does any veteran really believe that sleep apnea is caused by being overweight when so many soldiers are diagnosed before leaving active duty
As a veteran and military retiree, yes I do believe weight along with many other lifestyle risk factors, such as diabetes, diet etc., can contribute to sleep apnea. This said, sleep apnea may well occur in individuals who have none of these risk factors. For example, as a other wise healthy person, I had an ischemic stroke in March of last year only to find out after the fact that I had severe, complex sleep apnea which very well may have precipitated the stroke.
In any event, if you are made aware that you may have symptoms of sleep apnea, get a sleep study soonest so as to avoid the wake up call I endured. I hope this helps.