus on health. He says, "I had to have someone teach me what I was doing wrong."
Mecum says, "I think it's absolutely amazing what he's done. He's come a long way. He's an inspiration who wants to list in the armed forces and serve their country."
Ammerman adds, "I'm grateful to have made it this far and thanks to everyone who's helped me."
Ammerman made his weight just in time to slip in under the Army's age cut off of 34. He ships out later this month.