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After nearly 40 years in uniform, one of Army's last draftees says farewell at Redstone Arsenal
The Huntsville Times, via Al.com ^ | August 26, 2011 | Kenneth Kesner

Posted on 08/26/2011 6:50:04 PM PDT by Virginia Ridgerunner

It's a surprise, at first, how comfortable Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Mellinger and his boss, Gen. Ann Dunwoody, seem talking with each other in her office. But the respect between the soldiers is quickly obvious. And just as obvious is that the four-star leader of the Army Materiel Command is going to miss her top sergeant.

Mellinger was drafted into the Army on April 18, 1972, and is believed to be the Army's last continuously serving enlisted draftee. After nearly 40 years in uniform, he is retiring this year. In a Change of Responsibility ceremony this morning at AMC's new headquarters on Redstone Arsenal, he'll pass his duties on to another command sergeant major and say farewell.

"The Army goes rolling along. No matter how good you are - or think you are - nobody's indispensable, nobody's irreplaceable," said Mellinger.

(snip)

Mellinger was 19 and living in Eugene, Ore., hanging drywall for a living, when he got the "Greetings from the President of the United States" in 1972. There's a history of service in Mellinger's family - he's a member of Sons of the American Revolution - and there was no question about whether he would be inducted, despite the way the Vietnam War was roiling America.

"I've always been proud of being a draftee. I think I'm a good soldier," Mellinger said. "I haven't always done everything exactly right - as none of us have. But the notion that draftees are bad people because they got drafted is nonsense, and anybody that perpetuates that is ill informed and uninformed."

(Excerpt) Read more at blog.al.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; US: Alabama
KEYWORDS: army; draft; soldier
Helluva soldier!
1 posted on 08/26/2011 6:50:12 PM PDT by Virginia Ridgerunner
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

A great American. We owe him a debt that can never be repaid.


2 posted on 08/26/2011 6:54:20 PM PDT by 10thAmendmentGuy ("[Drug] crusaders cannot accept the fact that they are not God." -Thomas Sowell)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

Draft notices!!! Man, I got my draft notice in the mail at my mom’s house, 6 weeks AFTER I was already in basic training!!!! Somehow the draft board did not know that I had already joined up!!! :-)


3 posted on 08/26/2011 6:54:33 PM PDT by RetiredArmy (EVERY knee shall bow and EVERY mouth shall say: Jesus Christ IS LORD!!!!)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner
She knew Mellinger by reputation as a Ranger and "great NCO and leader" who was coming out of Iraq after 36 months with Gen. George Casey Jr. - and after surviving 27 blasts from Improvised Explosive Devices.

Just wow.

4 posted on 08/26/2011 6:54:53 PM PDT by Talisker (History will show the Illuminati won the ultimate Darwin Award.)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

>>But the notion that draftees are bad people because they got drafted is nonsense, and anybody that perpetuates that is ill informed and uninformed.”<

Are you listening Hollywood?


5 posted on 08/26/2011 6:56:54 PM PDT by max americana (FUBO NATION 2012 FK BARAK)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner
If CSM Mellinger is the one I'm thinking of (and I think he is), there was an article about him a few months ago where they'd calculated that the amount of time he's spent in free-fall from all of his parachute jumps is equal to almost six or seven weeks.

And being hit by 27 IED's!!! Good grief!

6 posted on 08/26/2011 7:01:58 PM PDT by Stonewall Jackson (Democrats: "You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.")
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To: Stonewall Jackson

Not quite a dull a life as pushing paper across a desk, eh?


7 posted on 08/26/2011 7:14:15 PM PDT by null and void (Day 945 of America's holiday from reality...)
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To: RetiredArmy

Just for laughs you should have had your Mom write back that you refuse to join because the US military wasn’t a professional enough organization for you and that joining the IDF would be a much better career choice. LOL! Then watch the draft board wax apoplectic!


8 posted on 08/26/2011 7:14:52 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

Thank you for your service!


