Thursday, March 29, 2007

Perspective: And then there were nine -- one of the army's last draftees retires

Robert Rangel is hugged by his mother at his retirement ceremony

Chief Warrant Officer Rangel was one of just 10 draftees still in the Army when he retired Wednesday, according to Fort Bliss officials. It was unclear whether the other draftees have served as long as Rangel; the draft ended in 1973.

Rangel, of El Paso, said the prospect of being drafted was terrifying after watching numerous friends “coming home in coffins.”

But he opted to stay well beyond the required two-year hitch because “I started enjoying my job and the people I worked with.”

He’s been deployed to nine combat zones, from Vietnam to the Persian Gulf.

Read the rest at MSNBC