Updated: Tuesday, 02 Oct 2012, 8:34 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 02 Oct 2012, 8:34 PM EDT
NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - The Surgeon General was at Naval Station Norfolk Tuesday to aid in the Navy's mission of improving the health and wellness of service members.
Surgeon General Regina Benjamin was abroad the USS Bataan to launch the Navy and Marine Corps' Health Promotion and Wellness Campaign, along with Deputy Surgeon General for the Navy Michael Mittleman.
"It became an imperative, and this is largely due to the changing dynamics and the demographics as more American families struggle to deal with chronic illnesses such as obesity and diabetes," Benjamin said.
The military will be educating young service members about the benefits of diet and exercise, as well as the risks associated with smoking and drinking.
"You've got to realize if you don't make good choices now... say I'm 25. Twenty to 30 years down the road, I'm going to have some health problems," Joshua Krauth said.
Abroad the USS Bataan, a number of sailors admit they still like to smoke.
"I would say probably about 15 to 20 percent maybe, 15 percent. When you get underway, you start seeing more smokers out there," James Barrier said.
The wellness campaign aims to make sailors and marines aware of alternative ways to cope with the stress of deployments and discourage unhealthy lifestyles.
"It has to start somewhere and we think the military, in particular the Marine Corps and the Navy, is set to do this," Mittleman said.
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