9 posted on 08/26/2011 7:15:27 PM PDT by Huskrrrr
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

Well done Sgt. Major, well done!

There are very few men that I respect the moment I meet them but any Sgt. Major has my respect the moment they enter a room. Every organization in the world should have people like this.

Few Americans understand that our NCO’s are what truly make our military the best in the world.


10 posted on 08/26/2011 7:15:38 PM PDT by volunbeer (Keep the dope, we'll make the change in 2012!)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

Bravo Zulu


11 posted on 08/26/2011 7:40:25 PM PDT by NonValueAdded (So much stress was put on Bush's Fault that it finally let go, magnitude 6)
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To: NonValueAdded

I remember those days of the draft notice and how the govt eventually subjected young men in
college to the draft, no more college exemption, for the sake of fairness. My fellow male college students were none too happy.


12 posted on 08/26/2011 7:58:44 PM PDT by Ciexyz
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To: RetiredArmy

Draft... we don’t need no stiiinking draft

Joined at age 16, two deployments to Nam and out before I was twenty.

Two college degrees courtesy of my old Uncle Sam.

Go Navy


13 posted on 08/26/2011 8:13:08 PM PDT by wetgundog (" Extremism in the Defense of Liberty is no Vice")
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

Great story ! I am thinking of the time when he got drafted, I was going into Kindergarten at the time ! Almost a lifetime for me !


14 posted on 08/26/2011 8:33:39 PM PDT by CORedneck
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

I have a friend who has the distinction of being the last draftee by his draft board


15 posted on 08/26/2011 8:48:58 PM PDT by A_Former_Democrat (Just when you think the left can't get any loonier . . .)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

Is whatever that is on the left supposed to be a real person?


16 posted on 08/26/2011 9:26:31 PM PDT by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias...)
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To: TXnMA

She works to make sure our troops are supplied and ready for action and, judging from her CSM selection, is a good judge of character and leadership.

My son ships overseas for a one year mission soon. Since she’s part of keeping him supplied, she has my respect.


17 posted on 08/26/2011 10:01:38 PM PDT by 5thGenTexan
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To: 5thGenTexan

“My son ships overseas for a one year mission soon.”

God bless you and your son.

Regards,
Levante (former Squid)


18 posted on 08/26/2011 10:43:41 PM PDT by Levante
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner
From one old Army draftee to another...Well Done CSM Mellinger!

May You long enjoy "Saluting Your Mailbox" every month.

(I know its all electronic deposit now - its an old joke)
19 posted on 08/26/2011 10:49:28 PM PDT by Tainan (Cogito, Ergo Conservitus.)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

Man, the intensity of those times was something rare to experience.


20 posted on 08/27/2011 12:23:26 AM PDT by ansel12 ( Bristol Palin's book "Not Afraid Of Life: My Journey So Far" became a New York Times, best seller.)
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To: volunbeer

Don’t worry,0’b is thinking of NOT paying military retirees and Soc. Sec. retirees. Feel better now? Pay 10 dollars a gallon for gas and swear you’ll vote for the raghead again.


21 posted on 08/27/2011 3:39:19 AM PDT by Waco (Nominate Palin or forget 2012 you lost)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner
(IIRC :)...got my "notice" 11+ months before it ended.

22 posted on 08/27/2011 4:00:32 AM PDT by skinkinthegrass (Who can take tomorrow, Spend it all today? Who can take your income And tax it all away? Obama Man :)
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To: RetiredArmy
Draft notices!!! Man, I got my draft notice in the mail at my mom’s house, 6 weeks AFTER I was already in basic training!!!! Somehow the draft board did not know that I had already joined up!!! :-)

I got mine about two months after serving 4 years of active duty. I enlisted just after my 18th b/day and the recruiter had told me not to bother to register for the draft. About two months after I got out, I got the notice that said I was being drafted due to failure to register for the draft. I had some 'splainin' to do at the draft board but did manage to get it straightened out.

23 posted on 08/27/2011 6:58:43 AM PDT by Graybeard58
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